Maintaining Bone Health
Bone health is critical to allow for our freedom of movement, protecting organs, and storing minerals (calcium, phosphorus). Maintaining bone integrity is a dynamic process. Our body continually breaks down old bone and builds new. With age, we lose bone density and more serious issues like osteoporosis occur when we are losing more bone tissue than what we are generating. Here are some ways to support the strength of your bones.
Lifestyle choices and prevention
Prevention is crucial to avoid osteoporosis and other degrees of bone deterioration. Bone density declines naturally with aging, but hormone balancing, proper nutrition, and exercise can decrease our risk.
Moving your body against gravity signals your body to stimulate bone growth. So enjoy your favorite weight bearing activity....walk, jog, hike, or dance.
Other types of bone building activities such as strength training, yoga, and Pilates can support bones and improve balance and flexibility to prevent falls.
Be sure to include: Calcium is critical for bone density, but it also requires magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C for calcium absorption.
Limit: Certain foods and habits can prevent your body from absorbing calcium. Keep these to a minimum: coffee, alcohol, tobacco, sodium, sugar, refined flour, pesticides, marijuana. Too much protein can also leech calcium.
Best veggie source of calcium: soybeans, almonds, broccoli, tahini sauce, dried figs
Best seafood sources of calcium: sardines, crab, scallops, salmon
Check your prescription medication. Ongoing use of certain medications like corticosteroids, SSRI antidepressants, heartburn medication, and thyroid supplements can cause bone density loss.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Prevention is critical to maintaining skeletal strength. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used to help slow the progression of bone density loss.
Ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine texts addressed what was called bone wilting. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine bone health is connected to the kidney organ system. The kidneys have many functions which includes the growth, development, and repair of the skeletal system. It is considered a powerhouse of the body's energy reserves and critical for overall vitality. As this organ system weakens and becomes burdened with age, acupuncture treatments can help boost bone strength and mineral levels.
Research trials have shown that acupuncture combined with moxibustion, "moxa" (non-direct burning of mugwart) can improve and maintain bone metabolism and increase bone density. Herbal Formulas: A formula like Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang with angelica has been shown to reduce inflammation, decrease bone erosion, and increase bone and cartilage growth.