Anti-Aging and Acupuncture: Is There a Connection?
You bet there is a connection!
From a Western perspective, “aging” is equated with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is that
organic process that occurs in our bodies that produces free radicals. Free radicals are the “bad guys”. Free radicals are the “sparks” or charged molecules that get released in any metabolic process in our bodies. They are associated with cell wall breakdown, DNA breakdown, inflammation etc. Every disease process in your body is a whirlwind of free radical activity (or oxidative stress). To clarify…when you bite into an apple and the apple turns brown in the exposed flesh, that’s oxidative stress. When your fireplace produces soot on the walls, that’s oxidative stress. When rust forms on metal, that’s also oxidative stress. Aging is simply body breakdown, and disease is body breakdown accelerated.
From an Eastern perspective, aging is associated with a loss of “JING.” Jing is the essence or substance that is the foundation of our body energy (Qi). We are born with Jing. Think of it as the substance in the battery of your car. As the substances of battery that allow it to take a charge deteriorate, the battery becomes drained. That’s like our Jing. As it diminishes, we age. The condition of our Qi and our blood (which I have addressed in many other articles through the years) has a major contributing impact on the condition of our Jing. When we are able to maintain optimum Qi and blood levels and movement in the body, our Jing diminishes more slowly.
This is where the wisdom of Chinese Medicine can be beautifully applied. Think of the realm of Chinese Medicine as a big umbrella with a number of categories under it. They can be listed as: acupuncture/Chinese herbs/Nutrition/Lifestyle/Qi gong. I will focus the rest of this article on acupuncture and nutrition and lifestyle.
Acupuncture treatment can maintain optimum levels of Qi and blood in your body. The diagnostic process can determine where you are deficient or out of balance. Remember, also, where there is no movement of Qi or blood there is pain (physical and emotional). Acupuncture can restore balance and movement. The longer you are in acupuncture treatment, the better you will get at sensing when you are out of balance. Whether you are coming in weekly for an acute problem or seasonally for your maintenance tune-ups, your inner observer will awaken in the process. This is important because then your body doesn’t need to scream at you with symptoms. You will sense imbalance on your body’s whisper instead. This is the optimum mind/body relationship.
Lifestyle coaching comes along with acupuncture treatment. Patterns of sleep hygiene, exercise, and recreation are all addressed, and recommendations are incorporated into your treatment plan. Your lifestyle can be Jing supporting or Jing draining.
Finally, nutrition! I tell my patients that if their nutritional status is inadequate, I might as well be needling into air. What we eat, how we prepare the food, and when we eat are all examples of how we optimize our nutrition status. I’m always amazed at how many misconceptions Americans have about food…and how poorly Americans eat. We tend to nourish our cars better than our own bodies. Overall I believe that it’s safe to say that Americans are well fed but poorly nourished.
One of the most significant ways we impact the Jing or minimize the free radical production in our bodies is by eating healthfully. That means 10-13 servings of fresh, vine ripened fruits and vegetables everyday. The problem is that most people can’t or simply won’t eat enough of these foods. Fruits and vegetables are where the ANTIOXIDANTS come from that neutralize those free radicals! The isolated antioxidants/vitamins in the stores that are usually sold as multivitamins are simply trying to mimic what is in fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately your body excretes most of what isolated in multivitamins.
I have found a wonderful food concentrate (produce that is juiced and flash dried into a powder) that is put into a capsule that I recommend to my patients to help fill these nutrition gaps. It’s processed in such a way that your body is able to absorb 100% of this and not excrete it.
I welcome anyone interested in learning more about how you can impact your aging process and reclaim your vitality to contact me so we can do a consultation. I guarantee you that you will then have the information you need to begin to make choices that can give you more control over your particular aging process.
And I now take most insurance.
Additional posts by Jill Ellen Smith
- Acupuncture and Joint Implants, 04 Apr 2013 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture, Nutrition, and Cardiovascular Disease, 05 Feb 2013 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture Meets Electrical Stimulation, 27 Aug 2012 in Health & Wellness
- From Farm To (Acupuncture) Table, 08 Jun 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture and the Pain in the Neck, 02 Feb 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture CAN Support You Through This Flu Season!, 02 Dec 2011 in Health & Wellness
- Summer…“Barefoot in the Park”…Foot Problems and Acupuncture, 07 Aug 2011 in Fashion and Beauty&Health & Wellness
- Women Making a Difference, 03 Jun 2011 in Uncategorized
- Spring into Summer with Acupuncture, 02 Jun 2011 in Health & Wellness