Holistic Veterinary Medicine

Holistic Veterinary Medicine
Information provided courtesy of Gail Wetzler

Holistic Veterinary Medicine, also referred to as complementary, integrative or alternative medicine, is a medical approach to animal health and treatment of disease. Alternative medicine is the best-recognized term for treatments or therapeutic systems that lie outside mainstream or conventional medicine. The terms complementary and integrative medicine indicate that they are used with or in addition to conventional therapies.

The word “holistic” means taking in the whole picture of the patient and developing a treatment protocol from the wide range of therapies available for healing. The holistic practitioner is interested in genetics, nutrition, environment, disease patterns, family relationships, hygiene, and stress factors.

The holistic challenge lies in discovering “why” a patient presents in a state of dis-ease, by analytic observations, history taking and appropriate testing. The goal is to find the root source of the pathology, as a symptom may have several layers of causation. Only when the true cause of the ailment has been found is it possible to provide a lasting recovery. This is when the most effective, least invasive and least harmful path to a cure may be selected from one of more of the following modalities:

• Modern drugs, surgery and diagnostics
• Nutritional therapy
• Glandular therapy
• Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
• Homeopathy
• Herbal Medicine
• Chiropractic
• Behavior Modification
• Telepathic Communication
• Shamanism
• Massage Therapy
• Bodywork
• Physical Therapy
• Flower Essence and Gem Elixir Therapy
• Aromatherapy
• Radionics and other forms of Vibrational Healing

Practitioners of holistic veterinary medicine are graduates of an accredited veterinary college or university, [and are certified by the board of veterinary medicine of the state in which they practice]. In addition, they have various degrees of training and proficiency in one of more of the above modalities and ascribe to the philosophy of holistic healing. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) was organized in 1982 to help establish a network for veterinarians interested in holistic medicine. Other organizations include the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA), which holds certifying courses for veterinarians and chiropractors; the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, which holds certifying courses in the principles of classical homeopathy for veterinarians; and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, which holds certifying courses in animal acupuncture for veterinarians.