Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Acupuncture: overview

Contributor(s): Tim Couzens


  • Believed to have originated in Tibet or India and considered to be one of the oldest therapies in the world - practiced from as far back as 2000-3000 BC.
  • One of the main aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
  • Useful to consider acupuncture (as with other aspects of TCM), within a holistic framework (in terms of its action and properties), as opposed to western medicine that tends to consider the body (and thus health and illness), as distinct individual components.
  • Use has been mainly confined to China. However, in recent years (since 1920), its use has gained in popularity in the west as a viable method of healing.
  • Its use within a veterinary context has grown rapidly since the 1950s and is now widely accepted as a form of treatment and therapy.

Concepts underlying acupuncture

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Scientific explanations of acupuncture

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Bossut D F (1996)Veterinary clinical applications of acupuncture. J Altern Complement Med2(1), 65-9.
  • Yu C, Zhang K, Lu G, Xu J, Xie H, Lui Z, Wang Y & Zhu J (1994)Characteristics of acupuncture meridians and acupoints in animals. Rev Sci Tech13(3), 927-33.
  • Panzer R B & Chrisman C L (1994)An auricular acupuncture treatment for idiopathic canine epilepsy - a preliminary report. Am J Chin Med22(1), 11-7.
  • Janssens L A (1993)The role of acupuncture in analgesia. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd118(Suppl 1).
  • Schoen A M (1992)Acupuncture for musculoskeletal disorders. Probl Vet Med4(1), 88-97.
  • Altman S (1992)techniques and instrumentation. Probl Vet Med4(1), 66-87.
  • Limehouse J B (1992)Oriental concepts of acupuncture. Probl Vet Med4(1), 53-65.
  • Altman S (1992)The incorporation of acupuncture into a small animal practice. Probl Vet Med4(1), 223-33.
  • Durkes T E (1992)Gold bead implants. Probl Vet Med4(1), 207-11.
  • Rogers P A, Schoen A M & Limehouse J (1992)Acupuncture for immune-mediated disorders. Literature review and clinical applications. Probl Vet Med4(1), 162-93.
  • Hwang Y C (1992)Acupuncture atlas. Probl Vet Med4(1), 16-33.
  • Lin J H & Panzer R (1992)Acupuncture for reproductive disorders. Probl Vet Med4(1), 155-61.
  • Dill S G (1992)Acupuncture for gastrointestinal disorders. Probl Vet Med4(1), 144-54.
  • Schwartz C (1992)Chronic respiratory conditions and acupuncture therapy. Probl Vet Med4(1) 136-43.
  • Smith F W jr (1992)Acupuncture for cardiovascular disorders. Probl Vet Med4(1), 125-31.
  • Hwang Y C (1992)Anatomy and classification of acupoints. Probl Vet Med4(1), 12-5.
  • Janssens L A (1992)Trigger point therapy. Probl Vet Med4(1), 117-24.
  • Janssens L A (1992)Acupuncture for the treatment of thoracolumbar and cervical disc disease in the dog. Probl Vet Med4(1), 107-16.
  • Jaggar D (1992)History and basic introduction to veterinary acupuncture. Probl Vet Med4(1), 1-11.
  • Klide A M (1992)Acupuncture Analgesia. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract22(2), 374-9.
  • Smith F W jr (1992)Neurophysiologic basis of acupuncture. Probl Vet Med4(1), 34-52.
  • Janssens L A (1991)Acupuncture in thoracolumbar disc disease. J S Afr Vet Assoc62(1), 2.
  • Robinson C (1990)Getting started in acupuncture. Aust Vet J67(10), 423.
  • Janssens L A & Rogers P A (1989)Acupuncture versus surgery in canine thoracolumbar disc disease. Vet Rec124(11), 283.
  • van Niekerk J & Eckersley N (1988)The use of acupuncture in canine epilepsy. J S Afr Vet Assoc59(1), 5.
  • Klide A M, Farnbach G C & Gallagher S M (1987)Acupuncture therapy for the treatment of intractable, idiopathic epilepsy in dogs. Acupunct Electrother Res12(1), 71-74.
  • Williams B M (1986)Acupuncture treatment of paralysis. Vet Rec119(13), 340.
  • Schoen A M, Janssens L & Rogers P A (1986)Veterinary acupuncture. Semin Vet Med Surg (Small Anim)1(3), 224-9.
  • Craige J E (1985)Acupuncture for fleabite allergic dermatitis. J Am Vet Med Assoc187(2), 127.
  • Altman S (1981)Clinical use of veterinary acupuncture. Vet Med Small Anim Clin76(9), 1307-12.
  • Wright M & McGrath C J (1981)Physiologic and analgesic effects of acupuncture in the dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc178(5), 502-7.
  • Janssens L, Altman S & Rogers P A (1979)Respiratory and cardiac arrest under general anaesthesia - treatment by acupuncture of the nasal philtrum. Vet Rec105(12), 273-6.
  • Rogers P A (1978)Veterinary acupuncture. Vet Rec102(17), 387.
  • Altman S (1977)Acupuncture - taking a closer look. Mod Vet Pract58(12), 1003-6.
  • Freeman A (1974)Veterinary acupuncture. J Am Vet Med Assoc164(5), 446-8.

Other sources of information

  • Schoen & Wynn (1997)Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine.Mosby.
  • Schoen A (1994)Veterinary Acupuncture. Ancient Art to Modern Medicine.Mosby.
  • Maciocia G (1989)The Foundations of Chinese Medicine.Churchill Livingstone.