It is classically thought that around age 28 women are in the prime of their life in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a time of great health and fertility because women have a peak supply of the body’s resources including qi, blood, yin and yang at this age. After age 28 there is a natural slow decline in these resources as the aging process occurs.
When adapting this traditional concept to modern society we need to consider how life expectancy has changed, so this peak supply may come at a different or later time. Even if there wasn’t a difference in life expectancy thinking of 28 as the peak of vitality isn’t accurate for everyone. Some women may have had a lot of stress prior to that age or drained their resources quicker than others without replenishing them with adequate rest and good nutrition. We also all start with an amount of what’s known as prenatal qi given to us from parents. All of these factors can influence an individual’s overall health.
As an acupuncturist what I notice most about treating women in this age group is that it is a time of becoming more proactive about health issues. I find that women feel more comfortable at this age talking about their individual struggles including nagging aches/pains, menstrual issues, and mental health. It is an exciting time too during which some women are considering conceiving and hoping to regulate their cycles so they can do so more easily.
Others may be focusing more on other aspects of their life like career. They may be craving tips and tools to make that lifestyle more sustainable whether that means navigating travel, finding better ergonomic set ups at work, or carving out time for self-care that fits their schedule.
Physically this is an age during which some women will be picking up new hobbies or shedding old ones. Maybe running has become too hard on the knees for long-term runners, or small aches that used to resolve quickly are lingering. It may be time to think about how to make exercise more sustainable for years to come.
As a whole I think women naturally start paying more attention to their health around this age. This makes for an exciting age group to treat because they are enthusiastic about tackling their health concerns and are eager to secure habits that make for better long term health.