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Complementary Veterinary Medicine with Veerle Dejonckheere

 From January 2011 Ashman Jones is proud to announce that Veerle Dejonckheere will be offering our clients referral and specialist services in complementary veterinary medicine including acupuncture and herbal medicine. Veerle will be available for extended consultations during the week.

If you’d like to know more about Veerle, and how complementary medicine may help your pet, read on. If you’d like to make an appointment, please contact reception at Ashman Jones.

Who is Veerle Dejonckheere?

Veerle qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Gent, Belgium in 2001. Her first job was in France, where her boss introduced her to acupuncture and herbal medicine. Veerle came to the UK in 2003. She worked in practices throughout the country, and was involved in voluntary projects in Bhutan and Greece, before settling in Somerset. She acquired depth in her experience as an acupuncturist while working with Lowrie Davies at the Cardiff Smart Clinic, a renowned canine sport and rehabilitation centre. She was taught the principles of veterinary phytotherapy by Peter Conway, a former director of the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association and president of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy. Veerle is member of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists www.abva.co.uk, British Association of Veterinary Herbalists www.herbalvets.org.uk and the British Veterinary Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Association www.bvrsma.org.uk. In 2012 she will start training as a chiropractor at the International Academy of Veterinary Chiropractors. Veerle is a firm believer in integrated medicine - combining conventional and complementary approaches to maximise the health and well-being of her patients.

What is complementary medicine?

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are complementary to conventional medicine, not alternatives. They are elements of an integrated approach to healthcare that treats the patient as a whole animal rather than treating the disease or the symptoms in isolation. All aspects of the patient’s wellbeing, including diet, lifestyle and emotional state, are considered in order to maintain the best possible quality of life.Complementary treatments may be particularly beneficial for conditions where the normal processes of the body are malfunctioning such as autoimmune, inflammatory and degenerative diseases. They can also help to ameliorate the side effects of some conventional treatments, and facilitate the actions of others.

Herbal medicine is the treatment and prevention of disease using preparations of plant extracts. The plants are prepared as teas, tablets or tinctures to be taken internally and as ointments, lotions or gels to be applied externally. Preparations of a single plant may be used for certain ailments. However, it is often more effective to formulate bespoke preparations that take into account the holistic needs of each individual animal. While most pharmaceutical drugs are based on a single compound that targets a specific ailment, herbal medicines contain the diverse assortment of compounds that naturally occur in the plant. So herbal preparations often benefit several aspects of the patient’s health at the same time and the synergy between the many ingredients may have an overall effect greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Acupuncture is the treatment and prevention of disease by the insertion of very fine needles into key points of the patient’s body. The needles are all single use and sterile. Once inserted, they are left in place for approximately 20 minutes. They are well tolerated by most animals. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and is now also being verified scientifically. The stimulation of the needles modifies the way in which pain is perceived by the central nervous system and causes the release of hormones such as serotonin and noradrenalin. Reducing pain improves the patient’s sense of wellbeing and can promote correct gait patterns, breaking the self-perpetuation of chronic postural problems. In combination with these physiological effects, the hormones that are released can help to normalise body chemistry, supporting rehabilitation and improving resistance to disease.

An initial 45 minute session will cost £45

Follow-up 30 minute treatment sessions will cost £35