2 Continental Drive, Exeter, NH 03833 | Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Ph: (603) 519-4160

2 Continental Drive, Exeter, NH 03833 | Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Ph: (603) 519-4160



What is acupuncture?

Pet acupuncture usually involves the insertion of thin needles into discrete and specific points on the body to cause a therapeutic effect. It may include other methods, such as electrical stimulation and moxibustion.

The point on the body is called “Shu-xue” or acupuncture point (acupoint). Modern research shows that acupoints are in areas with a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points. Acupuncture has been proven to increase blood supply, support the immune system, and impact pain pathways. The studies supporting this 3000-year-old therapy are endless.

Source: Chi Institute FAQ for veterinary acupuncture pamphlet.

What is Qi?

Qi is the vital energy flowing through meridians or pathways in the body. When the opposing forces of Yin and Yang move smoothly, then qi moves smoothly, and vice versa. There are over 350 acupuncture points along the meridians. Each acupuncture point has a specific function or effect on the body when stimulated. Inserting needles into these points in a particular way and combination can be used to restore balance and treat disharmony in the body.  Acupuncture affects qi, yin, and yang, as well as other vital substances.

Is it painful?

Acupuncture uses very fine sterile needles inserted in specific points. The needle insertion is not usually even felt, although some points are a little sensitive for a split second—but then the discomfort resolves quickly. Most pets are very comfortable with an acupuncture treatment, often lying down and falling asleep. Many pets (cats and dogs) are excited to return to the office for treatment.

How long does the treatment last?

Most pet acupuncture treatments last 20-45 minutes. Sometimes, the needles are further stimulated with heat and/or mild electrical stimulation to enhance the effect, which may take longer. It is not uncommon to let the patient dictate the length of treatment. Sometimes, they are just not ready for it to end, so it goes a little longer. Other times, they indicate they are all set, so it is a little shorter. The beauty of the holistic approach is that each patient is different.

How many treatments will my pet need?

The answer is “it depends.” The number of treatments depends on the issues and response to the treatment, which varies with each patient. You will be given an idea of how many treatments and the interval after the first consult. The treatment plan will be constantly reviewed based on response to treatment and other factors as they arise.​

General guidelines:

Chronic conditions, more than six months:  Plan on at least 3-4 treatments 2-4 weeks apart may be needed to see a continued response.
Acute conditions, those less than 1-2 months, may only require one to two treatments.