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holisticalvets

HolisticalVets LLC

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In-home euthanasia and holistic mobile veterinarian in NJ. Holisticalvets.com

Meet Mater! While he’s normally not a big of veterinarians, he absolutely adores treats… and I can totally work with that 😊 He’s happy with his treats and I’m happy that he’s not stressed during these sessions. He even let me put some needles in his paws! 😮

I absolutely love having him as a patient and his lovely owner and I are so incredibly proud of him and the progress he has made!
- Dr. Matthews

Check out our website (link in bio) if you’re interested in acupuncture for your pet! All animal species (🐶🐱🐰🐴🦎🦜🐁🐭🐷🐮🐍, etc.) welcome! 😊

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This cutie absolutely loves his acupuncture. 🥰

When you think of acupuncture, you probably think of a bunch of needles sticking out of the skin. Well, check out aqua-acupuncture 😊

Oliver was diagnosed with feline asthma a few years ago and his owner asked me to treat him with acupuncture to help reduce his asthmatic episodes. Those episodes had improved with medications, but hadn’t completely resolved.

So our goal was to reduce the frequency and severity of his coughs and hopefully be able to taper down his medication a bit with time.

To treat Oliver’s feline asthma, I focused on a few things, including:
✨Removing/reducing inflammation and pain
✨Reducing stress
✨Tonifying (supporting) his lungs
✨Removing Dampness (think of this as being bogged down and feeling sluggish/meh)

Aqua-acupuncture is very helpful when wanting to provide a stronger, more prolonged stimulation of a point, since it takes time for the liquid placed under the skin to absorb.

Since a few of the points I wanted to needle for asthma are close together (and since I’m all about reducing a patient’s stress), I decided to use aqua-acupuncture in this location. With one needle poke, I can stimulate the point to remove/reduce excess Heat (aka inflammation), but I can also stimulate additional points nearby to reduce/stop coughing by angling the needle in either direction without having to poke him again in that area.

I can’t use aqua-acupuncture on every acupuncture point I want to needle, but when I can, it’s an excellent way to help patients. 😊
- Dr. Matthews

PS. We were able to taper his medication down a bit because of how much he improved since starting acupuncture 🥰
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It makes so happy every time I see patients do this! 🥰

In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), "Qi" (pronounced "chee") is a vital energy or life force that flows through the body. It's a fundamental concept in TCVM, like how blood flows in the body according to Western/conventional medicine.

Think of Qi like a flow of energy that helps everything in your pet's body work properly. This energy isn't something you can see like blood, but it's just as important.

Qi helps with things like digestion, breathing, running, playing, and even thinking. When Qi is flowing smoothly, your pet feels healthy and happy. Now, imagine that your pet's body is like a network of rivers and streams. These rivers are like pathways that Qi uses to move around. Just like water flowing in rivers, Qi flows through these pathways called "meridians."

When Qi is balanced and moves freely along these meridians, your pet's body functions well. But sometimes, things can happen that disrupt the smooth flow of Qi. This could be due to things like stress, illness, or even something in their environment.

When Qi gets stuck or blocked in these meridians, your pet might start feeling unwell. They could have pain, become sluggish, or have other health problems. TCVM practitioners like me aim to help the Qi flow smoothly again by using acupuncture.

One of the goals of acupuncture is achieving De-Qi (aka the arrival of Qi), which is a sensation that the acupuncture patient gets and it’s a visible sign that the acupuncture is working and doing what it needs to be doing: moving Qi along those meridians we mentioned earlier. Animals will sometimes mildly react to De-Qi by yawning (like my adorable patient here), passing gas, flicking their ears, etc. Other times, the reaction may be vastly more pronounced/sudden (e.g., a horse suddenly kicking/jumping). Regardless of the type of response, it can last anywhere from 10-30 seconds and then the animal will resume relaxing. Animals that are extremely weak or have neurological diseases are less likely to exhibit a pronounced visible response to De-Qi.

Have questions about De-Qi, Qi, or acupuncture in general? Feel free to drop them below ⬇️ or DM us! 😊

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Meet Cheyenne! He was definitely not a fan of acupuncture when we first started. I learned pretty quickly that he did not want me touching his spine or hips and he would tolerate, at most, 3-5 needles for a couple of minutes as long as they weren’t on his back or hips.

His lovely owner requested acupuncture for Cheyenne’s diabetes, but after my physical exam, I realized he was dealing with some pretty bad arthritis too. So I took it at Cheyenne’s pace. If he would only allow me to insert a couple of needles in certain areas, I could definitely work with that, especially since I could provide a great deal of benefits (like providing pain relief, reducing inflammation, improving mobility, etc.) with just 1-2 needles placed in key areas.

Since in TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine), diabetes and bone issues are tied to kidneys, I was able to tackle both issues using the same key points. 😊

During regular acupuncture sessions for the following weeks, I focused on placing needles in areas that would provide the benefits I mentioned above. I may have squealed with happiness when I realized during a session that Cheyenne didn’t mind me touching his spine and hips anymore! He actually headbutted, asked for attention, and enjoyed being petted on his back! 🥺 🥰 I was also able to insert additional needles!

As if that wasn’t amazing enough, I soon realized that Cheyenne’s insulin needs for his diabetes may be changing. He had been well-regulated on 3 units of insulin for years, but based on convos with his owner and some clinical signs that I was noticing, I recommended an exam and testing with Cheyenne’s primary conventional veterinarian. Sure enough, his insulin needs were changing and his insulin dose was reduced by half! 🎉 Diabetes milestone achieved!🎉

Cheyenne, I am so incredibly proud of you!! Thank you for being an amazing patient and cat!
-Dr. Matthews
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What is scanning in acupuncture?

Scanning is a diagnostic test that veterinarians trained in acupuncture can perform on horses. Just like in the video above, it’s where a vet applies very light pressure to certain areas of the body to see if the horse reacts. If there is a reaction (like in the video), for example, on a particular point located on the horse’s back, it could be due to back pain, but it can also be due to lung/respiratory issues or even forelimb pain. Depending on how the horse reacts to other associated points, the vet can then further pinpoint the location of the actual problem.

As you can imagine, scanning really comes in handy when trying to figure out where exactly a horse might be feeling pain in certain parts of the body. Based on results of the scan, the vet will then select specific acupuncture points in an effort to help reduce the pain and help the horse feel better.

We love scanning because it provides a ton of information for treatment without being invasive. it’s also a great way to see how things have improved after treatment, since the goal is to have the horse react less (or, depending on the problem, not react at all!) to the points that bothered him or her before.

Have questions about scanning? Drop them below👇

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