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Dr. Cynthia Wiseman offers a blend of Western Veterinary Medicine with a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM/Eastern Medicine) influence.

TCVM is often viewed as a form of complementary therapy and is best when used in conjunction with Western Veterinary Medicine (WVM). Both TCVM and WVM have their own strengths and weaknesses. TCVM is a holistic approach that is suited to assessing the well-being of the whole patient, and treatments are generally non-invasive with few side effects. However, TCVM lacks the tools necessary to pinpoint illness to specific disease-causing agents like pathogenic bacteria or viruses, and treatments are better suited for chronic conditions than acute ones. On the other hand, WVM utilizes the tools of modern science to diagnose disease with great precision, and Western drugs and procedures are powerful and fast acting. While modern medicine can perform miracles for trauma and acute injuries, it has little to offer chronic conditions like liver failure and chronic skin disease which can be treated effectively with acupuncture and herbal medicine. In many ways, TCVM and WVM each have what the other lacks. Thus, the best medical system involves the integration of the two systems, so that the strengths of one can compensate for the weaknesses of the other.

In Chinese Medicine theory, disease is understood as an imbalance in the body, and diagnosis proceeds through identifying the underlying “pattern” of disharmony. Pattern diagnosis differs from conventional Western medical diagnosis in that it takes into account not only disease signs but how these signs relate to the individual patient. Thus, TCVM practitioners will consider the temperament, sex, age, activity, and environment of an animal along with the animal’s particular disease signs. This approach stems from the idea that the body is an interconnected system of forces and functions so that disease and disharmony must be examined with respect to the whole patient. Once a particular type of disharmony or disease pattern is identified, treatment often proceeds through a combination of treatment modalities including acupuncture, herbal therapy, and food therapy.

Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. Clinical scientific research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans, and the use of acupuncture is increasing. Acupuncture will not cure every condition, but it can work very well when it is indicated.

In western medical terms, acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).
 

For small animals, the following are some of the general conditions which may be treated with acupuncture:

  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis, intervertebral disk disease, or traumatic nerve injury
  • Respiratory problems, such as feline asthma
  • Skin problems such as lick granulomas and allergic dermatitis
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea
     

Herbal Medicine utilizes herbal ingredients in particular combinations to correct imbalance underlying a disease pattern and to promote the body’s ability to heal itself.  Each herb has a different effect on the body and can affect a variety of organs, including the liver, lungs, or heart.

An extensive body of clinical research has shown Chinese Herbal Medicine to be extremely effective in treating chronic veterinary medical issues in the fields of gastroenterology, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, reproduction, oncology, and behavior. Chinese Herbal Medicine is also commonly used to treat respiratory issues and sports injuries.  In addition, Chinese Herbal Medicine increases the quality of life for geriatric patients.  Chinese Herbal Medicine can be combined with acupuncture, food therapy and/or Western Medicine to enhance clinical results.
 

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.

There is truth to the old saying: “food is the medicine you take every day.” This belief in the healing power of food is one central to Chinese Medicine, where food therapy is often utilized alone or (more often) in conjunction with other modalities to treat disease patterns. Food therapy is the art and science of tailoring diet plans to individual patients based on their unique inborn tendencies, age, species, geographical location, personality and current disharmony or disease process. Chinese food therapy recipes are developed according to TCVM theory and are specific to particular patient types and health conditions

Like other TCVM modalities, the ultimate goal of food therapy is to restore and maintain balance in the body. However, given its very nature, the effects of food therapy are slower-acting than modalities like acupuncture and herbal medicine. On the other hand, there are virtually no side effects when food ingredients are chosen correctly, and food therapy is a mode of treatment that can be used safely throughout a patient’s lifetime.