Research demonstrates that acupuncture with Chinese healing massage improves bone metabolism for the prevention of osteoporosis. Researchers compared sixty-four subjects divided into two groups. Group 1 was administered vitamin D with calcium carbonate in oral tablets for a period of 12 weeks. Vitamin D is an essential component for the proper absorption of calcium. Group 2 received acupuncture at acupoints UB40 (Weizhong) and K3 (Taixi) combined with tuina massage on the lower back. Tuina, literally translated as push and grasp, is a type of Chinese medical massage. Acupuncture was administered a total of 30 times over a period of 12 weeks. Both the oral calcium with vitamin D and acupuncture with tuina groups showed similar improvements in the biochemical indices of bone metabolism related to osteoporosis.
Blood analysis measured increases in levels of BGP (bone gla protein) in both the supplement and acupuncture groups. BGP is an important biomarker of bone metabolism. Higher serum levels of BGP indicate greater bone mineral density. Blood analysis also revealed that both the supplement and acupuncture groups had decreases in levels of phoshphorus and urine deoxypyridinoline (DPD). Higher numbers of DPD in the urine indicates a risk for osteoporosis. DPD provides structural integrity to type 1 collagen in bones. High urine DPD is common in post-menopausal women due to lower levels of estrogen. Although phosphorus is an important bone mineral, excess quantities in relation to calcium intake contribute to bone loss.
Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Jan;32(1):13-6. Observation on influence of bone metabolism biochemical indices of senile osteoporosis treated with distant acupuncture and nearby tuina]. Wang T, Pang L, Huang H, Wang WY. Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.