As people become more open to and informed about alternative therapies for their own health, they are naturally considering those options more often for their four-legged friends.
In fact, there is an emerging veterinary field specializing in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), which focuses on everything from diet, nutritional supplements, and herbal medicine to acupressure and energy healing. And, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) recently named holistic items and therapies to its 2011 Pet Products Trend Report.
Aromatherapy [uh-roh-muh-ther-uh-pee]: 1. Defined as the inhalation or topical application of essential oils to benefit health and a sense of wellbeing. 2. Because dogs are acutely sensitive to smell, aromatherapy may be especially effective for the treatment of stressful situations, stomach upsets, respiratory problems, immune system health, and much more. Some scents that are beneficial include lavender, tangerine, ginger, and bergamot. Cats, however, are extremely sensitive to several essential oils, tea tree in particular, so it’s best to check with your veterinarian before using. See also: Bach Flower Remedies, herbal medicine
Hydrotherapy [hahy-druh-ther-uh-pee]: 1. Defined as the treatment of physical disability, injury, or illness by immersion of all or part of the body in water to facilitate movement, promote healing, and relieve pain. 2. Hydrotherapy sessions at innovative physical therapy and rehabilitation centers give “doggie paddle” a new meaning. Water therapy treats mobility problems, injuries, and arthritic conditions in a pool supervised by certified practitioners. See also: Swim therapy, underwater treadmill
Reiki [ray-key]: 1. Defined as a form of therapy in which the practitioner channels energy into the patient in order to encourage healing or restore wellbeing. 2. Pets respond to your loving touch, so they are equally receptive to Reiki, in which the therapist either hovers his or her hands over the body, uses hands-on techniques, or even performs the service from afar, which is especially helpful for pets who aren’t comfortable being handled. See also: Pet massage, acupuncture, acupressure