Alternative medicine is complementary to modern scientific medicine. The individual is evaluated in its entirety in order to identify a string of lesions that will lead to the root of the problem. The primary objective is to maintain and restore health by prevention of disease. Various therapies also allow us to treat disease (musculoskeletal, neurologic, digestive, respiratory, cutaneous, hormonal, behavioural).
Benefits of complementary therapies include:
• Pain control (analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects)
• May be used in conjunction with medication prescribed by your veterinarian, and in some cases, may reduce or even eliminate the need for certain types of medication that may have harmful side effects (e.g. corticosteroids).
• Reduced healing time after orthopedic surgery.
•Very safe, with minimal side effects.
This traditional Chinese medical treatment has been around for over 3000 years. The placement of thin needles activates the flow of energy along a virtual line, the meridian, which links the body to the outside world. Acupuncture is well known for its analgesic properties; these are due in part to the release of various neurotransmitters, such as endorphins. Other desired beneficial effects include muscle spasm relief as well as stimulation of the nervous and immune systems.
Although the practice of using touch to relieve pain has been around for a long time, it isn't until 1882 that Andrew Taylor Still founded the first osteopathy school. He was the first to sense the link between the spine and internal organs. However, William Garner Sutherland was the first to conceptualize craniosacral osteopathy and discover the CRI (Cranial Rytmic Impulsion). The practice of osteopathy is an assessment of the entire body and considers that every part of the body is continuously linked together. This practice is characterized by the use of the hands to "listen" to the body, diagnose a condition and treat dysfunctions. In fact, this listening approach helps detect areas of the body that have movement restrictions. The purpose of this treatment is to recover joint, soft tissue (organs, muscles) and organic fluid (blood, lymph) mobility. The patient's own energy is also recruited for self healing.
I graduated from the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal in 2002 before completing an equine medicine and surgery internship at the university teaching hospital. I spent my first 2 years of practice caring for both equine and small animal patients. Even though my career is now centred mainly around small animals, I feel as passionately about horses as I did when I was a child.
Shortly after starting my career, I developed an interest in alternative medicine, having always prioritized a global, natural approach to treating my patients, while limiting the side effects. In 2010, I embarked on a journey that led to the completion of an intensive veterinary acupuncture course with the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. This program is endorsed by Colorado State University and the IVAS (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society). In 2015, having heard that the IMAOV (Institut des Médecines Alternatives et Ostéopathie Vétérinaire) was going to be in Quebec, I took this opportunity to sign up for their veterinary osteopathy training course. This French school has been teaching osteopathy all over Europe for over 25 years.
As a veterinarian, my primary motivation has always been the welfare of my four-legged patients. My mission is to combine my knowledge of science-based medicine and alternative medicine to reach the best possible outcome with the least number of side effects.
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