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I need some positive anecdotes and suggestions for improving bone density  RSS feed

 
Judith Browning
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I'm at that age where I got my first bone density test and it wasn't good. Because it is my first, I have no way to know if this is 'normal' for me or if it is a recent occurrence......I spent a week on IV's this winter and 3 or 4 weeks of not much activity after that and have learned that that can cause bone loss also. I'm eating lots of greens, yogurt and a calcium citrate/D supplement, homemade saurkraut and bone broth as often as I can get a good chicken.....no coffee since the surgery, just 2-3 cups of green tea a day...I'm back much more active than this winter, but not walking the miles that I used to...anyone with more ideas? thoughts? can you increase bone density with diet and exercise?
 
Michael Cox
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Judith - I read a book recently call "The Vitamin D Solution". A VERY interesting read which might help you.

One of the big points from the book is that the typical vitamin D supplement is way way too low. The RDAs were set at the minimum level to prevent the most grotesque deficiency symptoms (ie rickets). You can now get much larger daily doses than come in typical supplement pills if you by them as a Vit D only supplement.

Another was that your calcium levels in later life are largely set by your calcium levels when you are younger. The author described it as a bank that you deposit into in your youth then withdraw from as you age.
 
Bill McGee
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I've heard the astronauts bones demineralize while in space (and I assume remineralize over time when they return and do weight bearing exercise)

I would think all exercise is good, but the best is weight bearing of walking, dancing, playing (and jogging and jumping if your body is up to it)

Balance exercises and stretching also help to prevent falls and resulting broken bones.

Magnesium and phosphorous in the right measure may also play a role.

Best of luck
 
Penny Dumelie
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Vit. D affects how calcium is absorbed from the bloodstream, into the bones. Foods like fish oils, egg yolk, butter, and liver can all help with this.

Vit. C and magnesium are important for our body to absorb and make use of calcium so eat lots of fruits and veggies (they also increase our alkaline ph in the body which helps to fight disease).

If you take supplements, you may want to take smaller doses more times through the day as opposed to one tablet with a higher dose. Calcium and other minerals are only used in small amounts, a bit at a time, and the rest is wasted, not stored.

Nettles and red clover are supposed to be high in calcium.

The following blend is recommended for healthy bones: red clover, nettle, oat straw, chickweed (Stellaria media) and raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus). Mix a handful of each in a large jar, fill with hot water and let steep for four hours, then strain and drink as a tea.

- This is all info I had copied from an article I read. Possibly from Mother Earth magazine or Underground Health. I haven't tried the blend and I'm not a nurse or someone who has medical background.
 
Judith Browning
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Thank you all.......... as usual, good advice from this group of folks
I am just going to go with a variety of things (I have many of the herbs mentioned in my cupboard) and also add more vit. D. I have avoided the sun for quite a few years because of recent actinic keratosis from too many past sunburns. I think I probably have not had enough vit D for a number of years. I only in the past few years began taking a very small vit D supplement. I really thought (or at least hoped) I was getting everything I needed from my diet.
It has got me back into a modified yoga routine and more deliberate walking excursions.

 
Mariamne Ingalls
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Hi Judith -

I suggest you request a vit D test from your doctor. Then, with the results, (s)he would be able to recommend / prescribe a level of vit D for you to take, if needed, based on that. And what my doctor recommends for supplementation, now, for healthy people during the winter in the northern US, is more than I would have guessed. I have no medical training, either. This is based on conversations with my doctor, when I asked about bone heatlh.

Mariamne
 
John Tyler
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You might want to look at your diet as it pertains to your blood acidity (PRAL).
Diets that are high in the proteins methionine and cystine cause increased blood acidity as the body breaks these proteins down.
As your body has to keep the blood acid/base balance within a fairly narrow range it does so by allowing the release of
calcium and magnesium from your bones. Americans consume on average more than twice the recommended amount
of protein in our diets. It is probable that our diets greatly contribute to the rampant amount of osteoporosis and kidney stones
that we get, as our bodies try to compensate for eating to much protein. As methionine and cystine are primarily found in animal products (meat and dairy)
limiting their consumption may help.

Another way to drastically lower methionine levels is through Intermittent Fasting. But there is still much that is unknown about the mechanisms at work.


There are also hormonal therapies that can aid in increasing bone density but they are
expensive and have allot of side effects.

You can use a inexpensive yet very capable software site cronometer.com to track your diet and see if you need to change it. PRAL is one of the diet balances that it tracks.
I hope this helps.

For further reading

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_Health
 
sean cruz
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I actually have quite a bit to share with you on this topic.

