Holistic medicine has grown in popularity in recent years because it considers the whole being and often includes treatments that are generally viewed as "alternative" medicine. While holistic veterinarians can provide traditional treatments, they are also typically skilled in specialized areas such as acupuncture, behavior modification, herbal medicine, homeopathy, augmentation therapy, and chiropractic.
In Part 1 of this post, we'll briefly discuss some of these areas of holistic medicine. In Part 2, we'll provide a list of holistic vets in the Carolina mountains.
The following information is adapated from the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association (www.ahvma.org).
Holistic veterinary medicine is interested in treating the "whole" dog -- physical, behavioral, medical history, dietary, emotional, and environmental factors. The holistic vet considers "the environment, the disease pattern, the relationship of pet with owner" and develops a treatment plan that "uses a wide range of therapies for healing the patient."
Acupuncture is "a technique for relieving pain and for improving the function of organ systems by stimulating acupuncture points on the surface of the body." Veterinary acupuncture aims to strengthen the body's immune system.
Herbal medicine uses plants and plant extracts to treat conditions and diseases. Medicines used may include Western herbs, Chinese herbs, and Ayervedic herbs from India. "Herbs have healing powers that are capable of balancing the emotional, mental and phsical dimensions of animals."
Homeopathy works on the principle of "like cures like." Homepathic remedies "contain vibrational energy essences that match the patterns present in the diseased state within the ailing patient."
Also known as orthomolecular medicine, augmentation therapy uses supplemental minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to treat conditions and diseases.
Employed to treat "a broad spectrum of conditions in animals," veterinary chiropractic uses "hands-on specific adjustments" to alleviate problems.
Part 2 will list holistic veterinarians who are members of the AHVMA and are located in the Carolina mountains.