Western Medicine and Integrative Medicine have been viewed as two distinct and divergent medicines. Their approaches to physiology and healing appear quite different in perspective.
The western doctor observes the facts before him and uses the current physiological theories to explain them. It separates the various systems and organs of the body and delves deeper and deeper into the particles that comprise matter.
Integrative medicine views the body and further, the whole animal, as a unified organic whole. Spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects are all seen as interrelated and interdependent. This perhaps explains why some people see Integrative Medicine as a “holistic therapy”.
In spite of their radically different philosophical assumptions, it is wiser to look upon Integrative and Western medical systems as mutually beneficial rather than exclusive. Each approach has ideas and therapeutic methods that can be explained both scientifically and philosophically, each can benefit the individual and together they can broaden the philosophical and ideological bases of medicine.
There is a dramatic shift in the way we approach and treat animal diseases today. This new approach, commonly referred to as “Integrative Medicine,” uses the traditional techniques of Alternative Medicine and combines them with modern Western Medicine to provide the best possible patient care.
Acupuncture is a treatment that involves the stimulation of points, typically achieved through the insertion of specialized needles into the body. Acupuncture points typically lie along the body’s Meridian Channels along which Qi flows. Most veterinary acupuncture points and Meridian lines are transposed to animals from humans, though knowledge of some “classical points” defined on particular species have been retained and are used to this day.
Herbal Medicine utilizes herbal ingredients listed within the ancient Chinese Herbal Books in particular combinations or formulas to treat particular disease patterns. Herbal formulas are administered orally and are typically given in powder form to horses and other large animals and in tea pill or capsule form to cats and dogs.
Food Therapy is the use of diet to treat and prevent imbalance within the body. It utilizes knowledge of the energetics of food ingredients to tailor diets for individual animals.