Holistic Veterinary Medicine does not differ much from the human version of the approach. It is likewise concerned with the whole picture, rather than a mere part of it.
It is not just concerned with diagnosing and treatment of a particular disease. It covers every aspect of the pet’s life, and utilizes both the holistic and conventional methods in administering the treatment.
In fact, there are situations wherein surgery and other medical procedures have to be done together with the alternative methods so that an effective treatment may be achieved. Treatment of a particular disease is not the only purpose of the various holistic methods. The hidden causes of such disease have to be determined and addresses to, so that a better level of health is within reach.
Going for the holistic approach does not mean you’re supposed to be trashing the conventional means. To be holistic means being aware of the real needs of your pet. Practices that involve all facets of your pet’s existence must be followed. Ask yourself questions like, “Am I feeding him the right food in the right amount, at the right time?” or “Am I being a master or a friend?” After all, holistic veterinary does not only exist to treat diseases, rather, their greatest aim is to prevent the onset of all types of diseases and to make optimal health within reach.
Acupuncture is one of the traditional medical practices created by the Chinese dating back thousands of years. This method aims to create an energy-flow balance in the body. The theory is that when circulation of these energies are blocked, diseases occur. Acupuncture works to address such blockages.
The major goal of veterinary acupuncture is to improve the immune system of the body as well as for pain relief and enhancement of organ functions through the stimulation of the acupuncture points on the body.
The conventional acupuncture needles are used in this holistic veterinary method. However, if your pets are needle-shy, it doesn’t mean that they can’t undergo acupuncture. Some holistic vets use the Photonic Therapy handheld unit. It is a pen-like gadget that has six LED’s that function to create the therapeutic stimulus. This needle-less acupuncture will definitely earn your pet’s approval.
This system of human medicine dates as far back as the time of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. However, it was in the middle of the 1800’s when a German doctor developed the system to the homeopathy that we know of today.
The principle “like cures like” is the theory behind homeopathy. This means that when an animal has taken in a toxic substance, the effect can be reversed by giving it the same substance in a minute and diluted dose. Homeopathy does not work to conceal the symptoms. Rather, it treats the root cause of the disease.
Homeopathy remedies used by humans are likewise used in veterinary homeopathy as well. Both the full history of the patient and the condition are recorded in order for the veterinarian to find the nearest match. The homeopathic remedy is then selected from the data recorded. There are ongoing researches being conducted on homeopathy. However, most findings have been positive. Much credit is given to the professionals all over the world who are open to alternative means.
Chiropractic in humans works the same way for animals. Even if it has gained popularity in the animal world, some veterinary professionals have expressed their resistance to this technique. However, because of the method’s success, it is now a common thing in the veterinary scene.
Due to the controversy stirred by the practice, guidelines have been stipulated by veterinary organizations. One such guideline speaks about veterinary chiropractic as a medical procedure that should only be performed by either a licensed chiropractor who is referred to by a veterinarian, a licensed veterinarian himself, or someone who is both. Moreover, the guideline states that extensive programs and education on the technique should have been undertaken by the chiropractor or veterinarian before he can practice it.
Plants offer various remedies for different health conditions. Even our traditional drugs are sourced out from these plants. However, unlike drugs, herbs do not go through any chemical processes, allowing them to retain their therapeutic powers. This makes them all-natural and safer than the traditional drugs that are most commonly prescribed by the medical professionals.
There are natural health veterinarians who will prescribe you to treat your pet’s condition using herbs. There may be several types of herbs needed to be used in order to “heal” your pet’s illness. Sometimes, your veterinarian may suggest the use of another herb to counteract the side effects caused by another.
There are some herbal remedies that may be toxic to some animals. That is why it is very important that your veterinary is thoroughly educated and is extensively well-versed about herbal or botanical veterinary medicine. Otherwise, your pet may not be given the proper treatment that he needs.
Massage and Physical Therapy
Massage and physical therapies are more than just ways to relieve stress. These methods are used when rehabilitating injured animals. Physical therapy for example may employ such techniques as exercise or hot and cold compress, in order to treat the affected area. Physical therapy can also be done with other thorough medical procedures like hydrotherapy, electricity, or ultrasound.
In massage therapy, the use of the therapist’s hands and body to massage the animal may assist in rehabilitating its injury. Other conditions that employ massage therapy include cramps, injuries of soft tissues, muscle degeneration, and circulation problems.
Finding a Natural Health or Holistic Vet
Is your vet willing to find safer and more natural cure for your pet’s ailments? Or is he quick to prescribe drugs?
Finding a real natural health or holistic veterinarian is not an easy task. Holistic vets do not deny the fact that conventional drugs and medical procedures are sometimes necessary. In fact, there are diseases that are best addressed when the traditional means work closely with certain holistic modalities.
So how can you best assess your vet? Talk to the vet about his beliefs, practices, and observe his general attitude towards animals. Ask them what their thoughts are about natural health practices and what they know about them. Sometimes, you can tell if a person is just trying to give you answers that are out to please you. Every veterinarian, whether holistic or not, should only be after the welfare of its patient.
The existence of holistic veterinary medicine is not because veterinary professionals lost their trust on the traditional means of treating diseases. Generally, the reason why holistic methods have become more popular is because more and more of these professionals have opened up their minds about other techniques of dealing with health issues.
Almost all forms of holistic medicine for humans have been made available to animals as well. There are various workshops, seminars, and educational programs conducted in order to promote these helpful methods. The combination of the traditional and natural health medicine aims to create a healthier animal by focusing on the ‘whole picture’ rather than just parts of it.
Copyright 2007 – Deanna Raeke