Canine Acupuncture


Acupuncture is an ancient therapy dating back many thousands of years. It is also one of the most intensely researched areas of complementary medicine in modern times.

Many dog owner’s will have had personal experience with the benefits of acupuncture or dry needling. They may often have found that the acupuncture treatment was quite comfortable and perhaps even relaxing or invigorating.  


At Aligning Canine Chiropractic, we focus on acupuncture treatment for musculoskeletal and some neuro-musculoskeletal problems.

The aim of musculoskeletal & neuro-musculoskeletal acupuncture is not only to reduce pain, although yes this is often an objective, but also to help promote healing and improve the function of effected joints, muscles and nerves. 

At this practice, canine acupuncture is generally used in conjunction with other tactile and manual therapies such as soft tissue massage, and mobilization & manipulation, providing a constellation of therapies that may complement each other.

Canine acupuncture-overview of how it works

Acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine is often explained as stimulating various points along channels or meridians to restore or normalize the flow of energy (chi/Qi) moving through them, and for other effects that promote healing.

In the traditional Chinese system-the effects of acupuncture  may be metaphorically or poetically described-based on the flow of ancient irrigation channels. Where a blockage to the flow of water in an irrigation channel may result in flooding or stagnation of water above the blockage, and a lack of vital water below the blockage. From a traditional perspective acupuncture is aimed at removing blockages and restoring the flow of energy.

From a Western perspective, acupuncture is often described and researched from a neuro-biological view point , where stimulation of specific points may have both local and more distant central nervous system, spinal cord and brain mediated, reflexogenic effects.

There may also be hormonal, immunological & anti-inflammatory mediated effects from musculoskeletal acupuncture, an example being endorphin release.


Canine musculoskeletal acupuncture-Ashi or Myofascial trigger points

In musculoskeletal acupuncture, a very important aspect is the targeting of Ashi points. These points are not at a specific location on a meridian, but are often very tender points located in muscles, fascia or around joints. Western therapists utilizing dry needling will often interchangeably describe these Ashi acupuncture points as muscle or myofascial trigger points.

Conditions treated 

  • Back (lumbopelvic) joint & muscle problems
  • Mid-back (thoracic) joint & muscle problems
  • Neck (cervical) joint & muscle problems
  • Osteoarthritis-joint degeneration
  • Myofascial trigger point syndromes
  • Muscle tightness & strain
  • Lameness / limping-muscle & biomechanical
  • Hip & gluteal muscle problems
  • Shoulder & lateral scapula problems
  • Sciatica & brachial neuralgia
  • Intervertebral Disc disease (IVDD)-mild to moderate forms