The Only Constant of Growing Older
Ageing is a common bodily process that makes us all susceptible to diseases and less active as we were. As much as ageing is inevitable, TCM has been proven through scientific research to be able to prolong the active states of our cells and delay immune suppression, so that ageing seems less of a nightmare!
What is Ageing?
The process of ageing includes oxidative damage to DNA in cells and immune senescence, both of which are major causes of age-related diseases such as senility, weaker immune system, fatigue, digestive issues, sallow skin, white hair, hair loss, decreased muscle tone, decreased visual sharpness, slower metabolic rates resulting in lower energy level and more body fat.
Who is Affected?
Ageing does not only occur to the elderly, every day every one of us experience cell death and immunomodulation processes that can be affected by age, living and eating habits such as smoking, active states and mental health. The only difference is the rate of renewal and recovery between individuals. For example, a woman in her 20s could have the metabolic age of a 40-year-old due to a high level of stress or long periods of inactivity! A good balance of diet and exercise would potentially lower the risk of age-related conditions, but as work takes up more and more of our time, many of us lose out on the opportunity cost of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
How TCM Works
- Acupuncture along meridian pathways across the body produce homeostatic effects on the body.
- Increase electrical conductance at acupoints, relieving localised soft tissue and muscular conditions
- Improve energy “Qi” and blood circulation around the body, stimulating cell renewal and recovery
- Antioxidant effects with the replenishment of ‘yin’ (blood, fluid and essence) and ‘yang’ (energy, flow and strength)
- Immunomodulation by improving body constitution and cell productivity, delaying progress of abnormal cell functions
- Herbal medication is part of the treatment process that plays a vital role in the direct absorption of herbal nutrients through the gut. There are different categories of TCM herbs that play varying roles in the upkeep of our health depending on your physician’s diagnosis of your constitution. The roles of each category of herbs will be continued in the next articles.
- Cupping is a method of suction on the patient’s body, mostly on the back, that generates a “massaging” and heating effect along certain meridian lines, thereby doubling the efficacy of acupuncture and TCM herbs in activating the electrical and nervous impulses of the body.
What You Can Do On Your Own
- A balanced diet is imperative for a well-nourished body. Intake of deep-fried, oily, fatty and spicy food should be avoided as much as possible.
- Maintaining a positive mindset and open-minded perspective relieves unnecessary stress.
- Take time off from work to prevent mental over-exertion.
- Sleeping before 11pm to nourish the liver meridian to allow for and boost detoxification processes.
- Exercise regularly to ensure sufficient cardio stimulation to strengthen the heart and muscle tone.
Article by Physician Victoria Tan