By Li Zheng
Linda Yamamoto is an 84-year old Japanese-American lady who received acupuncture from Boston Acupuncture Clinic for the past 9 years. She stayed at home until her youngest child went to high school. Then she started working for the government as an accountant. She has been very social, active, and happy. She donated money to a foundation to help Asian college students in need. She does not travel a lot, giving her time to participate in many kinds of social activities in the Boston area. Her husband drives her around. She gets upset when her husband forgets to pick her up, and rarely complains.
Good Genes Do Not Guarantee Good Health
Linda has inherited good genes from her mother, who lived to 98 years old without any health insurance. But these good genes do not protect Linda from getting sick. She developed a hypothyroid condition when she turned 40 after delivering her third child. She started taking Synthroid for her thyroid condition. After a few years on thyroid medication, she developed atrial fibrillation (AF). She then took a β-blocker and two other medications for her heart condition. Her heartbeats slowed down with the medications but never became normal.
HRT treatment (hormone replacement therapy) brought dreams to many post-menopausal women. They thought they could regain their youth by taking this magic pill. Linda tried it at the age of 68 only to see her period return one year later. She thought that was not natural and quit the hormone pill immediately. Her good genes could not protect her in modern society. Linda developed breast cancer at the age of 70 after taking hormone supplements for a year. She had surgery and radiation therapy but did not take Tamoxifen to block her estrogen receptors, thereby retaining muscle strength.
At the age of 80, she stopped working for the government because she realized that the stress was too much for her. She spent more time on social events. She always sleeps eight hours no matter what time she goes to bed. When she went to bed after midnight, her heartbeats would become irregular and her digestion becomes poor. For some time, she attended many social events in the late evenings and had dinner after 7 pm. During that time, her heartbeats were irregular even though she was taking three medications for her condition. I recommended that she stop drinking coffee, have dinner before 7 pm and go to bed before midnight.
Back on Track with a Disciplined Healthy Routine
Linda gradually changed her habits. The heart condition and digestion have been improving for the past couple of years. She went to her cardiologist for routine checkups and eventually stopped all her heart medications at the age of 87. Linda continues to come to see me for acupuncture facial rejuvenation. Her heartbeats are around 55 to 65 without any heart medication. Furthermore, since giving up her medications, the coldness in her hands and feet has decreased, and they do not turn extremely pale during the wintertime.
With her heart condition improved, she started personal training in a gym to tone her muscles. When she first started to lift weights three times a week, she developed knee and hip pain. But because she eats healthy, she did not have any systematic inflammation and her muscle pains were eased with only one to two acupuncture treatments. With acupuncture and exercises, her joint pain and Raynaud’s syndrome do not bother her anymore. Her face looks like a 50-year-old; she still has a sharp memory and never forgets to pay her bills on time. She is still cooking, cleaning, and living in her own house.
In 2016, Linda fell in the bathtub and fractured her thoracic vertebrae, and shrank several inches. I was so sad that she might never be able to continue her acupuncture facial rejuvenation. Because Linda has been exercising her whole life, she was able to recover from the bad fall within 2 months. She came back for her routine acupuncture 3 months after her fall and told me that she has developed more wrinkles on one side of the face. When we met in the waiting room, she said she would like me to use acupuncture to reduce those wrinkles. A few of my patients, who were in the waiting room, were so impressed with her facial skin and muscle tone. They thought she looked like 60 years old when the reality was that she was 93 years old.
Dr. Li Zheng, Ph.D. is a licensed acupuncturist & herbalist with a Ph.D. in medical science. Graduate of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine who practiced as a physician in China, she has 26 years of experience. In addition, she is also a professor and clinical supervisor of the New England School of Acupuncture, a consultant for Health Grid Inc., and author of two books, “Acupuncture and Hormone Balance” and “Chinese Acupuncture and Herbs for Common Diseases”. Her website is https://bostonchineseacupuncture.org/.