Page 53 - The Hunt - Summer 2018
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                  “Cats love acupuncture. Most just zen out.”
immune system and energy,” she says. “You can treat just about anything with herbals. There are thousands of herbal remedies. The Chinese kept very good records of what they did, whether they used the root, the flower or the leaf.”
McKinstry acknowledges that some of her clients are skeptical about alternative treatments. “A lot of people say, ‘I don’t really believe in this, but nothing else is working so I figured I’d give it a try,’” she says.
Chinese medicine doesn’t just target specific symptoms. It takes a more holistic
approach that looks at the overall health of a person or animal. A key part of the diagnosis is looking for an underlying cause of what’s ailing an animal. McKin- stry sees stressed dogs who spend the entire day alone in the house and horses kept in stalls where they can’t get out. “You can use herbals and acupuncture for anxiety,” she says.
At the same time, McKinstry promotes the importance of diet and exercise. She recently told the owner of a dog with a number of problems that he needed to take his pet for regular walks. The owner later reported that both he and the dog were doing better.
According to New Bolton’s Smith, the Chinese view acupuncture as a way to boost energy and the immune system and to prolong life. “They don’t necessarily wait until there’s something wrong with their horses,” she says. “Acupuncture can be thought of as something like a monthly massage.”o
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