The search for a Fountain of Youth has eluded mankind for millennia. You may find, however, that acupuncture can help you feel and look younger, regardless of your chronological age.
As one might suspect, acupuncture's anti-aging benefits begin at the skin, from the moment the needles are inserted. According to research, the twisting of the needles at the insertion points creates an immediate stimulation of the circulatory and lymphatic channels. This in turn helps cells receive proper nourishment and protection against disease while maintaining the skin's natural elasticity for a more youthful look. On a deeper level, periodic acupuncture can help prevent minor physical and nervous imbalances from making people feel old and weak before their time.
Even when the damage of time has been done, acupuncture can mitigate the symptoms. As people age, they frequently experience a host of painful or limiting disorders associated with years of wear and tear on the body. Acupuncture can restore lost function and range of motion in these individuals by providing drug-free pain relief -- an important consideration for seniors on multiple medications who worry about possible interactions. For instance, many doctors list acupuncture as an effective treatment option for the degenerative spinal diseases and disorders which may grow worse with age. Acupuncture is also widely used for relieving pain and improving function for people with osteoarthritis, a common age-related disorder.
Acupuncture's influence on the aging process may even extend to the genetic level. A recent study on animals showed that the strategic insertion of acupuncture needles over an 8-month period altered the expression of two genes, HSP84 and HSP86, both of which are associated with brain aging. Results indicated that acupuncture can reduce or control these genes' grip over the aging brain by reducing the rate of cell death (apoptosis) and damage from oxidation, supporting a more "youthful" brain.
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National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Study on expression of brain aging-relative genes HSP86 and HSP84 and effects of acupuncture in the SAMP10 mouse."
Park, Dr. Jongbae. "How Acupuncture & Acupressure Help Ensure a Healthy Aging Cycle." UNC School of Medicine.
Yarborough, L.Ac., Charles. "The Acupuncture Facelift: Fact or Fiction?"