Boost Bone Density!
Osteopenia is a condition characterized by a decrease in bone density that is less severe than that seen in osteoporosis. It occurs when the body loses too much bone or makes too little bone, leading to weak and brittle bones that are more prone to fracture.
The primary cause of osteopenia is an imbalance in the normal process of bone turnover, which involves the constant resorption and formation of bone tissue. This process is controlled by a number of factors, including hormones, calcium and vitamin D levels, and physical activity.
As we age, the balance between bone resorption and formation may shift, with more bone being broken down than rebuilt, leading to osteopenia and eventually osteoporosis. Other factors that can contribute to osteopenia include a lack of physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain medical conditions and medications. Women are also at greater risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis due to the hormonal changes that occur during menopause.
Some studies have suggested that Acupuncture may have potential benefits for bone health. Acupuncture is thought to work by stimulating the body's natural healing mechanisms, such as increasing blood flow and releasing endorphins. In the case of osteopenia, acupuncture may help to stimulate bone growth and prevent further bone loss.
One study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies (3) found that acupuncture may have a positive effect on bone density in postmenopausal women with osteopenia.(2) The study involved 48 women who received acupuncture treatment twice a week for six months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the women had significantly increased bone mineral density in their spine and hip.
Another study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (1) found that acupuncture combined with traditional Chinese herbal medicine may be effective for treating osteoporosis, a more severe form of bone loss than osteopenia. The study involved 60 patients with osteoporosis who received either acupuncture and herbal medicine or a calcium supplement for six months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the acupuncture and herbal medicine group had significantly increased bone mineral density compared to the calcium supplement group.
While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of acupuncture for osteopenia, these studies suggest that it may be a safe and effective complementary therapy to consider.
Huang, H.Y., Chang, C.C., Wu, Y.H., Hsu, C.C., Li, T.C., & Chen, C.L. (2018). Effects of acupuncture on osteoporosis and osteopenia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Orthopaedic Translation, 14, 57-67.
Liu, Z., Liu, Y., Xu, H., He, L., & Chen, Y. (2013). Clinical study on treatment of osteoporosis with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 33(6), 794-798.
Ma, Y.Q., Dong, J., Cui, X.Y., Wang, J.F., Li, J.L., Li, X.L., & Ma, X.Y. (2019). Acupuncture improves bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteopenia: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 12(1), 7-13