TCVM is an extension of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been used to heal people for ages.

It is based on the Chinese Daoist philosophy that the body, which is a microcosm of the universe, is ruled by laws and forces that also govern the external world. Just as life-energy or “Qi” is an innate force of the universe, it too is a fundamental force of the body, driving its every action and transformation.

Yin-Yang theory, which is central to Daoist philosophy, also features prominently in Chinese Medicine in general.

*Please note: Dr. Steffen incorporates traditional Chinese herbs in her medicine.  She has not been formally trained in TCVM.  We want our website to be as informative as possible and that means covering some popular topics that we do not currently offer at our pet medical facility in Milford, OH.

TCVM Has Four Branches

Once a particular type of disharmony or disease pattern is identified, treatment proceeds through a combination of treatment modalities.

The 4 branches of TCVM are:

  • ​Acupuncture
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Food Therapy​
  • Tui-na


Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of treatment therapy for pets when it is performed properly by a well-trained veterinarian.

In dogs and cats, the placement of the acupuncture needles is virtually painless. Most become very relaxed and sleepy. As in humans, acupuncture treatment on pets may cause some uncomfortable sensations such as numbness, cramps, or tingles. The minor possible downsides do not outweigh all of the positives acupuncture can provide your cat or dog in our opinion.

*Please note: Dr. Steffen is not certified in this particular modality at this time.  She is working on completing the 300 hours required to become certified now!

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine utilizes natural ingredients listed within the Chinese Herbal Materia Medica. Particular combinations are used to treat particular disease patterns.

When on an herbal treatment plan, herbs are used to correct imbalance, stemming a disease pattern, and to promote your pet’s ability to heal itself. Herbal formulas are given orally and are often in pill or capsule form for cats and dogs. Most of the time the herb, no matter which form it is in, can be mixed with your pet’s food for easy consumption.

Food Therapy

Food therapy is the art of customized diet plans to treat individual pets and prevent imbalance within the body.

Many factors go into determining the right food therapy meal plan for your cat or dog including unique inborn tendencies, age, species, geographical location, personality, and any current disharmony or disease process.

When food therapy is done right, there are no side effects and can be used for the entirety of your pet’s life.

Food therapy recipes can fall into 1 of the following 3 categories:

Health Promotion and Prevention—to improve health on a regular basis and to prevent seasonal and climate-related problems.

Disease Treatment—to directly treat clinical conditions, including skin problems, autoimmune diseases, and immunodeficiency.

Adjunct Therapy—to complement primary treatments (acupuncture, herbs, or Western Medicine) of diseases such as otitis, urinary crystals and stones, UTI, IBD, CHF, cancer, renal failure, and liver failure​.

  • ​Health Promotion/Illness Prevention—The general overall health of your pet.
  • Active Treatment—As treatment for skin, autoimmune disease, and immunodeficiency.​
  • Complimentary Therapy—For pets with an illness such as cancer needing all treatment available.

Raw Diets

Raw diets is something Dr. Steffen has been incorporating with hear dietary plans for cats and dogs.  If you have an interest in creating a raw diet specific to your pet, please contact us.

Tui-na (Acupressure) For Pets

Tui-na is a form of Chinese medical-massage. In which different manipulations are applied to acupoints and Meridians to promote the circulation of Qi and correct imbalances within the organ systems. It is safe and effective.

*Please note: Dr. Steffen is certified in acupressure.