In China, Chinese medicine is very commonly used to prevent illness. People practice Tai-chi, have massages (Tui-na) and modify their diet (food therapy) to prevent illness. These practices ensure good flow and balance of Qi in the body, helping to prevent illness. Although animals obviously cannot practice Tai-chi, Tui-na, food therapy and acupuncture can be used in the same way to ensure balance in the body and therefore help prevent future health problems.
By treating an imbalance early, the chance that it will progress and become more severe, causing disease, can be reduced. It is always easier to successfully treat a disease when it is mild and short-standing, than when it becomes more chronic and severe. This also prevents your animal from potentially suffering and more good news is that it's also cheaper than waiting until a problem becomes severe!
Modern scientific research is also showing the importance of acupuncture in preventative care. We now know that many serious diseases, including cancer and diabetes, are rooted in chronic inflammation. Acupuncture has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and also modulates the endocrine (hormonal), cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and other body systems in order to restore balance and maintain health. Preventative acupuncture treatment is therefore very useful to help keep your animal healthy.
For healthy adult animals, preventative acupuncture treatments can be given at approximately 6 month intervals. For older animals (that are more likely to become ill due to their age), or those that are predisposed to certain diseases, it may be better to give acupuncture treatments more often, for example at 3-4 month intervals. Tui-na can also be performed at these consultations, together with advise on the most suitable diet for your animal using the principles of Chinese food therapy combined with modern knowledge about animal nutrition. If appropriate, you can be taught a short Tui-na massage routine to perform at home on your animal for wellness.