Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pets: What it is and how it works - A Beginner's Guide
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Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient and complex system of healing that focuses on the interactions between the body, environment, and natural life forces. TCM has been slowly accepted in Western medicine, but it is not yet widely known that it has so many benefits for our furry friends. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for pets, including its applications, definitions, and types. You will also find useful links to further research and tutorials on how to incorporate traditional medicines into your own pet care plan.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pets?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a complex system of therapeutic modalities based on etiology and the pathogenesis of ailments. There are two central ideas in this practice:
Qi - The vital energy is constantly moving and changing in the body.
Yin- The quality of Qi that is night, dark, cold, feminine, and negative.
Yang- The quality of Qi that is day, light, warm, positive, and male.
TCM is a holistic system that sees a balance between the individual and nature as essential for health and well-being. TCM recognizes a variety of natural energies that connect us to the universe. These energies can be found in all living things, including animals. As a result, animals and plants can be used as natural medicines that can treat various health ailments. TCM practitioners use various methods to treat their patients, including herbal medicines, Tui-na, food therapy, and acupuncture. Herbal medicines are often made from plants, and may include both organic and inorganic components. They may be ingested in the form of powder, tablets, or tinctures, used topically, or taken as a tea. In acupuncture for pets, tiny needles are used to stimulate certain points on the body to treat ailments such as arthritis or stress-related symptoms.
What are the benefits of using Traditional Chinese medicine for pets?
Getting to know your pet's body better is an important step towards keeping him or her healthy. Traditionally, Chinese medicine is based on the theory that the body is composed of multiple parts or “forces.” These forces are believed to be in constant interaction, and any imbalances in their activity can lead to illness. Therefore, when a pet is healthy, its body is in a balanced state and can thrive. If it has an illness, it can be treated with the right herbs and other TCM techniques. One of the most important uses of traditional Chinese medicine is in treating chronic diseases. It can be especially helpful in pets with dietary restrictions, such as those with food allergies or food intolerances.
How to integrate traditional medicines into your own pet care plan
Learning about the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine is the first step towards integrating it into your own pet care plan. When you are familiar with the terminology and practices, it can be easier to find the right supplements or acupuncture treatments for your pet. You can also integrate Chinese herbs into common medications for your pet's health. Some of the most common herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine include
- Bai Zhi 白芷 (Angelica root): supports GI health and appetite
- Bai Zhu 白术 (White Atractylodes root): supports GI and urinary health, boosts qi, and boosts red blood cell production
- Da Zao 大枣 (Jujube fruit or Chinese date): replenishes Qi, promotes calming behavior, and quality sleep
- Fu Ling 茯苓 (Poria mushroom): supports gut and urinary tract health
- Gu Ya Chao 炒谷芽(Rice sprout): helps support digestive function and bowel movement
- Gan Cao 甘草 (Licorice root): Supports liver function and digestive health
- Shen Qu (Jiao) 神曲(焦) (Medicated Leaven): support digestive health
One of the most common types of Chinese herbal medicine is TCM veterinary therapy, which uses various herbal medicines to treat common health issues. Some of the most common conditions treated with Chinese herbs include: Colds and upper respiratory infections, skin infections, wounds, and inflammation. Heart disease, including hypertension and heartworm disease. Kidney disease, hormonal disorders, and even allergies.
Traditional Chinese medicine is a holistic system of healing that focuses on the interactions between the human body, environment, and natural life forces. It recognizes a wide variety of natural energies that connect us to the universe. These energies can be found in all living things and inorganic things like minerals. As a result, the world around us can be used as natural medicines that can treat various health ailments. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners use several methods to treat their patients, including herbal medicines, acupuncture, and dietary recommendations. It is also becoming more common for veterinarians to use herbal medicine with the same success as human physicians. For every sickness, there is an answer that nature provides.