Welcome to Barbara's
Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole being – mind, body and spirit. As an Animal Acupuncturist, I provide holistic healing for cats and dogs. Evaluations and treatments are mostly done in your home or in collaboration with your vet. I invite you to join me on this wonderful journey of healing.
I provide in-home treatments at your home or farm, for animals with mobility issues (injured, ill, elderly, etc.). I service Baltimore City, Ocean City and the surrounding areas.
Acupuncture at Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists
I provide acupuncture at Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Annapolis, MD.
Home visits in Baltimore City, Ocean City and Surrounding areas.
The answer is why not? If your pet has an illness wouldn’t you like to treat it with medicine that doesn’t cause any further harm? Wouldn’t you like to see his/her mood improve as well as their physical symptoms?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then consider acupuncture for your beloved pet. Acupuncture can help with a variety of illnesses ranging from arthritis to kidney disease to anxiety to allergies. Acupuncture uses tiny, hair thin needles to stimulate energy movement in the body to allow for physiological changes to occur. These changes can be observed by improved walking, reduced pain and inflammation, positive changes in digestive issues, reduced allergy symptoms, as well as many other improvements.
The treatments focus on the presenting symptoms as well as the underlying cause of the symptoms. Therefore you address the initial presenting ailment and get to the root issue so that the condition hopefully doesn’t continue to return.
Typically treatment occurs once a week for 4-6 sessions. In the initial session, which may take up to 90 minutes, a thorough health history is obtained, a physical assessment is conducted and the acupuncture treatment. After the first round of treatments you should begin to see changes within your pet’s symptoms. You will then be able to reduce the frequency of sessions with the goal of working towards maintenance sessions.
The goal should always be to improve the quality of life of your beloved pet while coordinating care with their primary veterinarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does animal acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works for animals the same way it works for people – by treating both the underlying cause and the symptomatic effects of imbalances that occur in the body, mind, and spirit. I use very thin, sterile needles to gently stimulate points along the animal’s energy meridians according to principles that have been studied over thousands of years. The needles are disposed of after one use.
Does acupuncture eliminate the need to go to a vet?
No. Acupuncture complements, and does not replace, veterinary care. Your pet must have visited a veterinarian within 14 days of beginning acupuncture, and must be up to date on his or her rabies vaccination. In many cases I communicate with a client’s vet to achieve a balance of the best that both acupuncture and veterinary medicine have to offer.
How does acupuncture complement veterinary care?
Many animals, especially older animals develop chronic conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, ECT. Acupuncture can help many illnesses and diseases by reducing pain and inflammation, and balancing the flow of energy so that organs function more optimally. Additionally, acupuncture helps keep the liver functioning when your pet takes medications on a regular basis thereby reducing side effects. There are many other conditions that acupuncture helps as well as using it as a basis for overall wellness and prevention.
Can acupuncture help with behavioral issues?
Yes. Acupuncture has helped pets make the transition to a new home; overcome a history of mistreatment and fear of people; soothe excess aggressiveness or shyness; cope with grief over the loss of a companion; and more. Just as with people, pets experience feelings that may show up as undesirable behavior.
Can acupuncture help keep my pet from getting sick?
Acupuncture – like other kinds of preventive health care – can be a vital part of a pet’s lifetime wellness program. Our pets are exposed (just as we are) to everyday physical and emotional stresses as well as to toxins commonly found in their surroundings. These things accumulate over time in a way that can result in imbalances and disease. Periodic acupuncture is an excellent way to clear and detoxify your pet’s mind/body/spirit systems. Many pets benefit from acupuncture support around the time of seasonal change (spring, summer, late-summer, fall, and winter) – especially elderly pets or those with chronic conditions.
What happens during an appointment?
During our initial appointment we will talk a great deal about the concerns you have about your animal. I will conduct a thorough evaluation of your pet. The evaluation will go over items such as their medical history, Diet plan, Exercise regime, vaccinations, sleep patterns, behavior and any emotional concerns, and any other topics that you as the owner want to go over.
How many treatments will my pet need?
Many times there is some noticeable improvement after just one acupuncture treatment. However, between three and eight sessions are typically required to show a benefit, depending on the severity and duration of the challenges your pet is facing. I like to see new clients weekly for the four treatments, then assess how many more treatments may (or may not!) be necessary.
The initial appointment will take about an hour; subsequent visits about 30-40 minutes. We’ll talk about how your pet is doing and I’ll examine and treat your pet. Finally, we’ll schedule follow-up appointments, as needed.
Will the needles hurt my dog or cat?
I take great care to ensure the comfort and security of your pet during treatment. A needle insertion may sting briefly, but the accumulated effect of treatment is typically very calming.
Rates vary depending upon location, typically the initial session is $140 (which includes thorough history, physical exam and acupuncture treatment). Follow up sessions are $75.
What are your qualifications as an acupuncturist?
I am a licensed acupuncturist certified by the Maryland State Board of Acupuncture, with a veterinary-approved specialty certification in animal acupuncture.
