Acupuncture is the treatment of various condition or symptoms in animals or humans by the insertion of very fine needles into specific point on the body in order to produce a response.
The specific acupuncture points have been well charted for both humans and animals, and were initially mapped by ancient Chinese practitioners. These points were found to be connected with each other and also to various internal organs by pathways or meridians or channels. Many of these channels trace the paths of the body's major nerve trunks.
Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. Combinations of points are often stimulated to take advantage of synergistic reactions between them. Which acupuncture points are stimulated, the depth of the needle insertion, the type of stimulation applied to the needles, and the duration of each treatment session depends on the patient's tolerance, the experience and training of the practitioner, and the condition being treated.
In North America, acupuncture as an organized form of veterinary medicine has been in existence since approximately 1975, when the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) was founded. IVAS still conducts regular courses, seminars and conference in both Canada and the US, and has established high standards for assessing the competency of veterinary acupuncturists through an accreditation program. When looking for a veterinary acupuncturist, this organization publishes an up to date list of certified veterinarians. The Canadian affiliate , called AVAC, (Association of Veterinary Acupuncturists of Canada) can help you find an acupuncturist for you animal in Canada. Using one of these certified acupuncturist means that they have passed certification exams and they continue to be active in this alternate field of veterinary practice and attend yearly updating seminars.