Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure treatments have been helpful in treating a number of conditions including:
Pain resulting from arthritis, spondylosis, and many other conditions
Chronic GI slowdowns
Heart, liver, and kidney failure
As stated in the introduction to this section, I am not suggesting acupuncture or acupressure instead of
proven traditional treatments. However, you may wish to use them in conjunction with traditional
treatments or in cases where traditional treatment is not adequate.
Acupuncture and acupressure are based on the concept that the body has an orderly arrangement of
energy lines, called meridians, running through it. Disease occurs when these energy lines are blocked,
weakened, or deficient in some way. Acupuncture points are points along these meridians, each of which
is associated with a specific part of the body or organ system. Acupuncture points are arranged
symmetrically, with corresponding points on the left and right sides of the body.
In acupuncture therapy, special solid metal needles are inserted in the acupuncture point or points that are
associated with the physical problems being treated. Needles are left in place for roughly 15 minutes,
during which time they stimulate the flow of energy through these points. Despite the use of needles,
acupuncture is relatively painless. Occasionally, a rabbit will object to placement of one or two needles in
particular. Certain points seem to stimulate this response in most rabbits while others may actually
indicate a point that needs stimulation. Sometimes a needle can be inserted in the corresponding point on
the opposite side of the body without causing the same reaction.
You may notice improvement after only one acupuncture treatment, but often it takes three to eight
treatments to fairly determine whether acupuncture is benefiting your rabbit. You should be willing to try
a minimum of three to four treatments before giving up on the healing possibilities of acupuncture.
Acupressure is based on the same principles as acupuncture and is often described as acupuncture without
needles. In acupressure, stimulation of the same acupuncture points is done using gentle finger pressure.
Because it is non-invasive, acupressure is something you can learn to do for your rabbit. Your
acupuncturist may show you how to do this between acupuncture treatments — if not, ask if this would be
Many holistic veterinarians combine acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, and herbal treatments to treat
a variety of conditions. As with all veterinarians, it is important to make sure that your holistic
veterinarian has some familiarity with
Murray is nearly always relaxed during
his acupuncture treatments. In fact, the
first time he ever tooth-purred for me
was during a treatment. (Photo by Randy
Rabbit Health in the 21st Century (Second Edition) © 2003 by Kathy Smith