Page 70 - WSAVA2018
P. 70

 25-28 September, 2018 | Singapore
R. Koh1
1Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Baton Rouge, USA
2Veterinary Medical Center, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, USA
A. Introduction
Acupuncture is a medical technique that has been practiced for over 3000 years in China, and is part
of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM). The use of acupuncture is becoming more common in veterinary medicine, and it can play a role in the management of acute, inflammatory, chronic pain, nerve damage, and nausea and vomiting, as well as many other internal medicine problems.
In 1997, the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed a consensus statement about acupuncture and its efficacy. NIH said that there was compelling evidence that acupuncture was usefully in the management of osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal pain. It can be helpful in treating many gastrointestinal problems, including inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcers, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture
can help with management of pulmonary disease including colds and asthma. The immunomodulation of acupuncture can reduce inflammation, elevate WBC, and increase interleukin-2 production. Finally, acupuncture can help in treating reproductive disorders, decreasing uterine bleeding and regulating ovulation. In additions, the World Health Organization (WHO) also recognizes the use of Acupuncture in the treatment of a wide
range of common illnesses. While most of these studies reviewed the effectiveness of acupuncture in human patients, much of the data was based upon animal experimentation. Moreover, the conditions for which NIH and WHO thinks acupuncture can be effective
are the same conditions which veterinarians treat with acupuncture.
From a modern prospective, acupuncture represents
a form of nerve stimulation and neuromodulation of
the body. As such, to know acupuncture is to know
the nervous system. Certainly, we know that for acupuncture to work, it requires an intact nervous system and acupuncture is not effective if the nervous system is damaged beyond repair. Recently, using functional MRI (fMRI), the basic tenets of acupuncture have been proven. Those are that acupuncture is based upon the point selected, the method of stimulation
and the duration of stimulation. Stimulation of various acupuncture points result is specific special changes in the central nervous system (CNS). The change is mild when only acupuncture needles are used and become more pronounced if electrical acupuncture is added. While the change initially is more limited, over time, the entire neural axis becomes involved.
B. Acupuncture
Acupuncture may be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body, referred to as an “acupoint”. Physiological changes in response to acupuncture
point stimulation is the basis of clinical treatment. Some of these changes include release of endogenous opioids, immune system stimulation, and blood pressure regulation. Stimulation of an acupoint causes activation of Aα and Aβ nerve fibers to conduct electrical signals through the spinothalamic tract to the hypothamalus and cause release of β-endorphins. Acupuncture also causes activation of the descending pain inhibitory pathway which activates the periaqueductal gray
matter to release more β-endorphins and the nucleus raphe magnus to release serotonins. Pain is blocked with the release of these endogenous opioids and neurotransmitters. Acupuncture can also activate T-cell lymphocytes and increase the number of white blood cells for the treatment of immuno-deficiency. Acupoint stimulation also affects the blood pressure receptors and can influence blood pressure. It can be used to increase or decrease blood pressure.
C. Acupuncture Points (Acupoints)
Most acupoints are located along the nervous system and have been identified to be one of four basic types of points (Gunn Cc. 1997):
1. Type I acupoints, which make up 67% of all acupoints, are considered motor points. The motor point is the point in a muscle which, when electrical stimulation is applied, will produce a maximal contraction with mini- mal intensity of stimulation. Motor points are located in areas where nerves enter muscles. For instance, SI-9 is located at the junction of the deltoid muscle and triceps brachii and is supplied by axillary and radial nerves.
2. Type II points are located on the superficial nerves in the sagittal plane on the dorsal and ventral midlines. For instance, Bai-hui lies in the depression between the spinous processes of the seventh lumbar and the first sacral vertebrae on the dorsal midline and is sup- plied by the dorsal branch of the last lumbar nerve.
3. Type III points are located at high density loci of super- ficial nerves and nerve plexuses. For example, GB-34 is located at the point where the common peroneal nerve divides into the deep and superficial branches cranial and distal to the head of the fibula.
4. Type IV points are located at the muscle-tendon

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