I count myself incredibly fortunate to live within Barbara Kandel's service area. Finding a great veterinary acupuncturist is hard enough. A great acupuncturist who can come to my home, making the repeat visits needed convenient for me and zero stress for my dog? That's simply incredible. Plus, she's just super pleasant and now both Riggsy and I look forward to her visits!
My 17-yr-old Australian cattle dog has had Cushing's Disease for about a year now, with symptoms completely managed by Barbara's skilled acupuncture treatments and a Chinese herb called Si Miao San. This means there are no medication side effects, there's no requirement for blood work every 3 months, and I'm delighted that his mobility has improved, his breathing and energy and spirits all remain very good. Score!
Barbara's acupuncture is effective, affordable, convenient and pleasant. My senior dog Riggsy and I LOVE having acupuncture as an integral part of his overall health care. He is always happy to see her, never objects to the insertion of the teeny needles, and waits patiently for the wave of relaxation to come over him. He is walking and breathing better, and now almost 17 years old. I strongly suspect that acupuncture has contributed to his longevity.
I've worked with 5 different veterinary acupuncturists over the years in the washington DC area, and Barbara is hands-down my favorite. She has serious skills in animal handling and needle placement, and her ability to "read" my dog's body language and respond helpfully if he is restless is phenomenal. I've never felt so completely at ease with and confident of a veterinary healer's positive effect on my dog.
Barbara helped our lab, Carson, feel more comfortable in his last year of life. He loved seeing her!
Barbara is amazing to work with. She gave my dog the best care, and really helped prolong her health. Kylie the dog loved seeing Barb, and after 3 treatments I saw an amazing difference! I highly recommend Barb as I know how much she cared for my dog and saw what a difference it made.
Our Great Dane (Bear) attended acupuncture sessions at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital with Barbara from 2013 - 2014 to help treat a myriad of symptoms from his degenerative myelopathy/mobility and allergy issues. We found her to be skilled, knowledgeable and extremely compassionate...it is very evident that she cares deeply for animals and is dedicated wholeheartedly to their health and well-being. We had been nervous for Bear's first session - he had HATED going to the vet in the past - but he settled right down and became incredibly relaxed only minutes after she put the first needles in. We noticed not only an improvement in Bear's mobility/allergies once he began acupuncture, but a drastic change in his attitude walking into the clinic at which he received his treatments...he would light up when he saw Barbara, and would lead the way right to the room where the sessions were held. When I went out of town and had to board both of our dogs at Rocky Gorge's pet spa/resort, Barbara went out of her way to stop in to see and comfort him (he was not very pleased to find himself boarded, to say the least!) and spent time with our other pooch as well. She is good at what she does, and there is no doubt that she genuinely cares about all of her patients. We cannot recommend acupuncture with Barbara highly enough!
-Amanda, Chris, Bear & Honey Bee
Barbara Kandel has treated my dog, Meg, for a number of months now. Meg accepts Barbara as one of her immediate circle of friends. They greet each other lovingly and settle down to a therapy session with mutual trust. Meg suffers from acute arthritis in hips and front paws which makes her leery of being handled but not where Barbara is concerned. Barbara's quiet confidence allows Meg to relax and enjoy her quiet time. I feel that Meg is more comfortable after the session. She even allows Barbara to lift her back into the car which speaks volumes.
Our dog Archie is a 13 year old Labrador who lights up any room with his smile and goofy personality. He has had arthritis for half of his life. The past few years, it has taken its toll on Archie’s ability to climb stairs, move easily, and play outdoors. His hips are very stiff. Barbara Kandel has been our acupuncturist for Archie for 4 years now. Thanks to her ability to diagnose Archie’s condition specifically and her acupuncture treatments at least every month, Archie has remained mobile for years beyond his natural capacity. He takes medium walks, climbs stairs with some assistance, swims in the creek near our house, and can enjoy his old age with a minimum of pain. Also. Barbara genuinely cares about Archie’s wellbeing and plays so naturally with him in order to relax him for his treatments. My husband, Archie and I heartily recommend Barbara for your pets with similar conditions.
Kathy Shulman and Archie
Barbara’s Animal Acupuncture is about providing the highest quality of care to your pet while developing a trusting relationship with you, the pet owner. My commitment to you is to offer acupuncture treatments by an expert in the field of animal acupuncture. As a graduate of Maryland University of Integrative Health (formally Tai Sophia Institute) not only did I become licensed to practice acupuncture on people, but also became certified to practice with animals. This license and certification combines 4 years of dedicated course work and clinical internships in order to practice in the state of Maryland.
Barbara works part-time at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital in Laurel, MD as an animal acupuncturist. She provides collaboration and treatments to patients of Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Annapolis, MD. Additionally, Barbara consults with other veterinarians about the benefits of acupuncture. Barbara has conducted seminars about animal acupuncture at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital and other locations. Barbara is part of a team of holistic providers ( acupuncture, reiki, animal massage, nutrition) who offer consults and treatments in the Hamden area of Baltimore City.
Barbara maintains a private animal acupuncture practice where she provides house calls to clients in the Baltimore and Rockville communities.