Slowing natural aging
Everywhere you look, there is a significant amount of research dedicated to aging in our western society. Ways to try to slow it, creams to reduce our wrinkles, supplements to help creaky joints and different puzzles to stimulate our minds. Aging is not species dependent and our older kitties need special attention as well.
Along with twice yearly physical exams, comprehensive labwork, parasite screening, appropriate diets and exercise, there may be supplements available to help our cats develop more gracefully in their senior years. Essential Fatty Acids (like omega 3s) and glucosamine are some examples of supplements that may help decrease signs of joint disease in our aging cats. Essential Fatty Acids are also know to help with mind health.
Acupuncture can help
Acupuncture may be a great addition as well. One question we ask at every senior exam is, “How is our friend moving around?” At least half of our wonderful owners reply, “They’re slowing down, but that’s just because they are old.” Although some of that may be correct (I know I don’t always have the energy to keep up with my kids!), I would venture to ask why. Why are they slowing down? Is it due to pain from arthritis? Are they losing muscle mass and cannot jump as high? Is there abdominal pain so they do not want to jump? Is there a lesion somewhere? Are they having a harder time seeing the jump? Do they just have a general lack of energy? A good Eastern exam may help clue us in to some of these nuances.
Another concern with aging is being less flexible, or having a harder time with change. Cats tend to dislike change in general, and as they age it is more difficult for them. They can become more querulous and have a harder time dealing with day to day changes, and the stress of the change of their aging body as well. Acupuncture can help calm the shen, or the mind, and help a cat to be more accepting to change and to relax.
As one ages, regardless of species, their overall immunity can start to wane. The body’s defenses are not as vibrant as they once were. Acupuncture can help increase the body’s overall immunity and fight off disease and infection. By helping build up the system, acupuncture can help a patient stay healthier longer.
It is important for us to support our furry friends through the aging process in body and mind. Acupuncture can help many of our patients live their best lives.