The Marin County Free Press reports that September is “Healthy Aging Month”. Who knew?? But September has offered the California paper a chance to reflect on aging. I’m reprinting portions of the article (and other information) here.
“Though aging is never an easy process, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers many solutions to the physical and emotional strains of getting older. As the baby boomers age, the number of seniors in America increases and will continue to do so in 2006, persons over 65 years old represented 12+% of U.S. population. In 2030, they will represent almost 20% of the US population. In fact, the largest growing segment of our population is that of 85 years and older. With such a large portion of the population facing old age, Americans are increasingly looking for more holistic modalities to ease this process”
“As we age, illnesses and ailments increase. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 88% of the population over 65 have at least one chronic condition and many have multiple chronic conditions that they battle on daily basis. The most frequently occurring conditions among the elderly are hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and sinusitis.”
“TCM encompasses a variety of preventative techniques that can all work to make the aging process easier and, for some, even slower. These include manual therapies, such as acupuncture and massage; exercises like tai chi and Qi gong, whose gentle movements and low physical impact are ideal for aging bodies; and herbal formulas.
By treating every patient as an individual and working to balance qi, TCM can alleviate and prevent many of the health problems experienced by seniors, such as depression, arthritis, memory loss, pain, muscle and joint stiffness, heart problems, diabetes, osteoporosis, insomnia, bladder and kidney problems, and impotence. Acupuncture can help aging bodies by increasing the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, reducing muscular tension, relieving pain and releasing endorphins. Improved circulation brings fresh oxygen to body tissues, which eliminates waste products from inside the body and enhances recovery from diseases. By keeping the body balanced, acupuncture can both restore and maintain health”