Acupunc­ture re­vives stressed-out pets

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE -

PET own­ers in China are turn­ing to acupunc­ture to help soothe the aches and pains of their beloved cats and dogs.

“China is fa­mous for acupunc­ture. I took the cat here im­me­di­ately to have a try,” said Wang Xi­juan, 74, hold­ing the paw of her fe­line friend dur­ing a ses­sion at a Shang­hai clinic.

Af­ter four treat­ments, Wang said her cat can “walk now, jump and even fight with other cats”.

Tra­di­tional prac­ti­tion­ers be­lieve acupunc­ture, which in­volves in­sert­ing long, fine nee­dles at merid­i­ans of the body, can stim­u­late blood cir­cu­la­tion to pro­mote heal­ing. It has been used in ve­teri­nary prac­tice in China for thou­sands of years.

Jin Ris­han, a spe­cial­ist at the Shang­hai TCM Neu­rol­ogy and Acupunc­ture An­i­mal Health Cen­ter, said they had treated more than 2 000 cats and dogs since the clinic opened four years ago.

A sin­gle ses­sion costs 260 yuan (R513) and last for about 45 min­utes.

Jin said about 80% of their pa­tientshad shown some im­prove­ment af­ter treat­ment.

“Mak­ing a paral­ysed and de­pen­dent dog stand up is our ul­ti­mate goal,” Jin said.

Pic­tures: REUTERS

PRES­SURE POINTS: A dog re­ceives treat­ment at Shang­hai TCM (Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine) Neu­rol­ogy and Acupunc­ture An­i­mal Health Cen­ter, which spe­cialises in acupunc­ture and mox­i­bus­tion treat­ment for an­i­mals, in Shang­hai, China.

VETS’ CHOICE: A com­mon prac­tice among China’s pets.

RE­LIEF: Fine nee­dles are in­serted to pro­mote heal­ing.

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