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What is Osteoporosis anyway?

Updated: Jan 27

You may have found me because you are interested in taking action to improve your bone health. Or, perhaps, because you have a family member you want to help. Whatever your motivation is for being here, you’re very welcome. For the whole of 2024, I’m going to be focusing a monthly blog on bone health – specifically osteoporosis and osteopenia. I’ll be passing on information on nutrition and including a bone-healthy recipe most months. I’ll be showing you some shiatsu acupressure points that may help, as well as some easy qigong forms you can do to support your overall health and your bones.

 

In this first blog, I want to embark on a crucial exploration with you – the intricacies of osteoporosis and osteopenia. These terms may sound clinical, but their impact on your bone health and your overall health is profound.



Decoding Osteoporosis and Osteopenia: The basics

Osteoporosis and osteopenia are medical terms that mean a reduction in bone density, leaving bones more fragile and susceptible to fractures. It's a silent, usually painless process, often unnoticed until a bone breaks. If you are experiencing pain without fractures, it is more likely to be something else like osteoarthritis and you should seek medical advice and diagnosis.

 

I’m going to try to shed light on osteoporosis and osteopenia so that we understand the significance of supporting and maintaining strong and resilient bones. For much more detail of these conditions, see my website, here.

 

The nutritional foundation for bone health

Nutrition forms the bedrock of bone health. Think of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium as the main building blocks on which your bones depend. Ensuring an adequate supply of these nutrients is akin to providing your bones with essential tools for resilience. We can supplement, of course, but always start with food. We get nutrition from foods that contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals, all working together – not just isolated ones. I’ll go into more detail about this in subsequent blog posts. At the end of this blog is a calcium-boosting breakfast recipe for 2 people.

 

Shiatsu and Qigong: A Holistic Approach

Now, let's pivot to the holistic practices of shiatsu and qigong. Shiatsu is associated with the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and involves targeted pressure points, nurturing your body's equilibrium. The points I am going to suggest today are on the Kidney and Spleen meridians.

 

The following is a written explanation of where to find both points, here is a link to a short video showing them.

  1. Kidney 3 (KI3) - Great Ravine:

  • Location: On the inside of the ankle, in the little dip between the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon.

  • Purpose: KI3 is associated with the Kidney meridian, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered a key organ for bone health. Stimulating KI3 is believed to tonify the Kidney energy, promoting overall vitality and supporting the bones. To stimulate the point, you simply use a thumb or finger and, with a bit of pressure, press into the area for maybe up to 30 seconds. See the video for more information.

 

  1. Spleen 6 (SP6) - Three Yin Intersection:

  • Location: On the inner side of the leg next to the tibia bone, about three finger-widths above the ankle bone.

  • Purpose: SP6 is associated with the Spleen meridian, which plays a role in digestion and nutrient absorption. Stimulating SP6 is believed to enhance overall digestive health, supporting the body in absorption of essential nutrients, including those crucial for bone strength.

 

Of course, you must remember that shiatsu is a complementary practice, and you should always listen to your body and consult with a qualified healthcare professional, especially if you have existing health conditions.

 

Qigong, also a complementary practice, introduces a gentle flow of energy, fostering overall well-being. I have done a short video of a form called Plucking Stars – link here. I often do it for a couple of minutes before eating as it may help calm down the sympathetic nervous system and support the parasympathetic nervous system, thus supporting overall digestion.

 

In the journey toward healthier bones, these practices act as invaluable companions. Join me as we navigate our way through this terrain, supporting your bones to become resilient and stronger.

 

Stay tuned for the next post, where we'll delve into the sunlight vitamin - D - and its pivotal role in bone health. 



With warmth and wellness,

Ettaline


PS. If you want to add even more calcium to this breakfast recipe, then simply add a couple of spoons of full-fat Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt to the bowl when serving.




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