Eastern + Integrative Medicine

Rocky Mountain Veterinary Rehabilitation practitioners are trained academically in both Eastern and Western veterinary disciplines and are able to suggest and apply the best combination of these modalities. We believe that integrative care yields treatment plans that support healing and wellness from every perspective, rather than drawing solutions only from one practice philosophy or the other.

A wide array of individual, holistic, and complementary treatments are available under the principles of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) which are rooted in the belief that health challenges are due to imbalances in the body. TCVM looks at symptoms plus overall conditioning, and concludes that balanced energy pathways, diet, and herbal medicines lead to wellness. For many clients, Acupuncture may be familiar as an Eastern treatment, while Tui-Na, a form of massage, or Food Therapy may not be as well known.

Interest in TCVM is growing exponentially among veterinarians and clients because the ancient practice:

  • Complements Western medicine.
  • Offers natural treatment possibilities.
  • Provides options for treatment when Western medicine has no solutions or very limited ones.
  • Includes a specialized exam that reveals patterns of imbalance that can be improved using Eastern-style therapies to achieve wellness. While it’s always helpful to have a Western-style diagnosis first, some conditions can be difficult or even impossible to determine. Engaging Eastern veterinary knowledge adds a layer of impactful insight.


TCVM treats a wide variety of imbalances, including (but not limited to):

  • Arthritis
  • Disk and joint disease
  • Immune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy side effects
  • Seizures
  • Endocrine conditions
  • GI disorders (vomiting, IBD/chronic diarrhea)
  • Increased thirst
  • Recurrent infections (bladder, skin)
  • Unexplained weight loss, lack of appetite
  • Behavioral issues
  • Kidney/liver failure
  • Lameness
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Asthma
  • Hypo or hyperthyroidism

How Integrative Care Works

While every RMVR patient is evaluated individually to develop a custom treatment plan, the examples below illustrate how Eastern and Western veterinary care can be combined to maximize wellness.

For a dog recovering from bone fracture surgery:

  • Pain medication.
  • Acupuncture to address pain, inflammation, and circulation.
  • Gentle limb mobilization, Tui-Na massage
  • Strengthening exercises for affected, adjacent and supporting muscles.
  • Chinese herbs to boost bone healing.

For a senior pet slowing down:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Manual therapy for joint mobilization, including VMM, a Chinese chiropractic-style manipulation.
  • Electromagnetic pulse therapy (Assisi Loop, Respond Bed).
  • Cold laser therapy.
  • Chinese herbs to support hindquarter strength and pain relief.
  • Pain medication.
  • Dietary support using Food Therapy.

Please know that we are always available to answer questions about integrative care.