Richard Joseph, Westside Veterinary Center, New York City
By Interview by Jia Lynn Yang

(FORTUNE Magazine) – I'M A VETERINARIAN, AND I HAD THE SAME skepticism about acupuncture that anyone would have. But then I began to see the results. Acupuncture can be an alternative when an animal can't take pain killers, or has a slipped disc or arthritis. People come back and comment on how their pets are jumping up on the couch again. They're playing with toys they haven't played with. I treat mainly dogs and occasionally cats. I've treated rabbits, and I treated a ferret and an iguana once. Most animals are very accepting. Sometimes we'll feed them little treats, and they just chow out and totally forget what you're doing. There are several methods of acupuncture. Sometimes we attach electrical stimulation to the needle. If the animals show no improvement in three to six treatments, we don't continue. If they do, we treat them weekly until the effects last from week to week. I've been treating one pet for nine years. I really feel I've made a difference in many of my patients' lives. And when I say patients, I'm talking not just about the four-legged ones. The sessions can be extremely rewarding. The pet is relaxing, the owners feel as if they're doing something for the animal, and you're helping the animal heal itself. It's a very good feeling. -- Interview by Jia Lynn Yang