FAQs

Acupuncture is a healing art that has been used in China for thousands of years to treat a variety of medical conditions. It is considered the mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture is performed by inserting thin, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific points on the body. Most acupuncture points are located along 14 major channels, which form a network that carries blood and energy throughout the entire body. Acupuncture produces a physiological response. It can provide pain relief, stimulate the immune and nervous systems, increase microcirculation, and decrease inflammation. Acupuncture can also help restore balance between organ systems for optimal health and overall wellbeing.

Acupuncture can be used to treat an endless array of conditions in both humans and animals. Some common veterinary applications include:

Dogs and Cats:

  • degenerative joint disease
  • neurological disease (seizures, disc disease)
  • gastrointestinal issues (anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • cardiovascular and respiratory disease
  • renal disease
  • skin disease
  • urogenital disease (incontinence)
  • immune-mediated diseases
  • chronic ear infections
  • neoplasia
  • post operative healing
  • behavioral issues

Horses:

  • degenerative joint disease
  • muscle soreness
  • bowed tendons
  • non-specific lameness
  • navicular/heel pain
  • laminitis
  • exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeders)
  • laryngeal hemiplegia (roarers)
  • anhidrosis (non-sweaters)
  • azoturia (tying up)
  • wobblers
  • reproductive disorders
  • pregnant mares
  • diarrhea
  • anorexia
  • colic
  • uveitis
  • skin disease
  • geriatric conditions
  • performance enhancement
  • post-operative healing
  • behavioral issues

Acupuncture can also be used to provide the best possible quality of life for animals on palliative care.

Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with acupuncture to optimize and lengthen its effects. These herbs are available in capsule, powder, and tablet form and are typically readily ingested and easily digested.

In order to ensure the best product and yield the maximum results, Dr. Barrack prescribes only the highest quality herbs. They contain no animal by-products, endangered plant species, or heavy metals and are subjected to stringent quality control.

On the first visit, Dr. Barrack will take a full health history of your animal. She will perform a detailed conventional (western) physical exam as well as a traditional Chinese veterinary medical examination. You and Dr. Barrack will discuss your primary concerns and will determine the best course of treatment for your pet. Recommended treatments may include acupuncture and/or Chinese herbals exclusively, or a combination of eastern and western therapies. 

A typical initial visit lasts anywhere from 60 – 90 minutes. Subsequent visits are usually somewhat shorter in length. 

Dr. Barrack’s office is mobile, meaning she comes to you. Everything she needs to diagnose and treat your pet is easily transportable into your home or barn.

Dr. Barrack is reachable via phone and email.
Phone: 646 351 6812 (office), 516 554 1077 (mobile)
Email: drbarrack@animalacupuncture.com

Acupuncture and western medicine have the same goals—to eliminate disease and support the best quality of life. However, each approach is suited to specific circumstances. Western medicine is ideal for acute disease diagnostics and surgery. Acupuncture can be very effective in treating chronic conditions that western medicine can help but not cure. Traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, focuses on the underlying cause of disease, not just the symptoms manifested in each individual patient.

Conventional western drugs act quickly but sometimes come with unwanted side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy can be used to avoid or ameliorate some of those side effects. By combining western and eastern medical knowledge, Dr. Barrack provides your pet with the most appropriate and best possible care.

There are different acupuncture techniques, all of which Dr. Barrack offers. Typically, acupuncture treatments utilize dry needles. If determined necessary, Dr. Barrack may chose another method, including:

  • aqua-acupuncture: Liquids such as saline or vitamin B-12 are injected into an acupuncture point.
  • moxibustion: Artemisia, a special herb, is used to heat the acupuncture point.
  • electrical acupuncture: Acupuncture needles are connected with electrical leads which impart different electrical frequencies through the needles.

It depends on the condition being treated. Some animals show marked improvement immediately following the first treatment, but most animals typically improve after three or more treatments. Chronic or tenacious conditions may take longer.

The time period between acupuncture treatments varies. Typically, Dr. Barrack recommends beginning with three to five treatments, which may be semiweekly, once a week, or biweekly. As your animal shows improvement, treatments can be spaced further apart, or even discontinued. Chinese herbs can be used to enhance the effects of acupuncture and help extend the duration of time between acupuncture treatments. 

In almost  all cases, no. Some animals may experience minor discomfort when needles are being inserted, but the needles are so thin that most patients tolerate them very well. Acupuncture is known to have a relaxing effect to the point that some animals even fall asleep during treatment.