Southlane Veterinary Hospital

1259 South Sturdy Road
Valparaiso, IN 46383


Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

image of chinese acupuncture 

"The cosmic laws and forces that govern the external world also govern the body's internal environment." - Chi University 

A Brief History of Traditional Chinese Medicine 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) are medical systems that have been used in China for many thousands of years to treat people and animals of all kinds. Just like our Western medical systems, TCM and TCVM both continue to change and grow based on current research and development. 

 Theoretical Basis of Chinese Medicine                                   icon of yinyang

Chinese medicine is roughly based on the concept that all living creatures are simply smaller versions of the universe, and as such they are governed by the same energy and life forces, known as "Qi."  (pronounced "chee")  
The theory of Yin and Yang as characterizations of these energy forces is central to TCM. Yin and Yang describe these forces as they relate to each other. For example; cold is Yin, while warmth is Yang, darkness is Yin to light, which is Yang, weakness is characterized as Yin while strength is Yang, and contraction represents Yin while expansion is Yang. Different forces are continually transitioning between a Yin and Yang state, mutually transforming and creating each other. 
In the body, a healthy state is represented by relatively balanced Qi, or Yin and Yang in balance, with neither Yin or Yang predominating. A healthy person, for example, has no painful conditions, has normal bodily functions, and is in a calm, happy, and focused mental state. Trauma, injuries, diseases, and mental illnesses all represent interruptions in proper flow of Qi and an imbalance of Yin and Yang.                                                                           
                                                                                                    icon of yinyang
                                                                                                                             Yin & Yang
 Small                                                                Yang:      Large
                                                                                                 Feminine                                                                          Masculine
                                                                                                                  Cold                                                                                 Hot
                                                                                                                  Subtle                                                                              Bold
                                                                                                                  Quiet                                                                                Loud
                                                                                                                  Old                                                                                    New
                                                                                                                  Slow                                                                                  Fast
                                                                                                                  Calm                                                                                 Active
                                                                                                                  Curvy                                                                                Straight

Imbalance and Illness

A TCM practitioner's approach to a patient that is ill is similar to a Western medical practitioner's in that a thorough history and examination are done in order to generate a diagnosis. A major difference, however, is that the TCM approach tends to be much more holistic than the Western approach. In TCM the exam considers not only the presenting clinical signs, but also the patient's age, sex, personality and temperament, activity level, and the home environment. 
Other exam factors that are emphasized in TCM include tongue color and characteristics, amount of body heat, and pulse character and quality.  

The Four Branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine - these are the four main treatment methods in TCVM

1.  Acupuncture    clipart of dog undergoing acupuncture          picture of dog receiving acupuncture service        photo of cat undergoing acupuncture

2. Herbal Medications           icon of mortar and pestle

3. Food Therapy              photo of dog in chefs hat

4. Tui-na Massage            logo of tui-na chinese characters           picture of cat receiving massage   picture of cat receiving massage  picture of cat receiving massage  picture of cat receiving massage

Integrating Western and Eastern Medicine 

The strengths of traditional Eastern and Western medicine tend to also be their respective weaknesses. Western medicine is capable of very precise, detailed diagnostics and treatments. Conditions such as severe trauma, heart disease, and cancers can be treated quickly and precisely. Modern Western medications tend to produce speedy results. Western medicine, however, tends to lose site of the whole person or animal and only treats the disease. Western medicine also tends to run out of treatment options for chronic, debilitating conditions. 
Eastern medicine tends to work best on more chronic, debilitating conditions. Results are generally slower and more gradual. Eastern medicine offers many wonderful treatment options when Western medical therapies run out.

In many instances, Eastern and Western medicine each provide what the other one lacks.     
                                                                                                     image of cat and dog yinyang