Acupuncture for Animals (and People)

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Animals I can treat:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Ferrets
  • Horses
  • Rabbits

Information about Acupuncture

How does it work?

Acupuncture is based on the natural laws of energy (qi) and works to maintain or regain health.  When energy imbalances happen as a result of simple or traumatic stresses in life, be they internal or external, emotional, mental or physical/biological, they can manifest at first as mild symptoms and eventually turn into disease.  Acupuncture helps restore and balance the energy.

Will it hurt?  What risks are there?

Needles are disposable, slightly thicker than a human hair and solid (not hollow and thick like a syringe).  They are inserted just beneath the skin surface and in humans they cause sensations most often likened to a dull momentary ache or tingling.

Treatment must be based on the individual, since their underlying nature and the origin of issues differs.  Similarly, individual's treatment response varies and not everyone responds to acupuncture.  Some animals "object" to treatment yet tolerate it, many become very still during and clearly are appreciative after.  Animals tend to have a clearer overall response (or not), immediately or within a few weeks, than people do (I believe that's because they have better sleep, eating and exercise habits than people do).  If a client does not take well to acupuncture, we will discuss other treatment options.

It's generally accepted that acupuncture is non-toxic and has minimal side effects. The World Health Organization notes that acupuncture in humans may be a complementary therapy or even preferable to some conventional treatments because of it's simplicity, convenience, and lack of serious side effects.

What are treatments like?

  • The first session (which for animals must be within 14 days of seeing a vet) includes:
    • a review of your concerns and expectations
    • a summary of the animal's history (including social, environment)
    • a brief physical exam
    • a clearing treatment, which typically relaxes and eases stress
  • Subsequent treatments as desired
    • based on client response
    • at first weekly (or semi-weekly depending on the severity of the condition)
    • time between lengthens as effects hold


M. Susaanti Follingstad, M.Ac., L.Ac., Certified Animal Acupuncturist * Rockville, MD 20851 * 301-251-0139