Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practiced on humans and animals for 40000 years. It is still the major form of medical treatment for nearly a quarter of the world’s population and in this country is available on the NHS.

Acupuncture in animals is regarded by the law as an act of veterinary surgery and as such may only be carried out in the UK by a veterinary surgeon.

In our practice it is carried out by Terry Girling and his wife, Sarah Coombs-Girling, both of whom have been using this technique for more than twenty years. Sarah has an internationally recognised certificate in veterinary acupuncture and practices on horses as well as helping Terry with companion animals at the surgery.

We routinely use acupuncture treatment to relieve the pain of muscular and bony conditions including arthritis. Cases have included dogs that are lame, reluctant to jump into a car, stiff when getting up or panting excessively at exercise.

Acupuncture is not a cure-all but we can also have success treating urinary incontinence, epilepsy and digestive conditions. We have treated cats, ferrets and birds as well as dogs.

Animals usually tolerate acupuncture treatment very well. The needles are very fine, much thinner than injection needles. If necessary the acupuncture points can be stimulated using a special cold laser machine. Occasionally, the needles are connected to a low level electric current, this electro-acupuncture can be more effective with the beneficial effects lasting longer.

An initial course of treatment typically involves 6 sessions at 7-10 day intervals, although this may vary according to each individual case.

the way in which acupuncture treatment affects the body can be explained according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and from the viewpoint of Western medicine.

According to TCM goof health requires the smooth flow of ‘Qi’ around the body. The Chinese set great emphasis on the effects of external factors such as the weather, poor diet and emotional state.

From a Western viewpoint, 70% of all acupuncture points lie over nerve pathways close to the skin surface. Insertion of needles brings about pain relief. Needles block the transmission of pain messages from injured tissues and cause the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins.

If you wish to discuss acupuncture treatment at Girling and Bowditch, please ring reception and arrange to speak to Terry Girling.