Many people automatically think of acupuncture when they consider Chinese medicine. Indeed, in the United States, acupuncture has made a name for itself as an effective modality for pain relief and relaxation. A recent survey by the American Association of Equine Practitioners revealed that 17 percent of veterinarians currently use acupuncture in treating their equine patients.
Yet in China, acupuncture is but one part of TCVM. In actuality, there are five branches of TCVM: acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tui-na (a form of chiropractic massage and acupressure which uses the same points as acupuncture, but no needles), diet/nutrition, and Qi Gong (a form of energy exercise). Each branch is a specialized area requiring expertise to perform effectively.
TCVM is gaining more and more recognition by traditional veterinary professionals. A number of veterinary schools such as Colorado State University, Tufts University and the University of Florida, offer acupuncture courses, as well as other TCVM modality tracks. In some veterinary medical teaching hospitals such as the University of Florida, TCVM is a clinical service available to clients and their pets or livestock.