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Integrative Therapies

Our approach to your pet's healthcare will be integrative--offering treatment options from Western & Eastern medicine based on your preferences and your pet's needs.  
We will work with you and your pet's current practitioners to implement a holistic care plan.
Dr. Cook practices TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) in addition to Western medicine, but also encourages and practices other forms of integrative medicine.
TCVM: Traditiona Chinese Veterinary Medicine
Acupuncture Therapy
Herbal Medicine
Nutrition & Food Therapy
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TCVM: Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

There are 5 major branches of TCVM: 

Dr. Cook's TCVM education has been with the Chi University in Florida.  He has the following certifications: 

  • CVA: Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

  • CVFT: Certified Veterinary Food Therapist

  • CTPEP: Certified TCVM Palliative and End of Life Practitioner

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Acupuncture (ACU) Therapy

What is the history of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been practiced in both animals and humans for thousands of years in China. The earliest veterinary acupuncture book, Bo Le Zhen Jing (Bo Le's Cannon of Veterinary Acupuncture), is believed to have been written by Dr. Bo Le in the Qin-mu-gong period (659 BC-621 BC).

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, resulting in a therapeutic homeostatic effect. The specific point on the body is called "shu-xu" or acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese discovered 361 acupoints in humans and 173 acupoints in animals. Modern research shows that acupoints are located in areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points (in terms of nerve endings). A great number of studies indicate that stimulation of acupoints induces the release of beta-endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters.  Therefore, acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by these scientific studies. As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of the ancient therapy of acupuncture will be better understood.


When performed by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure and has a long history of safe use in Veterinary Medicine. 

For what conditions is Acupuncture indicated?

Clinical trials indicate that acupuncture therapy can be effective in treatment of the following conditions:

  • Overall Wellness

  • Immune System Support & Prevention of Disease

  • Relaxation

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders

    • Muscle soreness, back pain, IVDD (intervertebral disc disease), DJD (degenerative joint disease, e.g. arthritis), weakness

  • Neurological Disorders

    • Seizure, laryngeal hemiplegia, facial and radial nerve paralysis

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders

    • Appetite stimulation, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gastric ulceration, colic

  • Respiratory Disorders

    • Anhidrosis, heaves, asthma, cough

  • Urogenital Disorders

    • Renal failure, infertility

  • Endocrine Disorders

    • Adrenal disease (Cushing's Disease, Addison's Disease), hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism

  • Miscellaneous Disorders

    • Uveitis, skin conditions

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Herbal Medicine

How is Acupuncture combined with Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Sometimes the application of Chinese Herbal Medicine is chosen by the knowledgeable veterinarian as a support for acupuncture, or on occasion, in lieu of it.  Herbs can prolong and enhance the effects of acupuncture, and can often be used in combination with Western medical treatments such as pharmaceuticals.

Chinese herbal medicine has a long history of safe use in Veterinary Medicine. 

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Nutrition & Food Therapy

How is Acupuncture combined with Traditional Chinese Food Therapy?

Certain foods will be recommended in the diet (or excluded from the diet) based on the thermal nature and energetics of the food.  This applies to all types of food, including poultry/meat/fish, fruit, vegetables, grains, fats/oils, and herbs/spices.

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Physical Medicine​

What are some different types of Physical Medicine?
  • Tui-Na (Chinese Medical Manipulation and other Medical Manipulation)
  • Massage
  • Rehabilitation and Exercise Therapy
Tui-Na (Chinese Medical Manipulation)

Tui-na is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  From a conventional medicine perspective, Tui-na can be thought of as corresponding to a combination of acupressure, conventional massage and chiropractic techniques.  It can be used to treat both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions.  It is also useful as a preventative therapy, because it promotes balance in the body.  Small and large animals and exotic species respond well to Tui-na treatments and it can be used for animals that will not allow acupuncture needles to be placed.  It is safe and effective with no known side effects when performed properly. 

