Revitalize and Rejuvenate: A Comprehensive Guide to Fighting Inflammaging

Inflammaging is the chronic, low-grade inflammation that stealthily progresses as we age, without an acute infection or apparent reason. This persistent inflammatory state is thought to significantly contribute to the development of various age-related diseases as well as skin aging, making it important for interventions aimed at promoting health and longevity.

The good news is there are lots of healthy choices we can make everyday to slow the inflammaging process including having a proper diet, exercise, stress management, and avoiding toxins. 

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used for thousands of years as a part of Chinese medicine anti aging therapies. This blog post examines what is inflammaging, lifestyle changes that reduce inflammation, as well as a deep look at acupuncture and facial acupuncture for their anti-aging benefits through their ability to reduce inflammation and promote natural healing. 

What is Inflammaging?

Inflammaging is a term that encapsulates the complex relationship between inflammation and aging. Inflammaging includes a broad spectrum of chronic diseases commonly linked with aging—such as cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, and the aging of the skin—that all stem from a shared foundation of inflammation. 

This form of inflammation differs significantly from the body’s immediate inflammatory response to infections or injuries. Instead, inflammaging is characterized by its low-grade, persistent nature, gradually accumulating over the years during the process of aging that typically goes unnoticed until it manifests as various serious health issues.

Inflammaging accelerates the wear and tear of tissues, disrupts normal cellular functions, and triggers the decline in physiological resilience, making recovery from health issues more challenging. 

What causes inflammaging? 

The mechanisms driving inflammaging are complex, involving factors like genetic predispositions, the accumulation of cellular damage, changes in the microbiome, and lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress levels.

Central to inflammaging is the role of the immune system. As we age, the immune system undergoes a process called immunosenescence, which is characterized by a decline in the immune response and a simultaneous increase in the production of pro-inflammatory signals. This paradoxical state contributes to the body’s inability to resolve inflammation effectively, allowing inflammaging to take root and contribute to the cascade of aging-related pathologies.

healthy foods

How to fight inflammaging?

Managing inflammaging has become a focal point for interventions aimed at extending healthspan—the period of life spent in good health. There are many things you can incorporate to help reduce chronic inflammation. 

  1. Adopt an Anti-inflammatory diet: Research has demonstrated that alterations in diet can lead to a decrease in inflammatory markers within the bloodstream, highlighting the important influence of dietary habits in regulating inflammation.
  2. Regular Physical Activity: Exercise has been shown to lower inflammation levels. It is nice to get a mix of different types of physical activities like walking, swimming, yoga, and tai chi. Exercise, it does a body good. 
  3. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can exacerbate inflammaging. Practices such as meditation and deep breathing exercises help to reduce stress levels and calm the nervous system.
  4. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years for age related conditions and has been shown to modulate the inflammatory response. 
acupuncture on back

Acupuncture and Its Effects on Inflammation

Acupuncture has long been touted as an effective natural treatment for reducing inflammation. This is one of the reasons it is so effective for including chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, and skin conditions. 

Research suggests that acupuncture can modulate the body’s immune system, reducing pro-inflammatory chemicals and enhancing anti-inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, studies have also shown that acupuncture can influence the expression of certain genes related to inflammation.

Moreover, acupuncture is thought to stimulate the release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, leading to pain relief and a sense of well-being. By activating the body’s endogenous opioid system, acupuncture may also dampen the inflammatory response and promote healing.

Anti-Aging Acupuncture

Acupuncture is not just as a treatment for illness but also as a preventive measure to maintain health and vitality but boosting Qi and also reducing inflammation

Acupuncture Benefits for Enhancing Healthspan

  • Reducing Chronic Inflammation: By modulating the immune response and reducing pro-inflammatory markers, acupuncture could potentially slow down the inflammaging process, thereby mitigating the risk of age-related diseases.
  • Improving Circulatory Health: Acupuncture has been observed to improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure, factors that are crucial for maintaining cardiovascular health and preventing age-related decline in organ function.
  • Boosting Immune Function: Regular acupuncture sessions help in maintaining a balanced immune response, which tends to decline with age, thereby enhancing the body’s ability to fight infections and disease.
  • Supporting Holistic Well-Being: Acupuncture calms the mind, supporting mental and emotional well-being through stress reduction and improved sleep patterns, which are integral to maintaining quality of life as one ages.

In Chinese medicine, anti-aging proactices are called Nourishing Life (Yang Sheng). This is aimed not only preventing disease but also extending our healthspan. In addition to acupuncture, this practice includes balancing yin and yang of your diet, mind body exercises, such as Tai Chi and Qigong, meditation, and Chinese medicine therapies. 

Inflammaging and its effects on the skin

Inflammaging can lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, contributing to wrinkles, fine lines, and a loss of firmness as well as damage to the skin barrier. 

The good news is that many of the causes of skin inflammaging are things we can change to improve not just to promote skin health but overall healthspan!  

UV Light

One of the primary contributors to skin inflammaging is exposure to environmental stressors. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is perhaps the most well-known of these, causing direct damage to the skin’s DNA, promoting oxidative stress, and triggering inflammatory responses. Wear adequate sunscreen to protect your skin from UV and blue light damage. 

Diet 

Poor diets, high in processed foods and sugar, can lead to systemic inflammation, affecting the skin’s health and appearance. Try incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet

Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are known to induce oxidative stress and inflammation, further exacerbating skin aging. 

Sleep

Lack of adequate sleep and chronic stress are also implicated in promoting inflammatory processes within the skin, highlighting the importance of holistic health practices in managing skin aging.

Stress

Stress plays a significant role in skin inflammaging, acting as a catalyst for biological processes that exacerbate skin aging. When the body is under stress, it releases cortisol and other stress hormones, which can disrupt the skin’s barrier function and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, contributing to the chronic, low-grade inflammation characteristic of inflammaging. 

Luckily acupuncture is helpful not only for reducing inflammation but also helps to reduce stress, sleep better, and quit smoking too! 

facial acupuncture side

Facial Acupuncture and Inflammaging

Facial acupuncture targets specific points on the face and body aiming to not only to enhance aesthetic appearance but also to address the underlying processes of inflammaging that contribute many of the visible signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and uneven skin tone. 

Facial acupuncture works by stimulating the skin and underlying tissues in the face. This stimulation enhances blood circulation and encourages the production of collagen for improved skin elasticity and firmness. Additionally, acupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation in the entire body and stimulate our natural healing processes. 

woman jumping

Feel Better, Get Acupuncture

Inflammaging is the result of a complex interplay between environmental exposures, lifestyle choices, biological processes, hormonal changes, and genetic and epigenetic factors. This affects our whole body as well as the appearance of our skin. Taking steps towards health aimed at reducing inflammation can help in promoting an improved healthspan.

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing capabilities and provides a unique approach to combating the effects of aging from within. Facial acupuncture offers a natural approach for those seeking to age with grace, vitality, and a sense of harmony within their bodies. 

Please call us at 212-319-5757 to make an appointment. Or you can schedule your appointment online

Joseph Alban

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a Doctor of Acupuncture, New York Licensed Acupuncturist, and NCCAOM Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.

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