Vets using acupuncture and integrative modalities to help pets

25 Aug 2021

A curious mind and a willingness to look for answers outside her conventional veterinary training has led Victorian integrative veterinarian Dr Kim Lim to a fulfilling career as a veterinary acupuncture practitioner that brings her daily contentment and enjoyment.

Dr Lim graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1990, and has since completed post-graduate study as a Certified Veterinary Acupuncture practitioner with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) in 1992, a Masters in Chiropractic Science at RMIT in 2004, and as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2017.

Her clients refer to her as “Aunty Kim”, and there is great demand for the services she provides at her sole practitioner integrative practice in Geelong, with clients often travelling long distances from across Victoria and further afield to see her.

“Western medicine and training dictates that as a practitioner, you are trained to work out what is wrong and you are responsible for treating it. I think this puts a lot of pressure on practitioners. It is a much better mindset to think of ourselves as facilitators. Learn to listen to what the problem is, to listen to what our patients have to tell us, and to facilitate the healing that the patient has to do. This is teamwork,” said Dr Lim.

Integrative veterinary practice

Her veterinary practice provides acupuncture and rehabilitation along with craniosacral and laser therapy, and animal biomechanical medicine. It also incorporates the use of herbal supplements.

With musculoskeletal and other chronic conditions being very responsive to acupuncture, Dr Lim treats a wide variety of illnesses and injuries in pets. These include arthritis and lameness, muscle injuries, gait problems, epilepsy, allergic skin disease, incontinence and neurological conditions such as spinal and disc problems, including paralysis.

Importance of working as a team

The journey into integrative practice was a result of Dr Lim looking for answers outside of mainstream medicine, and acupuncture proved to be the beginning of a journey that has focused on working together with her clients and patients.

“I strongly believe that the best results are achieved when I am working with my clients, patients and nurse as a team. My clients are given ‘homework’ to continue with between consults and they are committed to going that extra step to improving the health of their pets,” said Dr Lim.

The small integrative clinic she runs is at the back of her house, and one day a week Dr Lim works as an integrative vet at a nearby small animal practice – where she is assisted by a vet nurse with her rehabilitation work.

“I believe that my purpose in life is to leave something good behind. I believe that if you love what you do, then your work becomes your life!” said Dr Lim.