Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body (acupoints) to create a therapeutic effect through the movement of energy (Qi). When the Qi is interrupted it creates an imbalance in the body. Acupuncture has been practiced in humans and animals for thousands of years. It is a very safe procedure, with few known side effects. There are 4 types of acupuncture: moxibustion, dry needling, aqua-acupuncture and electro stimulation (Dr. Stern utilizes the last 3). Each session can be anywhere 30 minutes to 1 hour (always plan for 1 hour). Generally 7-10 treatments are needed for resolution, and a minimum of 3 are recommended before deciding acupuncture is not the right option for your pet. Maintenance sessions are generally recommended as well.
Good nutrition and quality ingredients are important in both good health care and prevention. More wholesome and less processed is always recommended. It is best to formulate an individual nutrition plan for your pet based on lifestyle, age, health challenges, and exposures. Often times this involves the use of specific foods, whole food supplements, and vitamins. We can also help you to create home cooked diet if that is desired. Dr. Stern utilizes a wide variety of products to ensure the best combination for your pet. These come in a variety of forms (capsules, liquid tinctures, powders,and tablets.
Laser therapy uses low level light to help stimulate cell activity and create physiological changes. Cold lasers (or low level laser) are different from other lasers that are used in surgical procedures (they cut and cauterize). Cold lasers are used to stimulate the tissues rather than destroy. The Erchonia Laser that we use was the first to be FDA cleared for the use of chronic neck and shoulder pain in humans. The Erchonia Laser is a Class II/III cold laser, whereas most commonly used veterinary cold laser are a Class IV which can be dangerous to the eyes and some tissues. Being a Class II/III there is no danger to human or animal eyes (no one has to wear protective goggles) and there is no danger of thermal burns. For more information on laser classification click below.
Lasers are primarily used for the treatment of pain and inflammation, but we use ours a daily basis to treat many ailments: before and after surgical procedures, cancer therapy, infections, deep tissue injury, neuropathy, burns, immune system disorders, tendon/ligament strains/tears, etc. It can be applied through clothing, wound dressings, towels, and cage doors.
The number of treatments needed to address an issue will depend on the ailment and the body's response- it can be as little as 1 and up to 20 over several months. Maintenance treatments are sometimes needed.
The purpose of homeopathic medicine is to help the body heal itself. The idea is that using a small amount of a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person can treat an illness with similar symptoms. For example, red onion will make your eyes water, so it is used in homeopathy for allergies. This is also very similar to the idea behind vaccines. The tiny amount of the natural substance is added to purified water and percussed to energize the mixture. Remedies are a combination of homeopathies that can treat multiple symptoms at one time.
Homeopathy offered by practitioners is FDA regulated (in the US) to meet standards for strength, quality, purity, and packaging.
Remedies and homeopathy are usually very well tolerated and easy to give- the pellets have a sugary flavor!
Herbal medicine is a more natural form of medication. Most pharmaceutical drugs are made by isolating a chemical taken from a plant. Herbal therapy just uses the whole plant. The body is more able to easily process the whole herb, rather than the synthetic mixtures that are created for pharmaceutical medication. Using the whole herb can also limit some side effects that can be associated with the derived pharmaceuticals, because there are no added chemicals or substances.
We offer Chinese Herbs and herbal remedies/tinctures. These are available in powders, capsules, pellets, and liquids.
V.O.M. is a technique used to locate areas of the nervous system that have moved out of communication and re-establishes the connection. Any type of vertebral subluxation (movement) will cause a neuronal subluxation, or disconnect in the nerve signals along the spinal cord. The V.O.M. process stimulates the nerves along the spine, which allows the vertebrae to readjust and resets any "kinked" connections.
V.O.M. is a type of orthopedic manipulation that is indirect- it does not use motion or force to create an adjustment. The process uses a spinal accelerometer to stimulate the nerves and reset the connections. We then use separate tools for myofacial tension and pain release. This allows everything to "fall back into place" and helps to create muscle memory (telling the body where everything should be when it's not subluxated).
