Acupuncture is one of a range of natural therapies that are used to treat many ailments and conditions, including osteoporosis. The combination of a complementary medicine modality with conventional treatment has grown in popularity in recent years, as it transcends the benefits you get from just one mode of treatment.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition whereby the bone density reduces drastically, leaving bones brittle and prone to fracture or breakage. During our first 20 to 30 years of life, our bone mass increases, and the state of our bones is pretty much determined by our diet, lifestyle, genetics and overall health. Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis, which is related to hormonal changes after menopause.
By the time we reach the age of 40, our bone density decreases, so we need to supplement our diet with essential minerals like calcium. Calcium is mainly sourced from dairy products, specifically cheese, yoghurt and milk.
How Can We Combat Osteoporosis?
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is readily available from the sun's UV rays. Egg yolks, orange juice, cereals and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna and sardines are also good sources of the vitamin.
If you are vitamin D deficient, consult a health professional to find out how much vitamin D supplement you need to take.
Exercise is also beneficial for people with osteoporosis, especially load-bearing exercises such as walking or running. Conventional medical treatment for osteoporosis includes hormone replacement therapy (HRT), dietary modifications and exercise.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that treats the body's energy meridians or pathways. TCM is grounded in the concept that the presence of a disease indicates a meridian is blocked. Clearing any blockages facilitates healing as it allows energy to flow freely throughout the body.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the patient's skin at specific points on the body. The acupuncturist determines which meridian points need to be unblocked after evaluating the patient's health.
The process is largely painless. Some people reported feeling a slight tingling sensation when the needles are inserted. There is also the option of laser acupuncture which is totally painless.
How Can Acupuncture Treat Osteoporosis?
Acupuncture utilises special needles that are inserted through the skin at specific points or meridians. The needles stimulate nerve endings and cause the brain to release endorphins, hormones that are responsible for relieving pain and stress. Since it applies the principle of TCM, which addresses the root of an ailment, acupuncture goes beyond treating pain.
The acupuncturist will work on your kidneys as well, which are responsible for bone loss in the hip and lower back area, based on a TCM standpoint. Researchers found that bone weakness in the back and hip is associated with a kidney problem. By improving your kidney health, you can increase your bone density and lower your risk of fractures.
You may also want to learn about these effective natural osteoporosis treatments to add more options to your list.