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TCVM Intro

a chill winter day at the lake, dead crunchy tree leaves and ice cold choppy water with round fleshy lilly pads floating

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Introduction (TCVM)

A small dachshund walks into a vet office…

Just kidding! Seriously. Picture a short, sweet, reddish-brown and tan dachshund. Now take away the fur on his rump, armpits and groin. Make him itchy every second of the day. Load him up with steroids and pills for bacterial and yeast skin infections. Heck, be a little holistic and give him hypoallergenic prescription kibble to eat and some expensive prescription shampoo. What happens?

Here’s what happens: he feels better on steroids. His skin clears up. He urinates often and gets a little tubby around the middle. Then he starts getting stomach aches and ends up in an emergency room with life-threatening pancreatitis. Medications can trigger pancreatitis. He survives and is sent home on low-fat holistic food. He hates it.

He stops taking the meds and starts eating kibble and he’s itchy again. He starts taking a new itch medication. He feels better, but then it stops working as well. He is switched to a yin diet to cool the damp-heat-wind toxins described by Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). He feels 80% better with a strict food change. It’s the same food that was tried after the pancreatitis, but now he likes it!

This little dachshund is a “type” in traditional chinese medicine. He has an underlying personality type. He has an excess or deficiency and “8 patterns” diagnosis. He also has a Zang-Fu pattern based on the energy systems in the body. A TCVM consult will reveal these patterns. Once we know the energy patterns, we can design a treatment principle and a prescription for food, chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy to remedy his unbalanced energy pattern. With TCVM, we can expect either a rebalancing of the flow of yin and yang transformations in the body and health or at the very least, ongoing treatment with less side-effects than pharmaceuticals.

The TCVM consult consists of a pet personality quiz, review of medical records, and a physical examination. The physical is similar to a familiar Western medicine physical, except for careful attention is paid to the tongue and the pulses. Other details such as cold ears factor into the diagnosis as well.

Once the diagnosis are determined, then a principle of treatment will be designed.

Chinese medicine relies heavily on adjustments to the selection and preparation of the diet. It relies to a medium extent on herbal preparations, some of them thousands of years old recipes with modern scientific research to explain how they work. To a lesser extent, Chinese medicine uses acupuncture to ameliorate symptoms, support or subdue noxious energy that is not contributing to the peaceful functions of the body.

Some effects of TCVM are striking and fast. Injuries, diarrhea, itchiness, overheating and other excess conditions can potentially clear in one treatment. Cruciate knee injuries can heal in 3-8 treatments. Hip dysplasia can be managed with minimal to no drugs on a monthly treatment protocol. These are just examples of the time frames possible to cure or control certain conditions with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.

Most treatments are deep and slow.  IBD, skin allergies, heart disease, endocrine diseases like Cushing’s disease can take some weeks to months to improve, depending on the pet.

TCVM is affordable, gentle, and effective in deep and lasting ways compared to Western allopathic medicine.

Dachshund walks out of a Chinese apothecary…

For a beautiful explanation of TCVM, please visit the Chi Institute online. Then return here to read more!


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