Active dogs engaged in such activities as agility, playing at the dog park and hiking long distances are susceptible to minor soft tissue injuries. Acupuncture and Tellington Touch are two complementary healthcare methods that help dogs recover from injuries like these, as well as providing an opportunity to correct imbalances that cause the injuries in the first place.
Acupuncture is useful any time there has been a minor injury to soft tissue resulting in lameness. Acupuncture uses slender needles inserted just beneath the skin’s surface to activate the flow of “Qi:” the body’s natural source of healing. When the Qi is moving properly in the body, the fluids move around in their designated routes, carrying nutrients to the muscles and nerves and moving out waste products from cell metabolism. Pain and stiffness leave the area, allowing muscles to contract and extend appropriately.
Tellington TTouch is a triad of bodywork, special equipment and ground work to help an animal regain balance and focus. Gentle bodywork relieves adhesions of the skin to underlying tissue and allows healing to take place. With the use of special equipment, the animal is made aware of the tension and laxity during movement. Walking through what we call a confidence course, the animal is given the opportunity to correct balance and move smoothly and with awareness around ground obstacles. With improved balance, these animals are less likely to take a misstep that causes lameness and pain.
Adequate rest is very important in the early stages of healing. Recommendations of time and amounts of treatment will vary based on the severity of the injury. As a standard rule, it is wise to begin rest and acupuncture treatment as soon as any pain or stiffness is noticed.
First week: Two acupuncture treatments with complete rest.
Second week: One acupuncture treatment and Tellington-TTouch body work incorporated into treatment.
Third week: One acupuncture treatment with short leash walks and Tellington-TTouch.
Fourth week: One acupuncture treatment and Tellington-TTouch work including the Confidence Course for improved coordination and stability.
It is useful to continue to use acupuncture in the healing process at a frequency of once a month for another 4 to 6 months. An appropriate glucosamine-chondroitin supplement may be recommended by the veterinarian to assist the soft tissue repair and help alleviate pain.