Short on time? Get the key points:
- An emerging trend is the integration of spirituality into veterinary medicine, also known as Positive and Practical Veterinary Spirituality (PPVS).
- It is a way of approaching veterinary practice that acknowledges the spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects of both animals and their human caregivers, and seeks to support them in a holistic way.
- PPVS is based on the understanding that all living beings are interconnected and that the well-being of animals is intimately tied to the well-being of their owners, their environment, and the broader community.
- PPVS emphasizes personalized care, holistic therapies, and the use of natural remedies and complementary therapies alongside current conventional veterinary medicine.
- The PPVS approach to veterinary care is also based on the concept of “Go With the Flow” of nature which helps to optimize cellular energy and function.
- PPVS offers a path toward a more compassionate and holistic approach to animal care, emphasizing the importance of greater awareness, connection with nature, and personalized, proactive healthcare.
Read the preceding blog post on what PPVS is here.
What is Positive and Practical Veterinary Spirituality (PPVS)?
Veterinary medicine is evolving rapidly, and practitioners are continually seeking new ways to improve animal care and well-being. One of the emerging trends is the integration of spirituality into veterinary medicine, also known as Positive and Practical Veterinary Spirituality (PPVS). PPVS is a way of approaching veterinary practice that acknowledges the spiritual and emotional aspects of both animals and their human caregivers, and seeks to support them in a holistic way.
In this blog, we will explore the principles of PPVS and how those principles can be applied to the care of animals. We will examine the roles of mindfulness, compassion, and connection with nature in promoting healing and well-being, as well as the use of natural remedies and complementary therapies in conjunction with current conventional veterinary medicine.
Ultimately, our aim is to provide practical insights and guidance for pet parents, veterinarians, and other pet professionals who seek to enhance the well-being of animals and promote a more holistic and compassionate approach to veterinary medicine.
The Principles of PPVS
PPVS is based on the understanding that all living beings are interconnected and that the well-being of animals is intimately tied to the well-being of their owners, their environment, and the broader community.
The aim of PPVS is to promote healing and well-being in animals by addressing not just physical symptoms but also the emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of animals and their owners. This approach emphasizes personalized care, holistic therapies, and the use of natural remedies and complementary therapies alongside conventional veterinary medicine.
The concept of “4-P Medicine” is closely aligned with the principles of PPVS. The four P’s stand for “Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, and Participatory” medicine, and emphasize a shift toward a more personalized and proactive approach to healthcare that is tailored to the individual needs of each patient. PPVS shares this focus on personalized care and proactive prevention, while also emphasizing the importance of spiritual and emotional well-being in animals.
Two Approaches to Veterinary Medicine
There are two ways to approach the body, and both have their merits and limitations. The PPVS approach takes “The Road Less Traveled” to work with the body by tapping into its natural energy and healing abilities. This involves understanding how the body works guided by a trained veterinary team and learning how to support it in a compassionate way. This approach emphasizes the use of natural remedies and lifestyle changes to promote health and well-being.
The second approach, which is taught in veterinary schools, is to work against the body by aggressively treating symptoms and diseases. This approach relies heavily on the use of drugs and other interventions to control or eliminate the symptoms of a disease. While this approach can be effective in some cases, it often overlooks the root causes of the disease and may lead to negative side effects.
It’s important to note that both approaches have their place in modern veterinary medicine, and neither is inherently better or worse than the other. However, choosing the right approach is important for maximizing your pet’s health span and depends on the unique needs and circumstances of each individual.
In a compassionate way, it’s important to recognize that each person’s journey towards health and well-being for their pet is unique. Some people may benefit from a more traditional medical approach, while others are more closely aligned with PPVS and a holistic approach. Ultimately, the key is to personalize treatments based on the individual’s symptoms, lifestyle, and goals, and to work in harmony with the body’s natural healing processes.
Understanding the True Significance of Symptoms
Understanding the true significance of symptoms can be very helpful in promoting health and well-being. Symptoms are the body’s way of signaling that there is an underlying issue or imbalance that needs to be addressed. By paying attention to these signals, we can identify the root cause of the problem and take steps to correct it.
For example, suppose someone experiences chronic headaches. Current conventional medicine might prescribe painkillers to manage the symptoms, but this approach does not address the underlying cause of the headaches. Taking a more holistic approach, we might explore other factors such as stress, diet, or sleep habits, which may be contributing to the headaches. By addressing the underlying issues, we may be able to alleviate the headaches and improve overall health.
Similarly, understanding the significance of other symptoms such as fatigue, digestive issues, or skin problems can help us identify imbalances in the body and take appropriate steps to correct them. By addressing the underlying issues rather than just treating the symptoms, we can promote long-term health and well-being.
