Last Thursday we took a trip over to Four Seasons Animal Hospital for Foyle's first acupuncture treatment for his kidneys and his knees. I did not know what to expect since I don't know the theories behind acupuncture, yet, but I've been hearing about people have such good results with Traditional Chinese Medicine that I thought we should give it a try. The staff was very nice and Foyle loved Dr. Wallace and overall I was pleasantly surprised by his reaction. He was actually very calm and handled it really well. He didn't even feel the needles going in until Dr. Wallace got to the area of his back that is connected to his kidneys, then he whipped around and looked her in the face to say "what was that?" I think the fact that Nikki was in the room across from his made it much better too, you can see her head at the top of this photo. Check out the needles running down his back in the picture above (relates to the kidneys) and on top of his head in the photo below.
Dr. Wallace suggested the book Four Paws, Five Directions; A Guide to Chinese Medecine for Cats and Dogs by Cheryl Schwartz to give me a good background and overview of holistic healing and acupuncture for dogs. From what I've researched so far the life forces of a body (Qi) are governed by the yin (-) and the yang (+), and when a disease or a disorder is present then there is an imbalance between the two. Any part of the physical portion of your body has a corresponding relationship with an internal part. Within this philosophy acupuncture "communicates" to the organs and tissues in the body through meridians. Meridians are invisible channels in our body in which energy flows to various organs, acupuncture is directed at specific meridians to either speed up or slow down the energy through that particular channel.
Apparently the kidneys are the root of the yin and yang , they hold the Jing or the essence of life. The kidneys are connected to, of all things, the knees, bones (produces a hormone that triggers red blood cells to be made) and the lower back. Dr. Wallace made the comment that she can see why his knees were so bad- it was because of his kidney disease. Interesting. Then after a few more more minutes of feeling around his knees and his body she said that she had "adjusted" him. Still not sure what she did or what exactly that meant but I'm presuming she put him back in balance. He seemed pretty calm during the 15 minutes that the needles were in and the next day he was full of more energy and moving around well.
Here's Jordan who was in the room across from Foyle. Typically she doesn't like it very much but that night after Dr. Wallace was done she just laid down and took a nap for her 15 minutes. So the good news is that Dr. Wallace feels that he has a great range of motion in his knees and that there wasn't much swelling at all. She believes that we can get his kidney levels down and maintain them to a more functional level. She prescribed a eucommia/rehmannia pill that helps with both the kidneys and subsequently the knees, and an herbal powder for the joints. I asked her if glucosamine/chondroitin helped and she said that they are more like vitamins for the joints and that the powder would actually help to rebuild the tissue and strengthen the joints themselves. Well, I'm looking forward to learning more about Traditional Chinese Medicine in general and I'm really interested and what it will do for Foyle!