I’m talking about holistic health care for pets, and humans for that matter.
What I would like to do is try to clear up some confusion. This may be of benefit when our clients bring up these issues with us. While we need not offer our strong opinions pro or con, well, at least we have the knowledge.
The bold text is actual quotes from Internet dictionary sites;
“of or relating to holism
relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts. Holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body. Holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system.
Holistic health is a concept in medical practice upholding that all aspects of people’s needs including: – psychological – physical – social – spiritual should be taken into account and seen as a whole”.
That’s the meaning of the word ‘holistic’. It is not a specific form of medicine. It is an umbrella phrase for the belief that all healing begins with being cognitive of mind, body, spirit, which can then include many different types of healing modalities.
Here are some alternative medicines that come under the umbrella term of Holistic Medicine:
“a system of therapeutics based on the administration of minute doses of drugs which are capable of producing in healthy persons symptoms like those of the disease treated. homeopathic”
~ Dorland’s Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers
It is mentioned in Wikipedia that homeopathy first started in about 400 BC with Hippocrates first working with small doses of a root to cure the disease you get from large doses of the same root. Then again, in the 16th century the pioneer of pharmacology Paracalsus declared that small doses of “what makes a man ill also cures him”. Finally Samuel Hahnermann gave homeopathy its name and expanded its principles in the late 18th century.
“involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.”
~ The Mayo Clinic
Wikipedia’s definition is very similar to the Mayo Clinic. Acupuncture is a 2000 year old medical technique used both as the main and alternative practice of medicine in many countries. Acupuncture has been available for companion animals for many years.
“is a complementary and alternative medicine health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractors emphasize manual and manipulative therapy for the treatment of joint dysfunctions Currently, chiropractors practice in over 100 countries in all regions of the world, however chiropractors are most prevalent in North America, Australia, and parts of Europe.”
“is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person’s mind, mood, cognitive function or health.
Some essential oils such as tea tree have demonstrated anti-microbial effects, but there is still a lack of clinical evidence demonstrating efficacy against bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Evidence for the efficacy of aromatherapy in treating medical conditions remains poor, with a particular lack of studies employing rigorous methodology, but some evidence exists that essential oils may have therapeutic potential.”
Many scents are being used to change our pet’s reactions to stress in their lives which can come from anxiety, illness or general dis-ease. Essential oils make up a large part of the aromatherapy field and now DAP, a scientifically developed product specifically designed for dogs and cats to help ease stress is also available.
Reiki (霊気?, is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui which has since been adapted by various teachers of varying traditions. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing or hands on healing as a form of alternative medicine and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional medical bodies. Through the use of this technique, practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (i.e., reiki) in the form of qi (Japanese: ki) through the palms, which they believe allows for self-healing and a state of equilibrium
Reiki is a gentle, quiet modality. Our pets can be receptive to energy work. It is non-invasive and painless.
There are many other alternative modalities available for our pets. Some others are therapeutic massage, laser therapy, light therapy, and hydrotherapy, to name just a few. Research any of these modalities to help increase your knowledge.
Let’s remember that our pets have no opinions about the different modalities and no preconceived notions about whether they work or not. If you have a recommendation from a trusted source and you’re unsure, why not let your dog decide?