A Holistic Approach

Traditional Chinese Medicine:


    Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) was developed over time beginning thousands of years ago.  Practitioners relied on observation of the body and its responses, mapping out patterns of cause and effect and the result is a system of diagnosis and treatment that is not only highly accurate and effective, but also does not rely on a blood test, xray, or Western label of diagnosis to be able to address disease.  Due to cultural differences, the terminology used in TCM to label how the body works internally in health and when diseased, is foreign sounding to our experiences.  The gift of this alternative approach is that it comes from a different mindset altogether and therefore can provide an avenue of treatment when Western medicine has run out of options.  One of the pitfalls of Western medicine is its focus on making and treating a diagnosis, or in failing to diagnosis, to eliminate symptoms.

In merely treating symptoms, it has hampered itself from helping patients heal at the root level and in the end creates far more deep seated and chronic issues that require more and more symptom relief.

    Like many medical systems pre-dating “modern” medicine, TCM looks beyond the individual symptoms.  Symptoms are seen as flags of imbalance and are the outward evidence of the body’s attempt to mediate an issue.  They are clues to the underlying imbalance, and while quelling them with drugs may make the patient feel better in the short term, that approach fails to address the real root issue and cuts off the body’s avenue to manage itself.   TCM makes a diagnosis based on the collection of symptoms along with the overall patient condition to determine and treat the root issue and to achieve a stable health.


    We use Traditional Chinese Medicine in our practice as a sole means of treatment or as part of an integrated medical plan.   We can function as your pet’s primary veterinarian or can work in conjunction with your veterinarian to provide alternative fortification of a more Western medical approach.  We also function as a referral center for patients that Western medicine has failed to treat.   We use TCM to treat any medical or emotional condition that has at its root an imbalance that can be addressed with acupuncture and herbs.  Most people associate acupuncture with orthopedic injuries or pain management, however it is also very successful in managing skin conditions, allergies, digestive complaints, behavior disorders, urinary infections and stones, and cancer, to name a few.

    Initial alternative consultations in our practice are scheduled for an hour and a half.  Prior to this appointment the Dr. will review any past medical history, especially records concerning current or chronic conditions.  During the appointment there will be a thorough discussion of all facets of your pet’s physical and emotional status followed by a traditional physical exam which includes evaluation from a chinese perspective, assessing the physical condition, mental state, tongue and pulse.  A plan will then be outlined to utilize management tools that include nutrition, lifestyle changes, acupuncture and Chinese and/or Western herbs.   Any combination of therapies, including Western, may make up the final plan you chose to pursue.  If elected, an acupuncture treatment can be given during this initial visit.  Responses to acupuncture can be fast, immediately or within 24 hours.  If the condition being addressed is chronic or severe, usually sequential treatments are needed to see a cumulative improvement or to achieve lasting results.  Side effects from acupuncture or herbs are rare and minimal in degree since we are assisting and guiding the body back into balance based on the feedback the individual is giving us.  Follow up visits are conducted by phone and in the office, and can be a variety of intervals from days to weeks.  Typically the first recheck is done at 2 weeks and then progress dictates the frequency of treatments and how they are to be adjusted.