Traditional Chinese Medicine for Osteoporosis
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, osteoporosis is mainly caused by weak kidneys and blood stagnation. The strength of the kidney naturally declines as we age. It leads to decreasing in the level of minerals in the bone, weakness of bones, joints and ligaments. In TCM theory, kidneys are in charge of the bones. TCM practitioners believe that the growth, development, repair and senility of the skeleton are closely related to the kidneys.
TCM practitioners believe that losing bone is part of normal aging process. Our body is constantly losing old bones and forming new ones. Blood stagnation can affect the body to produce new bones. Osteoporosis occurs when you lose bones faster than you can form.
Chinese Herbs for Osteoporosis
After identifying the cause of osteoporosis, TCM practitioners will use an herbal formula based on your condition and constitution. For osteoporosis caused by weak kidneys, Qi Bao Mei Ran Wan, an herbal formula can be used. It has been traditionally used to tonify liver and kidneys. It contains herbs include Bai Shao, Bu Gu Zhi, Dang Gui, Fu Ling and He Shou Wu. For osteoporosis caused by blood stagnation, Shu Jing Huo Xie Tang can be used to clear blood stagnation. It contains herbs include Bai Shao, Dang Gui, Chuang Xiong, Shu Di Huang, Tao Ren and more.
Other herbal formulas can also be used to relieve osteoporosis pain. Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang can be used to improve symptom management for stiffness and knee pain. It contains herbs include Du Huo, Sang Ji Sheng, Du Zhong, Niu Xi, Qin Jiao and more. Zuo Gui Wan can be used to reduce soreness in the lower back and knee. It contains herbs include Shu Di, Shan Yao, Gou Qi, Shan Zhu Yu, Chuan Niu Xi and more.
Acupuncture for Osteoporosis
Acupuncture has been widely used for osteoporosis in China. TCM practitioners use acupuncture combined with herbal formula for osteoporosis. A study suggests that acupuncture is effective to increase bone mineral density. There are evidences that show acupuncture could fortify bone strength by amending the mass and mineral density (1).
When applying pressure on the specific acupuncture points, the nerve stimulation works towards building calcitonin, which is responsible for recalcification of bone and reducing bone pain. Another study indicates that acupuncture may help to improve bone metabolism and have effect in relieving osteoporosis.