Veterinarian Holistic Health Care – What is It Really?©
By Nancy Brandt DVM, CVA, CAC
In our own lives many of us have come to know the value of Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Herbs, Homeopathy, and Nutritional Supplements and don’t even hesitate to use them for ourselves.
Conversely, when educating people on “Holistic” medicine, many people have not previously considered these modalities when looking to treat their pets.
Did you know that “Holistic” medicine is a term used to encompass all of the different medical modalities?
When Holistic medicine modalities are used in conjunction with Western medicine modalities, all of these “tools” create a complete toolbox™ with which a trained veterinarian may more fully serve the pet and owner. For instance, Acupuncture by itself is only one part of Holistic medicine–one branch, one theory of medicine, one tool in the Complete Toolbox™ of Veterinarian Holistic healthcare.
of Veterinarian Holistic Healthcare for your pet? Would you know where to go; would you know how to choose a Veterinarian? Ask Dr. Brandt.
Choosing a Holistic Veterinarian is as foreign to most people as choosing a good auto mechanic. Although the details of auto repair is unknown to many, most people do know that you would not expect a good mechanic to use only a screwdriver to effect a repair. Similarly, Veterinarian Holistic medicine is a practice of medicine which utilizes a complete tool book™ of medical modalities. What this means is a fully trained “Holistic” Veterinarian will have Acupuncture, Herbs, Homeopathy, Nutritional Supplements, Chiropractic, Western or Allopathic, Aryvedic, Massage, Physical Therapy, and Aromatherapy tools available all in one practice. Therefore, to expand into true holistic care, we must seek to fill our toolbox with new [western] and old [eastern] medicine. Having all these multiple modalities of medicine – go ahead Ask Dr. Brandt.
In the Veterinary medicine field, this Holistic Medicine Practitioner category is not recognized as a specialty and is not regulated by a specific board. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Board) does not currently recognize all modalities as effective. This does not imply that Holistic modalities are not effective, only that the devoted western practitioners are oftentimes not familiar with how these unique modalities work in conjunction with their own tools. Ask Dr. Brandt
Currently, Acupuncture is fast transcending the “acceptance” barrier in the medical world and is now, also very well recognized throughout veterinary medicine. Like with our analogy about auto repair, even though a mechanic needs a screwdriver it is obvious that without an understanding of a wrench, clamps, pliers, sockets, etc., his repairs will be limited and lacking. Likewise, without supplementary training in the use of the different therapies, a conventional vet is not fully equipped to know the interactions of each modality. A conventional vet should not be expected to know the effects of different herbal supplements when that is not what they have studied. The majority of holistic practitioners spend years learning the full ramifications of all the different modalities. Ask Dr. Brandt
What should a pet owner expect to find in a holistic practitioners toolbox?
…lots of tools:
Acupuncture, spinal adjusting [chiropractic], essential oil therapy/aromatherapy, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, nutriceuticals/orthomolecular medicine, massage, rehabilitation/physical therapy, NAET, JMT, electrodiagnostic techniques, magnetic field therapy, emotional therapy, medical intuition and allopathic (western or conventional) medicine.
Essentially, more than one “holistic” modality should be offered with an emphasis on augmenting western therapy rather than solely using western or allopathic medicine.
Find someone who spends their time learning what conventional medicine is not yet teaching a DVM.
How to find a holistic practitioner
Visit www.ahvma.com or call 410-569-0795 to get a referral for your area. The AHVMA is the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. There you will discover which modalities various practitioners practice, and find one which can best suit your needs. Also check with friends and family for a referral, or check with your local holistic practitioners such as your own chiropractor. Or Ask Dr. Brandt
What to look for in a holistic practitioner?
A good holistic practitioner must have a thorough working knowledge of what they advertise, with certifications demonstrating a good education in each of these different modalities. They should have a network of experienced practitioners helping advance their knowledge base, such as local acupuncturists, chiropractors or other holistic vets upon whom they can call for advice. They must be able to work with your existing traditional veterinarian to maximize your pet’s ability to heal. A holistic veterinarian must welcome the traditional expertise and integrate with them to optimize your pet’s ability to heal.
Which modality is best?
Anytime you are “doing repairs” no one tool is always best, even though sometimes all you need is just one tool. For example, hanging a picture could be as easy as using a hammer to put in a nail or you may need a measuring tape, a level and a screwdriver to hang a large picture. Likewise, choosing the appropriate medical modality is best left to the experienced holistic practitioner with extensive training in the different “tools” or modalities. It is like choosing a contractor to fix your wall. He may employ a dry waller, an architect, some painters and even an electrician to create the new product. Occasionally he knows all of these modalities, often he does not, but through all his experience he is able to know when he needs others help and which modalities he should use. He has extensive training in all modalities or he finds those who have. This is how Dr. Brandt acts as the advocate for vibrant animal lives. Just Ask Dr. Brandt a question and tune in to get your answers.