August 30th is National Holistic Pet Day! I thought today I would spend some time talking to you guys about some holistic health care measures. Holistic therapies are great in conjunction with your pet’s regular health care. Most of them do not have any side effects when used properly. All holistic health care measures should be done by a professional or after consulting with a professional. Okay, let’s get started!

Reiki

Reiki is defined as a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body & restore physical and emotional well-being. Reiki originates in Japan. Rei means the higher power and Ki means life force energy. Therefore Reiki is the energy of a higher power  moving your life force energy. I describe Reiki as energy healing or healing your life force energy.

Reiki feels like a glowing light flowing through and around you. It feels warming comforting. Though we do not offer Reiki here (Yet) I do work with a Reiki practitioner that is very knowledgable and thorough. Reiki can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes. This is truly a holistic measure and works best complimenting regular veterinary care. There are no side effects to Reiki other than the potential to be a little sleepy there 24 hours after treatment, depending on how much bad energy is released in the session. The session involves the practitioner laying their hands on the pet and moving them over the body, through the chakras.

Reiki is good for increasing healing time, relieving pain, strengthens the natural healing process, increasing flexibility, increasing energy, healing traumatic emotions, decreasing stress, and promoting peace.

Cold Laser Therapy

Cold Laser Therapy is a non-invasive, deep-penetrating light that increases healing and decreases pain & inflammation through photo bio-modulation. We do offer Cold Laser Therapy here and session time varies on your pet’s needs. Diagnostics will be needed to figure out what areas need treated. Laser Therapy feels like a warmth that moves over the surface being treated.

Laser Therapy is good to increase healing times, stimulate the natural healing process, relieve inflammation, and is good for acute or chronic conditions. Laser therapy cannot be used on eyes, pregnant patients, young patients or cancers. Otherwise, when used correctly, by a trained professional, there are no adverse effects. This is a great example of a holistic health method that can be used in conjunction with regular veterinary management.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Acupressure can be described as the insertion of needles (Or pressure) into specific points on the body (Pressure points) to produce a healing response and stimulate the Central nervous System. This process activates pain-associated brain regions. We do not offer acupuncture here but each session lasts about an hour. Acupuncture can feel like nothing or may feel like tingles, cramps or numbness. Acupuncture is very safe but may cause patients to be sleepy 24-48 hours after treatment. Acupunture is good for arthritis, IVDD, never injury, asthma, URI, lick granulomas, allergic dermatitis, diarrhea, and some reproductive issues.

Essential Oils

I have already blogged about this topic and won’t get into again for sake of redundancy. However, essential oils are volatile, non-fatty plant extracts that can be used for aromatherapy or used medicinally by a trained professional. Caution is advised to those who aren’t trained to use essential oils. AnimalEO.info is the best website for all things essential oils & pets. It is ran by a veterinarian and these oils are veterinary grade.

Nutrition

Raw Diets

If you’re considering a raw diet for your pet, do your research and consult a veterinary nutritionist or a veterinarian. Raw diets, done improperly can pose a public health risk of Salmonella. You can also make your pet sick with the same. Diarrhea is very common when starting a raw diet and adding ingredients into the diet slowly can help prevent some diarrhea. Thing to consider when changing to a raw diet are costs of ingredients, natural diets of canines or felines, Omega 6; Omega 3 balance, toxic ingredients and what supplements will need to be added in. BARF diets by Dr. Ian Billinghurst are designed by a veterinarian and are raw, high quality diets.

Grain Free

Grain free diets are not truly better for your pet. The most common allergies are to proteins in the food. Proteins would be chicken, beef, seafood and corn. Grain free diets, are a marketing ploy for the most part. There have been studies that indicate grain free diets may help with dogs who have chronic anal gland problems. This has been my experience as well. Limited ingredient or prescription diets are the only suitable diets for pets with food allergies.

In summary, there are many forms of alternative health care for pets. All of which should be approached with caution & treated seriously. Veterinary professionals nation-wide are doing research and becoming more interested in alternative ways to heal pets. Asking a professional on holistic approaches is essential as well as doing your own research through reliable sources. We are attempting to bring in more alternative therapies and currently use aromatherapy and offer cold laser therapy.

Thanks for Reading!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Vet Tech, RVT, CVJ

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