Spotlight on acupuncture in laboratory animal medicine
Elizabeth R Magden
Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michale E Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, TX, USA
Abstract: Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years, although it is only in the past century that science has worked to unravel the mechanisms behind its use. Literature supporting the efficacious use of acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions has been and continues to be published, including the randomized controlled studies we all appreciate when practicing evidence-based medicine. The use of acupuncture in veterinary medicine has paralleled the trends observed in people, with an increasingly common use to remedy specific medical conditions. These conditions are commonly related to neurological dysfunction or orthopedic pain. Although pain relief is the most common use of acupuncture, numerous other conditions have been shown to improve with this therapy. Laboratory animals are also benefiting from acupuncture. Its use is starting to be incorporated into research settings, although there is still further progress to be made in this field. Acupuncture has been shown to improve clinical conditions and quality of life in laboratory animals, and should be considered as a tool to treat laboratory animals with conditions known to benefit from therapy. Here we review the history, mechanisms of action, and use of acupuncture to treat veterinary patients and laboratory animals.
Keywords: acupuncture, laboratory animals, nonhuman primates
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