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Anti-Aging Medicine

Posted 02/19/2007

At least once a week, someone asks me about anti-aging therapies. People want to know if there are special supplements, hormones, or injections to keep them youthful. Is there something they’re missing? Will everyone be getting younger while, for them (and them alone) time will march inexorably on?

The concept of anti-aging medicine was invented by two Chicago osteopaths, Drs. Robert Goldman and Robert Klatz. Their organization, the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine, holds two meetings a year, and thousands of physicians attend, many of them dermatologists and plastic surgeons interested in the latest cosmetic surgery advances.

The primary care physicians who attend are curious to see if it’s worthwhile to add an anti-aging component (the buzzword is “module”) to their practices, like giving growth hormone injections. Since anti-aging therapies are never covered by health insurance, patients seeking such therapies are usually well-heeled and pay cash.

To say that the field of anti-aging medicine is controversial is an understatement. The December, 2006, issue of Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine dismisses every therapy with one broad stroke–antioxidants, vitamins, hormones, everything–in an article titled “High Hopes, Little Evidence.” Of course, Goldman and Klatz would counter (and I agree) that the authors chose to review only the negative studies as evidence.

The actual facts are a bit more complex. Here’s the current reality:
• Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you already know that you can speed up aging by neglecting yourself (no exercise, poor diet, smoking, etc.). The opposite holds true: you can definitely slow down aging by practicing a healthful lifestyle.
• The odds are overwhelmingly in your favor that you will live longer and look younger if you eat a healthful diet, reduce fats and sugars, don’t smoke, drink alcohol moderately, and exercise regularly.
• The overall evidence leans in favor of adding a selection of nutritional supplements, namely a good multiple vitamin, an antioxidant mix, and calcium and vitamin D for women.
• Using growth hormones for anti-aging was originally based on a poor study that spun out of control with unwarranted enthusiasm and physicians with dollar signs in their eyes. At present, growth hormone injections remain very expensive and are likely dangerous to use.
• Other hormones, like estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, and pregnenolone, are helpful to relieve certain symptoms when specific deficiencies exist. Long-term use, or taking high doses, can definitely be a health risk.

If you wish to refinance your condo for that longed-for bit of cosmetic surgery, that’s up to you. Needless to say, it’s not related to your internal aging process.


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Finding Unity – Movement & Meditation

Sunday, February 5th
12:00pm to 2:00pm; $40 Registration Fee

Our world is in a constant state of flux and uncertainty. This can cause occasional turmoil in our lives when the fluctuation feels overwhelming. At these moments it is important to pause and reconnect to our true nature, which is to feel safe, content, and whole.  More>>

 

Facial Guasha Class

The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself!

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Your skin will thank you and will look more radiant, smooth and younger!

When: Monday, March 20th, 7-8:30
Where: WholeHealth Chicago, 2265 N. Clybourn Avenue
Cost: $50 includes guasha tool and anti-aging facial oil

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700.

Mari Stecker has practiced acupuncture at WholeHealth Chicago for over 20 years. She offers acupuncture facial rejuvenation as well as treatments for many dermatological conditions including acne, psoriasis and eczema. She also treats a full range of conditions including pain, fertility and allergies.
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