What is Holistic Medicine?
The AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) defines holistic (or integrative) medicine as “ the examination and diagnosis of an animal, considering all aspects of the animal's life and employing all of the practitioner's senses, as well as the combination of conventional and alternative (or complementary) modalities of treatment. When a holistic veterinarian sees a pet, besides giving it a comprehensive physical examination, he/she wants to find out all about its behaviors, distant medical and dietary history, and its environment including diet, emotional stresses, and other factors”. Holistic thinking centers on love, empathy and respect. A holistic practitioner considers the “whole picture” of the patient. The goal in holistic medicine is to follow the most effective, least invasive, and least harmful path to cure for each patient.
It is important to keep in mind that a holistic veterinarian may also employ traditional modalities such as surgery and drug therapy especially in acute, emergency conditions. Traditional medicine holds great value in these situations. A combination of both traditional and holistic medicine may be prescribed as indicated. Once the acute condition is treated additional holistic therapies are then employed to help the patient’s body restore balance by redirecting the disease state.
Here are some of the modalities used in holistic veterinary medicine. Follow this link for additional information regarding the different modalities and the AHVMA: http://ahvma.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=132
Acupuncture and TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine):-
“Acupuncture has been used in China for 3500 years. It is the main treatment for a quarter of the world's population. Thousands of years of acupuncture treatment prove its efficacy.
The primary aim of veterinary acupuncture is to strengthen the body's immune system—to stimulate the body's adaptive–homeostatic mechanism.
Acupuncture is a technique for relieving pain and for improving the function of organ systems by stimulating acupuncture points on the surface of the body.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that Chi, the vital force that flows throughout the body, travels throughout the body along channels of energy flow called meridians. Acupuncture points along the meridians are treated whenever a disease condition exists that blocks the normal flow of energy along these meridians.
Acupuncture treatments elicit responses which regulate physiological processes. Acupuncture spans from ancient Chinese knowledge to state-of-the-art electrodiagnostic instrumentation.”
“The use of specific herbs and plants for medicinal purposes has been practiced for millennia all over the world. Veterinary herbal medicines include Western herbs, Ayurvedic herbs from India, traditional Chinese herbs and other herbs from all over the world. Herbs have healing powers that are capable of balancing the emotional, mental and physical dimensions of animals.
Herbal medicine is a system of treatment utilizing whole plants and plant extracts in the treatment of disease and maintenance of health. Herbalists believe that whole plants provide a broad spectrum of desirable effects, from specialized nutrition (herbs contain vitamins and minerals that drugs do not) to synergy of the various components, which may allow lower doses of pharmacologic ingredients to be used.
Herbal medicine requires that the herbalist be aware of the world around us, because the tools of the trade and the environment in which they grow may be endangered by indiscriminate use. Good herbalists are conservationists and are often active in sustainable agriculture and medical initiatives world wide.”
“Sometimes known as Orthomolecular Medicine, it uses supplemental minerals, vitamins and nutrients that correct deficiencies, prevent pathology and reverse tissue damage. Supplements are prescribed that support the organs and body tissues, aid body detoxification and give energy to assist in the healing process.”
VOM (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation)
VOM is a healing technology developed by Dr William L Inman, DVM, BS, CVCP. VOM is a form of animal adjusting which “locates areas of the animal's nervous system that has fallen out of communication, and re-establishes neuronal communication and thus induces healing.” This method of adjusting is different from the manual adjusting techniques taught by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). “ Vom uses a hand-held device that is used in a popular human chiropractic technique called ‘Activator Methods’ but it is not to be confused with that technique. The differences between VOM and Chiropractic care are significant and distinct.” Please follow this link for additional information regarding VOM and how it works: What is VOM?
Here is an example of conditions that may benefit from VOM treatment:
* Hip Dysplasia
* Slipped/ruptured discs
* Wobbler's Disease
* Agility dysfunction