It’s important to note that symptoms can also have emotional or psychological roots. For example, chronic stress or anxiety in a household may manifest as physical symptoms in pets. Animals are exquisitely sensitive to subtle shifts in emotions and energies. Taking into account the mind, body, and spirit of all people and pets in a home can help us identify and address the underlying issues and promote overall health and well-being.
Understanding the true significance of symptoms is a powerful tool for promoting health and well-being. By paying attention to these signals and taking a holistic approach to health, we can identify and address underlying imbalances in the body and mind, promoting long-term health and well-being.
Applying PPVS Principles
The PPVS approach to veterinary care is based on the concept of “Go With the Flow” and optimizing cellular function. This is done by removing obstacles to normal functioning without using medications like “antis” that can impede recovery. Another example is to “Just Say Yes” and accept what is happening at the moment. Seeing your pets symptoms as friends and clues that can help them to become healthier is one example. It helps us feel better by embracing the present moment and accepting things as they are. This can be a helpful approach in many areas of life, including veterinary medicine.
In the context of Positive and Practical Veterinary Spirituality, “Go With the Flow” and “Just Say Yes” can be applied in a few ways. For example:
Embrace the Natural Healing Process
In some cases, the body’s natural healing process may take longer or follow a different path than expected. By going with the flow and allowing the healing process to unfold in its own time, we can often achieve better outcomes than if we try to force the process or intervene too aggressively.
Trust Your Intuition
There are many situations where there is no clear answer or solution. In these cases, trusting your intuition and “just saying yes” to your instincts can often lead to the best course of action and outcome. This approach involves being open to possibilities and listening to your inner guidance, rather than feeling limited by conventional medical protocols.
Cultivate a Sense of Compassion and Openness
PPVS involves cultivating a sense of compassion and openness towards all living beings, including animals and their guardians. By “going with the flow” and “just saying yes” to the present moment, you can approach each situation with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow.
It’s important to note that “going with the flow” and “just saying yes” includes integrating your veterinarian’s findings and treatment suggestions into the complete context of PPVS. Following this safe and effective path balances the evidence-based medical (EBM) approaches with the EBM of experience-based approaches and a sense of openness and compassion toward all living beings.
“PPVS is a Journey Toward Greater Awareness, Compassion, and Healing”
Signposts on the journey of PPVS
MINDFULNESS. The first step on this journey is to develop greater mindfulness or awareness of the present moment so you are comfortable with whatever your pet’s body communicates (via symptoms). This involves being fully present and engaged in each moment, rather than getting caught up in worries about the future or regrets about the past.
COMPASSION. As mindfulness deepens, a sense of compassion and empathy towards all living beings may arise. This involves recognizing and honoring the inherent value and dignity of each individual, whether human or animal. Try to work with, and respect, your pet’s body.
AWARENESS OF INTERCONNECTEDNESS. As compassion deepens, an awareness of interconnectedness may arise. This involves recognizing that all living beings are connected and interdependent, and that our actions have an impact on the world around us.
NON-JUDGEMENT. As awareness deepens, a sense of non-judgment or acceptance may arise. This involves letting go of judgments and assumptions about others and ourselves, and approaching each situation with an open mind and heart.
PERSONAL GROWTH. As we move along this path, we may encounter challenges or obstacles that provide opportunities for personal growth and transformation. These challenges may arise in our personal lives, professional work, or interactions with animals and their owners.
INTEGRATION. As we continue on this journey, the insights and practices of PPVS can become integrated into our daily lives and professional work. This involves embodying a sense of compassion, awareness, and non-judgment in all that we do, and seeking to promote healing and well-being in ourselves and others.
On the physical plane, feeding fresh food, increasing exposure to sunshine and nature, optimizing fresh air and clean water, promoting Connection, Happiness and Engagement (CHE) such as with the Therapeutic Sniff Walk and optimizing BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, and Mood) are positive and practical actions that can help your pet today.
In conclusion, Positive and Practical Veterinary Spirituality aka PPVS offers a path toward a more compassionate and holistic approach to animal care, emphasizing the importance of greater awareness, connection with nature, and personalized, proactive healthcare. With a focus on mindfulness, natural remedies, and complementary therapies, this approach offers a roadmap for promoting healing and well-being in animals, and ultimately, for nurturing a deeper connection with the animals we share our lives with. By following the signposts along this road, we can create a brighter future for animal health and welfare; one that is grounded in compassion, spirituality, and a deep respect for the interconnectedness of all living beings.