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Exploring Alternative Medicine for Animals: Chiropractic, Acupressure, and More

March 25, 2023

Recently, we’ve explored massage for livestock, the effect essential oils and other herbal medications can have on pets, and the benefits of aromatherapy in your home and on the farm. Today, we’ll take a look at chiropractic solutions for animals as well as acupressure and laser light therapy.

Always Consult Your Veterinarian  

The health and well-being of your livestock and pets are important. Before you try any alternative medications or therapies, consult a licensed veterinarian. They will have professional insights and how to best care for your animals.

Chiropractic for Animals has a Long History

Back in the early 1900s, one of the founders of chiropractic began using the methods reserved for humans on animals. By the 1980s, veterinarians around the world had begun to utilize chiropractic to help alleviate pain in pets and livestock.

Veterinarian chiropractic today is used on horses and pets. This method takes a holistic approach, focusing on restoring health throughout the whole body rather than focusing on a single, problem area. While some experts argue that there is not enough evidence to back the use of chiropractic on animals, especially livestock, country folk who see their equine or pets experience pain relief are true believers.

As with any therapy that involves manipulation of joints and muscles, there can be risks. For best results, and to avoid injury, a trained professional in veterinarian chiropractic should be consulted.

Acupressure Focuses on the Whole Animal

This Chinese medicine is over 4,000 years old. With acupressure, a veterinarian or acupressure specialist will use their fingers to apply pressure along a network of meridians or points on the body’s energy superhighways. These specific points help relieve muscle tension, decrease pain and swelling, increase circulation, and maintain or improve health.

Charisse Tooze, owner of The Animal Bodyworks ( is a professional in both animal acupressure and massage. Experience has taught her, with this type of holistic bodywork, that while relieving pain and restrictions in the body, behavior and emotional issues also improve.  

“Trauma and stress hold themselves physically in the body,” Tooze added when asked why someone would choose acupressure for their livestock, horse, dog or cat.  “Working on the physical body releases both physical and emotional restrictions, helping the animal on such a deep and powerful level.”

According to Tooze, the body is an interconnected whole. If animals carry restrictions and pain in one part of their body, it can affect another part of the body, including muscles, ligaments, and even the functionality of the organs, since organs are held in place by soft tissue that can also get tight.

“Think about your own body,” Tooze said.  “If you have back pain, you probably also have some neck problems higher up.  It’s a matter of mapping the body to discover the source, then working on both areas to offer a deep and effective relief to the pain, but also improving other areas, essentially healing the body holistically.”

Laser Therapy May Reduce Pain

For several decades, laser therapy has been used on humans to reduce joint and muscle pain and promote healing. The class-3 (safe for use on people and animals) laser light used in this therapy includes monochromatic light, coherent light that emit photons, and collimated light that pushes photons in a single, straight beam. When the laser light is focused on a person or animal, it can cause the release of endorphins, increased blood flow, and muscle relaxation.

Each of the light types has different therapeutic benefits, including pain relief from arthritis and other injuries, inflammation management, and healing. Some proponents believe lasers can replace pharmaceuticals.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), laser therapy on animals can be safe when administered by a trained professional. Risks include tissue burns and eye damage.

Coastal has Everything the Country Needs

You’ll find feed and medications, tack and tools, as well as work clothes and footwear for the whole family at Coastal. Stop by and go home with everything to make your chores that much easier and your animals that much happier.