TCVM for Dogs: Four Paws, Five Directions—The Theory Behind The Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

What the heck is Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and isn’t it obsolete?

Modern veterinary medicine is making daily strides and breakthroughs. But sometimes scientists are limited by the way they know to look at things. A different point of view might offer solutions scientists didn’t dream up. An alternative approach can offer answers where they didn’t seem to be any.

TCVM for Dogs: Four Paws, Five Directions—The Theory Behind The Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

My point of view

When making any decisions regarding Jasmine’s health, the experience taught me to always consider a worst-case scenario. What is the worst thing that can happen, and does the benefit outweigh the risk? After my research, I came to the conclusion that TCVM is substantially safer than anything else we could try.

The second reason I was attracted to the idea was the TCVM’s holistic approach. Jasmine had so many things wrong with her, I had a hard time believing they could all be separate issues without a common thread.

I believe that my dogs deserve every bit of effort I might put into researching the best ways of taking care of their health.

An unfamiliar modality

The theory behind the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is going to sound alien to anybody brought up in western culture. It is completely different from what we are used to. But being around for over 3,500 years it has clearly withstood the test of time. Just because the terminology sounds odd, it doesn’t mean that the reasoning behind it isn’t sound.

Without modern technology to rely on, ancient physicians employed their senses and observation to diagnose and treat illness. Identifying the elements and seasons of nature, their interaction, and how it is reflected within the body, is the foundation of the TCVM diagnostic and treatment.

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine views the body as an intricate system, where an imbalance in one area affects corresponding organs. Identifying and correcting the imbalance is the key to your dog’s health. It is really quite fascinating.

Four Paws, Five Directions

It is impossible to explain the TCVM principles in a short article. If you would like to learn about the theory behind the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, I recommend you read Four Paws, Five Directions: A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs by Cheryl Schwartz, DVM. This book was recommended to me when I was researching the TCVM approach, and it provided me with a good understanding of what the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is all about.

It explains what the theory behind the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is and how it translates to diagnostics and treatment.

Of course, you don’t need to understand it in order for your dog to benefit from it. Finding a practitioner and following through with the treatment does not require knowledge of the theory. Me, I like to understand things.

Dr. Cheryl Schwartz, DVM, CVT  is a faculty member of the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Their website is where you can find a TCVM vet in your area.

Related Articles:
When Modern Medicine Doesn’t Have The Answer: TCVM

Categories: Alternative treatmentsIntegrative veterinary medicineTraditionad Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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