Holistic medicine has been around for centuries. Not everyone believes in the virtues of holistic medicine, but there is plenty of evidence that conventional medicine doesn’t always work. Sometimes, it pays to explore non-conventional treatments in the quest for health and wellbeing.
What is Holistic Medicine?
There many different types of holistic medicine. These include well-known treatments such as acupuncture, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and herbal medicine. Conventional medication and surgical techniques are not eschewed completely, but they are not the only option on the table.
Practitioners of holistic medicine look at the whole person – or in this case, the whole dog. Instead of prescribing medication and telling you to come back in a week, a holistic vet such as Dr. Gary Richter views the bigger picture. They look at the dog’s diet, his lifestyle, environment, and exercise routines. If traditional medicine isn’t working, then it is well worth exploring holistic medicine – and here’s why.
Looking at the Bigger Picture
Western veterinary medicine is excellent. Modern veterinarians have some great drugs and surgical treatments at their disposal, and in an emergency, your vet should be the first person you call. However, if your pet has a chronic health problem, such as arthritis or allergies, a more holistic approach might be helpful.
In many cases, holistic vets diagnose health problems and treat them using a combination of the two approaches. For example, if your dog is having digestive problems, he might have X-rays and blood tests to rule out underlying issues. If nothing shows up, your vet might recommend a holistic approach to ease his symptoms. Herbal diet supplements could be the missing piece of the puzzle.
Holistic Treatments for Dogs
There are several holistic treatments you can use to help your dog.
Acupuncture for dogs was approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association back in 1988. It has been proven to help dogs with joint and muscle pain. Some vets also recommend acupuncture as a treatment for dogs recovering from trauma or surgery.
Chinese herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years, with great success. Chinese medicine practitioners say it helps to strengthen the immune system and can reduce pain.
Massage is a holistic treatment you can do at home. If your dog is stressed or has joint or muscle problems, a soothing massage will improve blood flow and make him feel more relaxed. Massage therapy is a great way to help your dog and strengthen the bond between you. It should be done carefully, however, and if you find any sore spots or strange lumps or bumps, consult your vet.
Hydrotherapy is excellent for rehabilitating dogs recovering from surgery or trauma. It can also be used to help an obese dog lose weight without putting too much stress on his joints. Check for a hydrotherapy pool locally if you feel your dog could benefit or ask for a veterinarian referral.
Holistic therapy for dogs can be expensive, but most pet insurance companies will cover the main treatments. It may also be cheaper than a lifetime’s worth of expensive medication.