Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is There No Place Safe? Jasmine's Acupuncture Session

Finally I get to write about Jasmine's acupuncture session, which by now there actually have been two.

There are always some challenges to deal with; Jasmine likes to keep us occupied.

There are always challenges hanging in the air as well. For example, a recent porcupine sighting at the friends' farm, where the guys spend almost every weekend, does not make me happy. For a good reason—today, one of the horses got a nose full of quills.

I didn't even know we had any up here. We really didn't have any to speak of, except now they seem to be migrating this way. I'm not a happy camper; just something else to worry about.

Anyway, back to the acupuncture topic.

After Jasmine's last stem cell treatment, her joints got happy, however her iliopsoa muscles were not following suit. 

We had only 4 doses of stem cells left at that time, so we injected the joints, hoping that the muscles will sort themselves out. Well, other than during the time on Jasmine's ranch, they did not.

For a number of reasons I am not a fan of drugs.

Originally I wanted to try massage therapy but as it turns out, that there are no animal massage therapists around here. Chiropractic helped Jasmine with many things but not with these muscles. These muscles are very hard to deal with. So we decided to turn to acupuncture.

The vet we turned to, does house calls.

That was a new experience for us, as well as for Jasmine. “Is there no place safe?” she wondered when she figured out what was going on. It's one thing to go to the vet's office—you expect some abuse. But now they're invading her safe place too? It's one thing to get your own visitor … But as soon as you turn around they stick you up with a bunch of needles? What's up with that?

Eventually, though, Jasmine decided that having everybody hovering over her and paying attention is perhaps worth it.
Note: this time I couldn't resist and I wanted to know how much those needles actually hurt or not.  I can testify that it does not hurt at all.
The vet is very personable and I like her attitude and philosophy. 

Jasmine likes her too, because it turns out she's a big softy and easy to wrap around one's paw. Of course, when she [the vet] gets distracted and starts playing with her laptop, that is not acceptable. So Jasmine will flop over on the couch beside her and throw her head on top of the vet's keyboard. “I thought you're supposed to pay attention to ME.”

What we found quite interesting is that this vet chose completely different acupuncture points than the vet in the past. 

Granted, this time the idea was to treat the muscles, but with acupuncture it is about treating the whole body. Before, Jasmine was getting the needles in exactly the same places every time. But they couldn't have been more different from the locations this vet chose.

We were discussing acupuncture with one of my friends and she said her mind was not made up about it, as it seems to work for some but not for all.

Here is what I think. Every tool is only as good as the one using it. 

With a pill it's simple. One location (down the throat) and one purpose. With acupuncture, there are so many criteria to consider, so many acupuncture points to choose from—not so simple at all. And not only you have to choose the right points, then you still have to get the needles in them right. I am not sure how wide the margin of error is but I imagine the further from the actually point you get the needle in, the less likely it is to work.

With acupressure, getting close is apparently referred to as fudging. But one's fingertip certainly covers bigger area than the tip of the needle. How much fudging in acupuncture would still be effective?

So the jury is still out to see whether this vet's expertise matches her personability.

That said, though, apart from the secret physical therapy of crawling in and out from under the trailer at Jasmine's ranch, the muscles do seem to be happier than they used to. Most days they don't seem to bother her at all now, only when she does something too crazy during the day.

So we're sticking with this in good faith.

Related articles:
Acupuncture Is Not Voodoo 
What Acupuncture Did For Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) 
The Many Faces Of Arthritis: Viva Has Spondylosis
Alternative Treatment Of Arthritis: Viva's Update
Veterinary Highlights: Acupuncture At A Vet School

Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Another Experience With VetLive
The Diagnosis Is In: Jasmine Has An Interdigital Cyst
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Interdigital Cyst Update  
Is Crawling Under Things Some Kind Of Secret Physical Therapy? 

