LifestylePersona February, 23rd 2012 by

Key Feature - Dario Meets Gunila Pedersen

Alternative Medicine – Also for Animals?
It never fails to amaze me how many interesting people I meet here on the Costa del Sol, from different nationalities, backgrounds and professions, living and working side by side in this lovely part of Spain that we inhabit. My latest discovery, Danish born Gunila Riemann Pedersen, is one of these fascinating people who caught my attention with her work, talents and the enthusiasm she possesses.

Gunila, 32 years of age speaks Spanish, Danish, English and German and she works with Naturevets Veterinary Malaga. She studied at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen and has had 5 years of experience in small animal medicine and exotics, and also does some work with horses as well. She uses acupuncture in small animals and horses, and has taken courses in small animal odontology. Her daily work includes internal medicine and soft tissue surgery.
She is a mother of two girls aged 9 and 7, who like riding motorbikes and is a belly dancer in her spare time.

I asked her what was Naturevets? As I had never heard of it before.
She explained to me that Naturvets are vets that believe in using medicine from both modern West and ancient East and explained that we often find that western medicine only treats symptoms, and fail to find the original causes of the problem. An increasing number of vets find this quite unsatisfying, so this is the reason we work with acupuncture and fitotherapy, recommend holistic pet food, and hope to introduce homeotherapy soon as well.
On the other hand we use all the technologies at hand, so we offer blood tests, X-rays and any other possible diagnostic tests. We try to work with the best specialists to be able to offer a quick and exact diagnosis, and for complicated surgeries we work with excellent surgeons with many years of experience.
She informed me; as a vet, both she and her business partner try to work as independently as possible, always questioning the laboratories and therefore not always very popular! As one would expect.

Gunila continued; every time I open a magazine I can see it is clear that the market for alternative medicine is growing fast, and more and more people are interested in natural treatments as they mostly give fewer second effects than the ”normal” medicine. But I don’t think a lot of people are aware that in the veterinary world we are also getting to use these treatments, in my case for example veterinary acupuncture. The principles of acupuncture are based on disease being a symptom, showing the body is out of balance.

The way acupuncture solves this, is to puncture certain points throughout the body, following lines called meridians, with special needles. The first acupuncturists in China healed both animals and humans over 5000 years ago, only later the veterinary acupuncture started to differentiate from the human acupuncture, and the first documented case was Zhao Fu (974 – 928 before our time) who treated a horse for heatstroke!!

Nowadays acupuncture is used on all domestic animals, and in the clinic we find most animals actually like it. Normally, the animal doesn’t even feel when the needles are being put in, and tend to relax after a while. Often it’s easy to see when the treatment is over, because the animal starts getting restless, its meridians have had enough! Some people ask how we can find the points, considering all the fur, but it is actually a mistake to shave the hair off, as the points are small depressions you as an experienced acupuncturist can find by letting your finger slide over the body following the meridians. The thing I really find interesting about acupuncture is not so much the lack of secondary effects, but more the fact that the animal is treated as a whole.

Often, both human doctors and vets treat a specific symptom, say, eczema, but fail to get to the bottom of the problem. Maybe the cause is to be found somewhere completely different from where the symptom is showing (the skin), and maybe the animal has got more symptoms relating to the same problem, only the owner has failed to notice. It is therefore important, if you want to try out acupuncture on your animal, to find a professional, as anyone can look up the perfect point to stop the animal from scratching, but it takes years to find out WHY it is scratching… This really goes for any other treatments as well, like for example plant medicine, as just because it is natural doesn’t mean it’s innocuous.
Feeling a little overwhelmed by the detailed technical explanations on Naturevets and “alternative medicine” for animals, I changed the subject and enquired about her other passion Arabic Belly dancing, which seemed at odds with her serious professional background.
She replied “I dance a variety of dances from Egyptian folkloric style over tribal to Indian dances and flamenco fusion, at two different dance schools. My dance group is called Benasharif.” One day I look forward to seeing the extraordinary Gunila dance and for those interested in alternative medicine for animals, check it out on Articles by Gunila on         Web:



Dario Poli

Composer, artist, and a published author and illustrator. He is initiator of the campaign to present a better image Internationally, of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Composer of the music "Marbella Marbella" used as the anthem of the campaign and also many other recorded compositions including Nostradamus, and Corazon, for The Children for Peace Onlus charity in Rome as well as the co-author of the powerful musical drama Lady X and The Power of Destiny. He is also the editor and a founder member of this website.

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