Donna Ialeggio, a staff veterinarian at the Philadelphia Zoo, has been trying to cure a black-necked swan’s bumblefoot for 31/2 years.
She’s finally found something that seems to be working: acupuncture.
“The speed with which this is healing is just phenomenal,” she said Wednesday as she watched Christina Fuoco, a vet in private practice with training in acupuncture and canine rehabilitation, prepare to treat Jackson, a nine-year-old swan.
The back of his pale pink foot – what would be a heel in humans – had a hard, swollen lump that was once badly infected and three or four times larger. He’s had surgery three times and is on anti-inflammatory medicine, but he’s made his best progress since January, when Fuoco started doing weekly acupuncture and laser treatments.
Wait… laser treatments? It’s not clear if this could be contributing to the healing because the article goes on to extoll the fake wonderfulness of acupuncture. This is not a scientific study – it’s an observation of a treatment people WANT to work. Some questionable language:
there was a “reasonable amount of evidence” that acupuncture helps relieve pain. “There’s not a wealth of science documenting why,”
The theory is that acupuncture needles create tiny areas of inflammation that lead the body to send healing chemicals and extra blood to the site.
There’s no good science on acupuncture because it’s not science-based. And the trials mostly say it does not work any better than placebo or sham acupuncture. That’s clear. This “theory” about inflammation can be measured but it hasn’t been show to be true so it’s not worth endorsing. This article is a whole slew of nonsense and it’s borderline abuse to restrain animals to receive a treatment with no established positive effects.
I prefer my medicine science-based.
Acupuncture is based upon the Eastern philosophy of chi (also spelled qi), which is their name for the supposed life force or vital energy that animates living things. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) chi flows through pathways in the body known as meridians. Illness results from the flow of chi through the meridians being blocked, or by the two types of chi (yin and yang) being out of balance. Acupuncture is the practice of placing thin needles at acupuncture points, which are said to coincide with points at which meridians cross, to improve the flow and restore the balance of chi.
There is no more reason to believe in the reality of chi than there is in the four humors, or in the effectiveness of acupuncture than the effectiveness of blood letting.
The swan didn’t seem to like the needles which were used AFTER the laser therapy.