Specifically, acupuncture involves the use of thin, sterile needles inserted into defined points that stimulate physiologic processes through neural signaling.
The use of acupuncture in companion animals has increased drastically in the last decade and is primarily used to treat neurological and orthopedic conditions.
More slowly, acupuncture has started to become used in laboratory animal and research settings.
This delay can be attributed to:
The small size of the rodents commonly used in animal research, which can make proper acupuncture technique difficult.
A lack of training into its technique by laboratory animal veterinarians.
A concern that acupuncture introduces an unknown variable into research studies.
“The risks of acupuncture are very low. The supplies are inexpensive. The only drawback is the time investment to perform the therapy. In our experience, the benefits gained by the animals are well worth the time investment,” Elizabeth Rebecca Magden, DVM, DACLAM, author of a recent study titled “Spotlight on Acupuncture in Laboratory Animal Medicine,” explained to ALN.”