Speaker shares advantages of pet acupuncture

Mark Baumgarten

For most people, sticking dogs with needles would be considered cruelty to animals. But when Dr. Marty Goldstein performs acupuncture on household pets, it is for their own health.
Goldstein, a doctor of veterinary medicine in New York, shared his experiences and methods of holistic healing at a lecture promoting his new book “The Nature of Animal Healing,” at the Earl Browne Center on the St. Paul Campus on Tuesday.
He wrote the book to inform pet owners how to have a healthy, happy friend. Pet problems listed in his book’s “Alphabet of Ailments” range from allergies to worms. But the practice that has gained Goldstein the most attention is his holistic treatment of cancer.
The problem with traditional medicine, says Goldstein, is not the tools being used, but the attitude in the approach to treating the cancer.
“We are in a quick-fix society,” Goldstein said. “Everyone wants to get rid of things like cancer right away, but healing is a slow process. We must allow the body to heal itself.”
Goldstein focuses the lengthy treatment on the revitalization of the animal’s overall health and immune system. This, says Goldstein, can be done through a good diet and by keeping the pet away from harmful products and practices.
But holistic healing expenses can run high.
“The cost of the treatment is one of the problems,” Goldstein said. “But the largest problem has to be the amount of time it takes. It is usually a long, drawn out process, and lots of people today aren’t willing to wait for results.”
But Goldstein is hoping that his book will help people realize that they must help their pets.
“I felt that I was obligated to write this book,” Goldstein said. “Look at the world we live in. It’s not healthy, and that’s why I felt obligated.”
While Goldstein has experienced criticism from his clients, his peers and his own conscience since first promoting his alternative methods more than 20 years ago, he said most people are more open-minded to different forms of therapy now than in the past.
But Goldstein feels America’s medical and educational institutions still need to open their eyes to holistic healing.
“We have to change,” Goldstein said. “Look at how sick we are mentally and physically. We may be one of the sickest countries in the world with one the best medical establishments in the world.”
One of the most recognized holistic veterinarians in the country, Goldstein runs his practice in South Salem, N.Y., a little differently than most of his colleagues do.
After receiving his veterinary degree from Cornell University Veterinary Institute in 1973, Goldstein practiced conventional veterinary medicine. But a combination of bad personal health and chance exposures to alternative medicine led him to seek a different practice soon after his graduation.
The inability of Goldstein’s doctors to cure his severe arthritis without the use of heavy drugs made him wonder why his body felt so old at 27. His skepticism of conventional medicine reached a breaking point when Goldstein was exposed to acupuncture.
“It flipped me out,” he said, “I knew that this was what I wanted to do.”
After reading a book on oriental philosophy and nutrition, Goldstein decided to apply alternative medicine to himself and his patients.
“I applied everything in that book to myself,” Goldstein said, “and my arthritis disappeared. Then I began to think that something was wrong with conventional medicine.”
Now Goldstein practices alternative medicine in his Smith Ridge Veterinary Clinic, where he treats between 50 to 100 pets a day, both directly and indirectly, with his brand of medicine.
“It’s tough,” Goldstein said. “No food, no sleep; I’ve probably only had 45 minutes of sleep in the last two days.”
While running his practice might be difficult, Goldstein is pleased with the success he has had with his animal clientele.
“Sometimes I feel high for weeks after a treatment is successful,” Goldstein said.