By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many people have turned to acupuncture as an alternate method to deal with many physical ailments. But acupuncture can be used for the well-being of dogs and cats as well.

It is a deep internal therapy that stimulates the body to heal itself. The process involves inserting tiny needles into various identified points on your pet’s body. It’s used to treat a variety of disorders including neurological, muscular and skeletal conditions, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, hip dysplasia, diabetes, paralysis and various forms of pain, as well as treating ailments such as allergies, skin disease, arthritis, feline asthma and chronic degenerative joint disease among others.

Studies have shown that treatments improve the immune system, lower heart rate and increase blood circulation. Most dogs and cats feel relaxed after the first needle due to the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers. Of course many pets can certainly experience a level of stress initially due to a new experience and a new and unusual sensation.

Remember to keep in mind always that every new experience needs to be made a positive one for your pet. When searching for a qualified practitioner, make sure that he or she is a licensed veterinarian and has had formal training and certification in acupuncture.

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