Alternative practitioners say their methods harness and rally all the resources of the mind, body, and spirit—the whole person, the whole animal—and support the healing process rather than interfering with it. These methods revolve around a central concept as old as the art of healing itself: that each person, each living thing, possesses on a deep level the will and intelligence to be healthy and that these elements can and should be enlisted in effecting a cure.

The use of alternatives has caught on big time and today is revolutionizing the business and practice of Western medicine—both human and veterinary medicine. As Time magazine noted in a 1997 article, “Alternative medicine for pets may not be as widespread or well publicized as the human variety, but it’s growing faster than a sprig of St. John’s wort.”

“Pet owners have recognized a bigger range of possibilities,” says Thomas Van Cise, DVM, of Norco, California. “Alternative methods provide a gentler option when mainstream treatments, like surgery or powerful drugs, might be too extreme or cause too many adverse side effects. You can also treat and heal many cases naturally for which there are no drug or surgical answers.”

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