Bone loss is usually due to a poor diet. What constitutes a poor diet you might ask, a typical american diet and a typical "healthy" diet are both equally poor. The problem is a result of malnourishiment.

What is missing is the right kind of Vitamin D, the right kind of Vitamin A and the right kind of Vitamin K. It is normally not because you don't have enough calcium. These three vitamins together control how calcium is used within the body.

How is diet involved then? Several things including toxins in the food, too many vegetables, the wrong kind of meat (or none at all) and a damaged gut causing mal-absorption of nutrients.

The solution can be difficult but it is:
1. eliminate processed food from the diet
2. eat gut healing foods such as home made bone broths and egg yolks
3. eat probiotic foods like home made yogurt, kefir and fermented vegetables
4. restrict or eliminate refined carbohydrate consumption like wheat flour and sugar
5. eat the foods that contain high amounts of the above mentioned nutrients

Item 5 is possibly the MOST IMPORTANT step you can do. These nutrients are found almost exclusively in fatty animal tissues. This is why everyone is low in Vit D for example, too many vegetarian and low fat diets. Why animal fats? Because these are the oil soluble versions of these nutrients. Plants only contain the water soluble versions, and these are also incomplete and must be converted by your gut into the oil soluble and human usable version. Unfortunately this conversion is often inadequate at best, and if you gut is messed up it might not be happening at all.

Dark meat and skin (like chicken) contain 10x these nutrients than lean meats do. Fruits and vegetables contain ZERO. If you really want to heal, it's organ meats that you need: goose liver, pork heart, calf liver, etc. At least once a week, preferably 2-3 times a week until you start feeling better. Additionally these MUST be from grass-fed pastured animals. Industrial raised animals feed inadequate diets without sunshine and access to fresh pasture might be very fatty, but they are also highly deficient in these nutrients as well.

To find local sources for these foods contact your local Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. If you have difficulty with that let me know (i am the chapter leader in Spokane).

Good luck I would be interested in hearing how you ultimately try to solve this.
 
August Hurtel
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Look into vitamin K2. It works with Vitamin d and encourages bone density. Carlsons makes a 5mg pill. I've seen a few suggestions that absorptions rates are higher if you take it with food. Be aware that most brands sell pills that are dosed in the microgram range, which may be a good preventative dose, but isn't very helpful for what you are trying to do.

If you want whole foods, there's the cod live oil and butter oil combination the folks at the Weston A. Price foundation. I've also heard foie gras has a pretty substantial dose, and I would assume other livers would as well.
 
chad Christopher
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Everything Sean said. With my addition of: fennel seed extract. And you can buy ferment starter cultures that are known to produce higher levels of k2. Is there anything fermented food doesn't do? I honestly just think technology changed too rapidly. Refrigeration got rid of fermented foods, evolution didn't have a chance to catch up. After all, fermented foods were man made, so it's not right to say nature intended for us to eat them. But we sure have been eating fermented foods much longer than refrigerated foods.
 
Elisha Monger
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There are some misunderstandings of the role of Vitamin D that I feel need to be clarified. Vitamin D is NOT, repeat NOT, a bone builder. The role of D is increasing the holding capacity of calcium in the bloodstream. If calcium is available in food then D aids absorbtion into the bloodstream from the gut. If calcium is not sufficient in the diet or if D is overdosed then calcium is pulled from bone and other tissues into the blood. There is a different fat soluble nutrient (called Vitamin F by Dr. Royal Lee) that is in a whole food form of Vitamin E that contributes to distribution of calcium into tissues. So while D is important, taking the megadoses (50,000 IU doses are common from medical doctors) is potentially just as damaging as not having enough. As a side note, F helps protect against sunburn by reducing loss and aiding replentishment of calcium that is pulled out of skin during sun exposure and D formation.
 
Dawn Montague
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David Winston has an effective formula for improving bone density, along with dietary recommendations here (http://www.herbalist-alchemist.com/item/David-Winstons-OsteoHerb-795). I am not posting the link to advertise his formulas, and I try not to buy ready-made formulas anymore. I try to make them myself instead. But this will give you an idea of some things that will help. Horsetail herb is especially good for rebuilding strength in teeth. The black pepper acts like a catalyst to help you absorb other herbs and nutrients more easily.
 
Jill Emerson
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Silicon is a trace mineral that has recently been recognized as playing a role in the growth of new bone, and in this article from the NIH: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658806/ there has been found "strong positive associations between dietary Si intake and bone mineral density in US and UK cohorts". It's fairly easy to order oat straw on the internet, and to make an extract. Extract of oat straw is high in silicon. Here's how: One part oat straw, two parts white wine, 1/8 part salt, mixed in blender for 4 minutes. Strain. Preserve resulting liquid in 100 proof vodka, and take two eyedroppers full of extract daily. Tastes yucky and vverrrryyy salty, but is easily absorbed and utilized. Some salt seems to enhance the absorption of silicon. Food sources of silicon are whole grains, nuts, dried fruit, red wine and beer. Always eat something salty when having beer to enhance silicon absorption - not too hard, as salty snacks are often served with beer - wonder why!