Massage Therapy

For In-Home Massage Therapy​ we recommend:

Rehabilitation and Exercise Therapy

For In-Clinic Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation we recommend: 

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Laser Therapy (Photobiomodulation)

What is Laser Therapy (Photobiomodulation)?

Laser therapy is a method of healing using light energy.  Laser therapy goes by several names, including Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Cold Laser Therapy, Medical Laser Therapy, and Photobiomodulation.  Medical researchers began using laser therapy in the late 1960’s with low-powered laser beams that produced non-thermal effects on human tissue. The first reported cases involved slow-healing ulcers. The efficacy of this laser therapy has been substantiated by objective research. Laser wavelengths between 820 nanometers (nm) and 840 nm have an extremely low absorption rates in tissue. This means that laser light penetrates deeply at those frequencies. Experimenting clinicians found that an 830 nm laser may be optimal for treating chronic pain.


How does Laser Light Heal?

Healing with the use of light is not new. Light therapy was reported to be effective for many conditions by Hippocrates. With the development of the laser and its special properties, using light as a treatment has gained more popularity. This is because we can now use specific wavelengths of light and give accurately measured doses of energy directly to the appropriate treatment site, which was not possible with other light sources. 

Low level lasers supply energy to the body in the form of non-thermal photons of light. Light is transmitted through the skin’s layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin) at all wavelengths in the visible range.

When low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune responses of our blood. This has both anti-inflammatory and immunostimulatory effects. It is a scientific fact that light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effects throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.

As an example of how laser therapy works, we can consider how laser therapy helps promote healing with soft tissue trauma. These types of injuries consist of damage to the deep, sensitive layers of tissue beneath the epidermis, including muscular, neural, lymphatic, and vascular tissue. The human body normally reacts to this soft tissue trauma by “splinting” the injury with edema, a thin or watery fluid in tissue spaces or cell interstices. However, excess edema causes swelling that inhibits movement of the damaged tissue. These injuries result in two types of pain. The first is actual traumatic pain from the injury itself, and the second pain is from the swelling that results. Laser therapy focuses first on the lymphatic system which maintains the body’s fluid balance, while the laser light also helps absorb the excess edema, thus providing relief in two ways.


What should I expect from a cold laser therapy session?

For most pets, laser therapy is quite passive. The most noticeable sensations are the touch of the probe head of the laser as it comes in contact with the skin (and potentially a warm feeling).

Following (and even during) a laser therapy session, approximately 75-80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This will depend primarily on the type of condition and the length of time the condition has been present.

Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions treated will take anywhere from 4--5 or 10--18 treatments. Once again, the number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. If the condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before a dramatic or marked change is perceived.

Laser therapy has a long history of safe use in Veterinary Medicine. 

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PEMF: Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Thearpy

What is PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy)?

PEMF therapy is a method of healing using magnetic energy. The magnetic energy then works with the body’s natural magnetic field to improve healing, decrease inflammation, and relieve pain, and promote overall wellness.  There are a number of devices available to deliver PEMF therapy, and while each has advantages and disadvantages, they all are very safe.  Several of these devices are FDA approved for safe use in human and veterinary Medicine.

  • We use MagnaWave to provide powerful and long-lasting but gentle PEMF therapy during appointments. 

  • Assisi Animal Health makes a number of products including the Assisi Loop that can be used to provide targeted PEMF therapy at home between appointments. 

  • Respond Systems makes PEMF mats/beds that can be used for to provide PEMF therapy at home between appointments.  


ESW: Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

What is ESW (Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy)?

ESW Therapy is a method of healing using sound energy.  The device sends shockwaves (sound waves) into the injured tissues which stimulates increased blood flow and growth hormones to the area, promoting healing and new tissue growth.

  • We use the PulseVet Device which has been FDA approved for safe use in Veterinary Medicine.

Physical Medicine
Laser Therapy (Photobiomodulation)
PEMF: Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy
ESW: Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
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