Jasmine's Acute Lameness
Jasmine Doesn't Like "Doing Time"
Our Of Jail Free Pass
When It's Looks Too Good To Be True … The Lameness Returns
The Day Of The Treatment
First Time For Everything: A Healing Crisis(?)  
From Zero To Sixty In Four Days: Stem Cells At Work
The Calm After The Storm 
If It Was Easy, It Wouldn't Be Jasmine
This Is What Jasmine's Episode Looks Like
Gotta Try Everything Once (Or Twice): On The Quest To Figure Out Jasmine's Episodes 

Meet Jasmine
I'm Still Standing! (Happy Birthday, Jasmine)
How Dogs Think (Well, Jasmine Anyway)
How The Oddysey Started: Jasmine's ACL Injury
Jasmine is Vet-Stem's poster child!
Rant About Quality Of Life Versus Quantity, And Differential Diagnoses
Jasmine Is Headed For Her Next Stem Cell Treatment
Jasmine's Stem Cells Are In
Arthritis? What Arthritis? 
Guess Who Is An Ever-Ready Bunny And Really Liking The Bit Of Snow We Got? 
Don't Knock It Until You Tried It: Animal Chiropractic 
Jasmine's Fur Analysis
Back At Chiropractic Care

Further reading:
Jasmine’s Story: Can Chronic Diarrhea and Soft Tissue Injuries be Normal?
Jasmine’s Story: An ACL Injury and a Cancer Scare
Jasmine’s Condition Deteriorates: Another ACL Injury and an Abdominal Abscess
Jasmine Recovers from Surgery and Jana Discovers TCVM
Who’s Minding Your Pet’s Health?
Pet Owner Perspective On Stem Cell Therapy
Difficult to Manage Lameness Treated with Physical Therapy
Our Journey to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine


  1. Oh Jasmine, I hope it works! Sounds like she is already feeling a bit better, so that is wonderful news.

    Give her a butt scratch from me! :)

    1. Thank you, Lindsay! Yes, looks like it might be working.

  2. This is great news. thus far, I don't think Aspen will need acupuncture, but I will for sure be watching your journey with this new doctor to see whether she might be of help someday for our gang too :)

    Brooke, Cessna, Aspen, Canyon & rogue


    1. Hey guys, thank you for reading! Yeah, first impressions are very good.

  3. Oh, I'm well familiar with the couch + head on laptop flop! Miss Elka is trying to practice that when she can. I'm getting pretty good at diverting the head ;)

    I do hope that the acupuncture helps Jasmine! I have no experience with it personally, but I've heard good things about it. I'm unable to believe that there's a pill for everything, and that a pill is the best option for everything (though it would be nice if it were all so EASY, wouldn't it?)

    1. LOL The vet doesn't seem to mind, much, she thinks our guys are very quiet; she has 5 dogs at home.

      Would be very nice if for any problem one just had to pop a pill. But with pills, they often cause more problems than they solve.

      Jasmine did have some acupuncture in the past, trying it out for her digestive system and for her episodes.

      Her digestive system has been quite happy lately, whatever the reason. The episodes are better than they used to but ever-elusive.

      Since acupuncture really is a holistic type of treatment, would be nice if it could do something for the episodes but for now our goal is getting those muscles happy - which seems a more realistic one.

  4. I'm impressed, Jasmine, for allowing someone to stick needles in you! Seriously, I'm glad it seems to be working...there's a lot to be said about the positive effects of acupuncture.

    1. "Well, I had worse things done to me than that," says Jasmine. "It's not really the needles, you hardly feel those at all, it's having to keep still."

      SOMETHING seems to be working; the muscles are looking better all the time. So that's great. I prefer acupuncture to drugs any day.

  5. Don't worry about the locations of acupuncture needles: your first vet had to treat something very different to vet #2 :)

    I liked your case study and the acupoint image and I republished your image on my webpage about natural pain relief and acupressure with an attribution on the bottom of the page. I hope this is fine with you, if not let me know.

    Thanks for writing about Jasmine's treatment plan, it is a valuable insight!

    1. Hi Ellen, thank you for reading!

      Well, we're not WORRIED, just found it interesting. Since this vet, while keeping the muscles in mind, is treating the whole body, just as the previous one was.

      Sure, it's fine with me, where can I find it?