If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Olden-Stahl, please note the following: please bring a soft towel or bed for your pet, treats, and plan for an hour visit, which includes the eastern exam and first acupuncture treatment.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
Below you will find introductory information regarding the holistic aspects of our hospital. Dr. Olden-Stahl has been trained and certified through the Chi Institute in Florida. She uses integrated medicine to best serve the needs of each patient. Her main modalities include acupuncture, herbal and food therapy.
Please call us if you have any further question or concerns, or if you would like to schedule a consultation.
What does TCVM stand for?
- Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
How long has TCVM been used?
- For the past 2,000-4,000 years
What was the first animal TCVM was used on?
- Horses were a large part of Chinese culture and their meridians were mapped 2,000-4,000 years ago.
- The meridian pathways were transposed from the human body (for all animal species).
- The most common animals that TCVM is used on include: horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds (domestic and wild), and exotic/zoo species (i.e. monkeys, elephants, dolphins, giraffes, lions, tigers, reptiles).
What is Qi?
- Qi (pronounced ‘Chi’) is a term describing energy or energetic flow.
What is an acupuncture point?
- Scientifically, it is a specific location on the body that has a high collection of nerve cells, blood vessels, lymph channels and immune cells called mast cells. Each point has been mapped to connect to specific nerves and organs and stimulates the spinal cord and central nervous system to release substances such as beta endorphins, serotonin and other hormones that can bind to opioid receptors (using the same pathway as morphine).
- Historically, it is a point on the body that is used to help heal a specific condition, support organ function, diagnose conditions and as preventative medicine.
What is a channel or meridian?
- A channel or meridian is a collection of acupuncture points that follows a certain path on the body’s surface and relates to a specific ‘organ’ or organ system.
What is Dei Qi?
- This term refers to the visible effect of stimulating an acupuncture point.
- This can be seen if the animal turns its head, jumps, moves its skin, or if the veterinarian feels a jolt from the needle as it was placed.
What kinds of conditions can TCVM be used as a treatment?
- Skin disease, behavioral problems (i.e. phobias, anxiety, self-mutilation), organ disease (i.e. heart, kidney disease), pain conditions (i.e. arthritis), GI disease (i.e. IBD, food allergies), wound healing, eye conditions (i.e. corneal ulcers) metabolic/endocrine disease (i.e. thyroid disease, diabetes, Cushings, etc), neurologic disease, seizures, acute trauma/bleeding, neoplasia, autoimmune disease, and geriatric/chronic disease.
- TCVM may be used in conjunction with medications or treatments that are already being used. Overall, the goal is to try to increase quality of life.
PLEASE LET YOUR VETERINARIAN KNOW ALL MEDICATIONS THAT YOUR PET IS CURRENTLY ON OR HAS TAKEN IN THE PAST 7 DAYS.
How long has TCVM been used in the United States?
- TCVM started to become more popular in the 1970s after President Nixon visited China. Upon returning the US, he increased funding to NIH (National Institute of Health) to further scientifically validate this form of medicine.
Is TCM/TCVM still used in China?
- Yes. The majority of Chinese medical doctors receive both Eastern and Western training.
Where can I find scientific case studies supporting TCM/TCVM?
What is a good book for me to read to help me further understand TCVM?
- 4 Paws, 5 Directions by Cheryl and Mark Ed. Schwartz (1996)
What is Shen?
- Shen relates to the mind, ‘spirit,’ will to live, life spark and is visualized through the eyes, i.e. a pet’s shen is ‘good’ if they have bright eyes, good energy level and appetite.
- A patient’s overall prognosis is improved if their shen is good.
What is a constitution type?
- In TCVM, there are 5 constitution types: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each type corresponds to an ‘organ system’: Wood (liver/gall bladder), Fire (heart/mind/shen), Earth (GI tract/spleen/stomach), Metal (skin/lung), Water (kidney/bone).
- Each type is also manifested through personality: Wood (dominant, fearless, aggressive), Fire (loves attention, sulks if not being petted), Earth (laid back, wants to please), Metal (more aloof, goal oriented, likes routine), Water (more fearful, likes to stay close to their owner for support, may exhibit more phobias, hides).
- Each constitution type can be more ‘prone’ to certain types of conditions/diseases based on their underlying strengths and weaknesses.
- Constitution types tend to be consistent throughout life, but can change with age.
Are you expecting me to only use TCVM?
- Western medicine has great strengths in diagnosis, surgery and emergency conditions. Western medicine also tends to have a visible effect in a shorter period of time.
- Eastern medicine has great strengths in helping to manage chronic conditions, but tends to take slightly longer to see effects.
- I recommend using integrated medicine, using the strengths of both Western and Eastern diagnosis and treatments.
Are TCVM treatments based on an individual patient?
- Yes – each patient is assessed individually and will receive treatments unique to that pet.
- Two patients could present with the same clinical signs (i.e. hip dysplasia), but based on their TCVM exam and constitution types, receive two entirely different courses of treatment.
What is tongue and pulse diagnosis?
- Tongue assessment includes size, shape, color and coatings.
- Pulse diagnosis refers to the femoral pulse in animals, and it is assessed several ways.
- These two parts of the exam are used to further support pattern diagnosis – the way the tongue looks or the pulse feels can indicate specific types of underlying disease.
- Both of these will change if the underlying pattern of disease changes.
What do you mean by ‘pattern’ diagnosis?
- Pattern diagnosis refers to treating what the TCVM veterinarian asses on that patient during that particular visit.
- Diagnosis is based on patient history, a series of questions, physical exam, tongue and pulse diagnosis, and assessment of specific acupuncture points.
- Treatment is based on pattern diagnosis and supporting the underlying constitution type to help prevent further disease in the future.
- Patterns can change from exam to exam, or once a problem is resolved and if another becomes apparent.
- Treating a primary pattern can reveal an underlying pattern, which may be linked to the patient’s constitution type.
What kinds of treatments could my pet be receiving?
- Acupuncture – can included dry needles, aquapuncture (i.e. using B12, other injectable formulations in an acupuncture point), hemoacupuncture (small amount of bleeding from an acupuncture point) and electroacupuncture (using electrical current through acupuncture points)
- Dry needles – effect lasts 2-3 days
- Aquapuncture (injections at acupuncture points) – effect lasts 5-7 days
- Electroacupuncture – effect lasts 2-3 weeks
Herbs – specific formulations are designed to prolong the effects of the acupuncture treatment, in addition to further helping treat the specific disease pattern. (Note – Herb purity and source is very important. All herbs prescribed from this clinic will have a regulated paper trail from certified sources that can be traced back to the farm where they were grown).
- Therapeutic massage
- Food therapy – We may make recommendations to add or change the diet based on pattern diagnosis and clinical signs.
What is the average duration of treatment?
- There should be significant improvement or resolution of a condition within 3-5 treatments.
- Treatments are based on the individual’s response, and may occur weekly, every two weeks, or longer.
- The frequency of treatment should decrease as the patient improves.
What can I expect after my pet has received an acupuncture treatment?
- Your pet may exhibit the following signs: no change, a worsening of signs (temporarily), drowsiness/lethargy (for up to 48 hours), or immediate improvement of symptoms.
- These are all normal responses to treatment.
- These responses may only last a certain amount of time, based on the underlying condition – if your pet had improved but is now declining again, that most likely indicates that another treatment is necessary.
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