Acupuncture and Critical Care 4

Bunny says, “Attention please - this could save a life!” It’s the 4th and final week Acu in Practice featuring ER and critical care points. When a veterinary patient arrives to be seen for a life threatening emergency, one of our first and most important tasks is to assess breathing - the rate, the quality, the effort, the ability to bring oxygen into the body and circulate it. We must ensure there is a functioning airway and oxygenation using our hospital tools and equipment. AND, if we are trained in acupuncture, we can use it to improve respiratory rate, quality, effort and the patient’s ability to to circulate. Acupuncture can also be used to stimulate and regulate breathing under anesthesia. It’s a noninvasive way to complement the more invasive tools we must often use to save a patient’s life. It is a tool that can help remind the body to do what it needs to do - I like to think of it as hitting the “reset button.”


Commonly used acupuncture points to stimulate/regulate respiration:

LU 1 - respiratory distress, asthma. TCM: Alarm point for Lung. Descends Lung Qi.

LU 7 - acute cough, asthma. TCM: opens nose, descends and disperses Lung Qi.

LU 11 - asthma, loss of consciousness. TCM: resuscitation, disperses and descends Lung QI, benefits throat.

GV 26 - increases respiratory + cardiac rate + endorphin release, treats shock. TCM: resuscitation, opens nose.

BL 13 - any lung problem. TCM: Association pt. Lung, dispels Stagnation and promotes Lung function.

BL 17 - regulates diaphragm, reduces spasms of diaphragm, used for anemia and clotting issues. TCM: Association pt. Diaphragm and Blood.

*This post is created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice. You can find additional information on integrative medicine for animals on the author's social media pages: people.and.pet on FB and IG