Alternative Therapies

Homeopathy is an alternative therapy that uses diluted remedies to trigger the natural healing intelligence of the body. These remedies have to be exactly matched to the disease requiring treatment. Homeopathy has been around since the late 1700s. It is important that a veterinarian prescribes and supervises the homeopathy treatment because if not used properly it can result in potentially harmful outcomes.

These are flower essences used to treat disease where it is believed there is an emotional component causing the disease. Dr Edward Bach, the originator of this alternative therapy, found that trees, flowers and bushes, when prepared in a certain way, provided a safe, gentle approach to restoring balance and healing in the body. The essences can be used in conjunction with other alternative therapies.

Reiki uses life force and directs it to bring healing to the body. Reiki is natural and safe and complements many alternative therapies. It is not affiliated with any religious organisation. Reiki can be learnt by anyone and is applicable to all animals, even healthy ones.

Herbal medicine is the most well known of all the alternate therapies. Up to 80% of the population use herbal medicine in one form or another. An example is peppermint tea for digestive upsets in humans, or garlic for hypertension. More and more, this traditional alternative medicine is gaining scientific credibility in the form of empirical research studies. Caution is advised when using herbal medicine for dogs as little research has been done in this area, and dose strength and application sites may vary when compared with treating people. Always seek advice from your veterinarian when thinking of using herbal medicine for your dog.

Acupuncture uses very fine needles placed into the body at specific points to promote healing. It has been used for approximately 4,000 years and its popularity and use are increasing. There is a growing number of veterinarians trained in the art of acupuncture for dogs. It also complements traditional medicine very well. Most dogs undergoing acupuncture become very relaxed and often fall asleep due to the relief it can bring. Acupuncture is one form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which also includes Chinese herbs and massage.

This alternate therapy works on the fact that misalignments in the spine can affect how the body functions. The aim is therefore to gently adjust the spine to stimulate healing by taking pressure off nerves leaving and entering the spine. This must be done by a professional trained in veterinary chiropractics.