Holistic Veterinary Medicine Explained

Holistic veterinary medicine uses alternative therapies, such as chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs, massage, electromagnetic field therapy, natural non-invasive methods and natural nutrition. Whereas traditional medicine tends to focus on “parts”, holistic medicine treats each “part” as a “whole”, looking at the whole in their diagnosis of the parts, and trying to treat the parts in such a way they don't have side effects on the whole.

Traditional Medicine for Animals

Traditional medicine analyzes the symptoms of the disease and then treats that particular symptom with a specific treatment plan involving medications, therapy, surgery or other procedures that can sometimes be invasive.

Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine is often based on the view that health is maintained by balancing two opposing energy flows: ying and yang. Disease manifests whenever the two flows are out of balance, with a deficiency of one flow and an excess of the other. Cures occur when the balance between these two flows is restored. Cures do not occur by treating the symptoms but rather by treating the cause.

Holistic Approach

Holistic veterinary medicine considers all aspects of an animal’s life in addition to the examination and diagnosis of the medical condition. After conducting a comprehensive examination, the practitioner inquires about the animal’s behaviors, family relationships, nutrition, diet, hygiene, stress, emotions, environment, owner-pet relationship, genetics and past medical history. Based upon this information, the practitioner will devise an appropriate lifestyle for the animal in order to restore a healthy flow of “chi”, by balancing ying and yang.

Holistic techniques are gentle, minimally invasive and seek patient well being and reduction of stress. Love, respect and empathy are emphasized.

Alternative Medicines

Other techniques are employed in conjunction with holistic medicine. They include acupuncture, herbs, behavioral therapy, homeopathy, nutritional therapy and chiropractic.

  • Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that the vital life force Chi flows throughout the body along channels of energy flows called meridians. Acupuncture needles are inserted at designated points to restore the flow of energy whenever a disease condition blocks the flow along a meridian. This technique relieves pain, strengthens the body’s immune system and improves organ function.
  • Herbs – Certain herbs and plants possess medicinal properties, vitamins and minerals that maintain and restore health.
  • Behavioral Therapy – Sometimes disease is caused by certain behaviors that can be altered and, in so doing, eliminate the disease.
  • Homeopathy – Homeopathic remedies use minerals, bacteria, viruses, plants, drugs and animal substances for treating the causes of the illness. These remedies do not suppress or mask symptoms but rather try to eliminate them through natural methods.
  • Nutritional Therapy – The use of supplemental vitamins, minerals and nutrition to correct deficiencies is also known as orthomolecular medicine. These supplements support body tissues and organs and can reverse tissue damage. They also assist in the healing process and aid the body in detoxification. Proper nutrition can prevent illnesses.
  • Chiropractic – Using hands-on manipulation of certain joints and vertebrae, the practitioner adjusts and realigns the body in order to alleviate health problems.

Holistic medicine treats the entire body as well as takes into consideration the entire lifestyle of the animal in order to devise a treatment plan.