Chi roughly translates to "vital energy" in Chinese. It refers to the life force that flows through all things living.
Throughout my life, I have always used traditional veterinarians for my pets, and personally I've always seen a traditional health care provider for myself. About 10 years ago my mom went back to school to become a massage therapist. During her education my mom opened my eyes to the theories and ideas of a more holistic approach to healing the body. Since then, I've become a strong advocate for massage and non-traditional medical therapies. I've never had acupuncture myself, however, I strongly believe that it's a valid practice that has helped a lot of people. But what about acupuncture for animals?
Over the past few weeks, I had been thinking a lot about Chico's "Chi" energy. I started doing some research on what can help reactive dogs overcome their reactivity and fears. Something that kept coming up was prescription medications. With Chico, we've had a lot of success with behavior modification training, but I'm still looking for something to help us become more successful. In Chico's case, I feel that prescription medications would be a last resort in our treatment plan. My next consideration is acupuncture and natural calming vitamins. I've chatted with some people that have used the herbal calming vitamins with success, but I didn't really feel comfortable with trying these over the counter medications without the direction of a veterinarian.
In the past I've tried the D.A.P (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) collar's and sprays with no success in calming Chico. Rue has a thunderstorm anxiety, and the spray works great at relieving her anxiety when it's sprayed on her blanket. She is now much calmer when the big summer storms hit. With very little noticeable change in behavior using D.A.P, I was skeptical to try other holistic options for Chico.
Good Chi for Chico?
After doing a little bit of research I decided to go with a local Holistic Vet. I wanted to be sure I was using a licenced veterinarian in case we wanted or needed to explore prescription medications. The clinic was wonderful, Chico was nervous but not reactive. He warmed up to everyone very fast. He even gave kisses to the vet, something he's never done before. The vet and I chatted for some time about the foods I was feeding Chico and Rue. The vet determined that Wellness Pet Food was a good choice, and certainly not working against Chico's nutritional needs. The vet and I discussed prescription, holistic vitamins, and behavior modification techniques to assist in Chico's treatment. Ultimately the vet recommended Chico try a holistic prescription vitamin called NutriCalm for dogs in addition to 3 acupuncture sessions. We will also continue behavior modification training.
Before leaving the holistic clinic, Chico received his first injection of Vitamin B12 on pressure point GV20. GV20 is located on top of the head, in a notch just forward of boney protuberance on the mid line, between the ears. It is said to calm the spirit, and clear the mind.
Acupuncture Point GV20
Needless to say, I'm anxious to see how the week progresses with Chico's reactivity. I'll report more soon on our "unscientific" results. And yes, I've been taking lots of notes! With the results in mind, I believe it could be hard to say if I've changed, if Chico will actually become more peaceful, or if it's all in my head? Maybe I just want it to work so badly...
I'm interested to see what others say when they see Chico.
Have you used herbal or prescription drugs to help with behavioral issues with your pet? Did it help?
Stay tuned for more about Chico's Chi!
Chico & Rue ready to go!