V.O.M. therapy can be used to treat many different ailments: various types of lameness, IVDD and similar, myelopathies, urinary/fecal incontinence, luxating patella and torn cruciate, various GI disorders, and sometimes behavioral problems.
On average, we see a positive response within the first week, sometimes after the 1st treatment. The complaint may be gone after the first 3 adjustments. Afterward only a few more adjustments may be needed to ensure a good memory response, and then usually just maintenance adjustments are needed. Cases that show no response after 1 month may benefit better from a different, or additional, therapy. Cases of paralysis or lack of function for prolonged periods of time may not respond well to V.O.M. in general.
The Qest Test helps to detect and address energetic and functional disturbances. Functional disturbances are determined to be present when the animal is experiencing symptoms that cannot be explained by conventional diagnostics.
Using a small sample of your pet's DNA (fur, nail clippings, saliva), the Qest can identify "red flags" that may be causing your pet's symptoms. Some things it can test for are allergy sensitivities, chemical toxicities, digestive issues, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, pathogenic factors, respiratory issues and urogenital disorders.
Once the testing is complete, the best course of action is determined, such as dietary changes, nutritional and/or herbal supplementation, imprints, etc. to combat any issues. Once the animal has been on the recommended changes for about 8 weeks, we retest samples to determine what changes have occurred and if anything needs to be "tweaked."
Your pet can benefit from the same great massage therapy that you do. Massage can help make improvements in all of the major body systems. It stimulates relaxation, improves overall system function, and improves elimination of metabolic waste from the cells and tissues. Here are a couple examples.
Circulatory: encourages development of a strong heart and decreases blood pressure
Digestive: relaxes intestinal muscles to improve digestion and improves appetite
Nervous: relieves pain, restlessness, and sleep disturbances; can improve balance and movement
Skin: improves tone and elasticity and improves coat quality
Massage can also improve the pet's emotional state by making your bond stronger, relieving emotional stress, encouraging relaxation, settling mental fatigue, and help with trust issues.
IV Vitamin C
This procedure uses high doses of Vitamin C given intravenously to kill cancer cells in the early stages of disease. When given in this way, the Vitamin C interacts with components in the blood to create hydrogen peroxide. Healthy cells can safely neutralize the hydrogen peroxide, but cancer cells cannot. This is a similar action to some chemotherapy agents, but has fewer toxic side effects. It involves a slow infusion over a few hours, and is usually given for 3 days in row, then twice a week, then weekly. Full treatment duration can vary.
Vitamin D testing
A wide range of diseases have been linked to low Vitamin D levels in humans and animals. Low Vitamin D levels increase the risk of things like infection, heart disease, cancer, IBD, dermatitis, auto-immune disease, allergies, kidney disease, and general inflammation. Unlike humans, animals do not synthesize vitamin D from the sun- they can only get it from a food source. Since only a certain amount of Vitamin D can safely be added to commercial food, about 75% of dogs and cats are deficient in Vitamin D. If your pet is found to be deficient we recommend supplementation along with regular testing to be sure they maintain appropriate levels.
Inflammatory Fatty Acid Testing (iFats)
The iFats test links nutrition with inflammation. It measures the ratio of "good" fatty acids (omega 3s) to "bad" fatty acids (omega 6s). Having too high of a level of "bad" fatty acids can lead to inflammation throughout the body, contributing to issues like IBD, kidney disease, pancreatitis, dermatitis, cancer, osteoarthritis, and obesity. Having a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6helps to maintain the well-being and health of the skin, fur, joints, and immune system. If your pet is found to have an unhealthy ratio, we recommend supplementation along with regular testing to ensure they maintain a healthy ratio.
Digatherm: Digital Thermal Imaging
Digital thermal imaging is a series of images that measures energy radiated from the pet's body. When a thermal image is taken, the picture is shown with different colored temperature gradients. The hottest areas represented with white, warm areas are red/orange/yellow, and cool areas are green/blue/purple. Hotter areas show increases in circulation (and potentially inflammation). This can give us a clue to potential problem areas that may not be obvious.