Atlanta Acupuncture Center

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Osteoporosis and Aging


Li Hua, L. Ac. TCMD.


Traditional Chinese Medicine thinks that the kidney is the main organ that controls our bones.  As age increases, kidney energy gets low and the bones get weaker.  When people get old, they first notice that their legs are getting old. When people reach middle age, they start to lose some of their bone mass, usually at the rate of 10-15% per year. Women experience it more when they start menopause at 45-50, and men at about 60. They notice their height getting shorter, teeth getting weaker.  As this condition is develops, the bones of the whole body are aching. Once bone density is lost, bones are more easily broken. A common problem is compression fracture, bones broken by climbing stairs or turning around. In serious cases, malformation can occur, like a hunchback, with a short, low abdominal wall protruding, pelvis anteversion, or improper movement of the knee joint and hip joins. This is called osteoporosis.


TCM cannot change the progress of nature, but it can slow premature aging by helping the kidneys to maintain longer.  In ancient times, the Chinese emperors in different dynasties tried their best to order TCM doctors to find ways to live longer, so many special diets, exercises, Chinese herbal formulas, and special therapies are left for us to select to strengthen the bone and prevent and treat for osteoporosis.


For example, there are special acupoints and special techniques in acupuncture and TuiNa (Chinese medical massage) treatment to improve the life quality to live healthy and longer.  Western Medicine doctors suggest adding calcium, magnesium, vitamins A & D or hormones to prevent and help osteoporosis. As a TCM provider, beside these, I suggest exercise, such as Tai Chi Qi Gong, getting enough sunshine, balancing emotions and eating healthy. Foods with more calcium include dairy products, soy products, seafood, seaweed, wood war (an edible fungus), sesame oil (seeds), walnut and other natural nuts. The foods are more vitamins, such as meats, bone products, fresh vegetables and fruits that can help to absorb the calcium. Human beings get nutrition from all different kinds of sources, not like tigers who only eat meat, not like pandas who only eat bamboo. Healthy foods are good, but may not all be correct for you.  I always like to recommend individual diet or recipes for my patients. Boiling and steaming are good ways to cook because calcium is easy to dissolve in soup and you dont lose a lot when you boil or steam.