I theorize that a lack of whole grains in our diet has lead to silicon deficiency. Too much calcium makes bones strong but brittle, silicon seems to enhance flexibility of bones, along with assisting density as quoted above.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Ohh I like the oat straw stuff tincture. I'm going to make some! Horse tail, Equisetum sp is also silicone rich. Many local health food stores, or herb stores sell oat straw and equisetum. You could also grow your own oat straw on mineral rich soil.

This is a great thread, and an important issue.

It is fine to include information from the medical industries in any health concern, but this is one of many issues they do not understand.

I am glad to see input from the Weston A Price Foundation. If at all possible get a look at the photographs he took documenting the results of a switch to the industrial/modern diet. In one generation facial bone structure radically changed, following the introduction of refined foods. Tooth decay showed up, where formerly teeth healed themselves. There is no exaggerating how extensive the degradation of human health was, related to refining of foods.

Calcium metabolism is complex, as others have stated, maintaining the pH of the blood, for one thing. The calcium phosphorus ratio is also an important factor. A high intake of phosphorous (phosphoric acid in soda pop) erodes calcium somehow. I wish I could give a detailed account of how they are related, but it is more important than the calcium magnesium ratio in the soil. When I have questions about human physiology, I ask a friend of mine who is very knowledgeable (PhD). It is always about not eating refined foods, not swallowing handfuls of pill salad, but eating nutrient dense unrefined foods.

When it comes to vitamin D, my bias is, the best is the stuff your body makes through exposure to sunlight. Sunscreen is much touted, and little tested for long term effects. I don't use it, though I farm outdoors in arid high elevation conditions where the sun is very bright. I wear long sleeves and a shade hat and get reflected light on my skin. I try to take a break in the mid day, when the sun is the strongest, but don't always make it. As a creature of this earth, I was born to interact directly with sunlight.

Our physiology is so complex, our homeostasis so finely tuned so inter-related among the organ systems, with so many internal feedback loops, my bias is that no one could possibly tune us better with drugs. It seems hubris personified for practitioners to prescribe things to adjust one facet or another. We have to trust life itself, and give up the idea that we can ignore what our bodies need, and take pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals to make up for the differences, and go ahead and pursue the self gratification and convenience of fast food, refined food, junk food.

When our industrialized diet makes us ill, industry is making a profit. We have been primed to support the profit making efforts of the "health care" industries. All the while sacrificing the quality of our own lives. Then we pursue further comfort measures to compensate ourselves for the loss of quality of life.

I apologize for the preachiness, the tirade, the negativity. Humanity is in between a rock and a hard place at the interface between our health, human community, the ability of our planet to continue to sustain us and a profit based ideology.

We ARE all just walking each other home, and I hope we can find the way. My best suggestions: eat a diet of nutrient dense unrefined foods. Try for 90 %. Transitioning slowly if you are way off the mark. If you try for any more or try to transition too fast, it will be difficult to make the switch as you re learn all your eating habits, and hard to sustain because so many facets of our lives center around shared food traditions. The mineral rich foods and herbs listed above are a good idea. Cholesterol is the Vitamin D precursors. Eat healthy nutrient dense eggs (flax fed, non GMO fed, grass and pastured chickens) eat HEALTHY animal fats (cream, cheese, yogurt), if possible find a local small herd share dairy and know what the cows or goats are eating.

Live an active life! Pursue diverse activities, low impact is good if you are fragile, bicycle, swim, hike, yoga... Weight bearing maintains and shapes bone structure. Think of a new born baby, and the crooked bow legged shape of the lower limbs. When they begin to walk, it is the walking itself, the weight bearing, that shapes the babe's legs into what they become, straight and aligned. Again, work up to an activity level that allows, requires! substantial food intake.

Become aware of your posture and alignment. Some good disciplines are gyrotonic expansion, gyrokinesis, yoga. There are probably others, I just don't know them. Even if you are a cooked little man, as you change how you use your body, your body can change its shape to adapt to the new ways you load your skeleton.

Thekla
 
martha everett
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i agree with a lot of the dietary suggestions. vitamin k2 through raw chard and natto (fermented non-GMO soy) and horsetail to get the highest silica herb.
i would add the high silica and alkalizing content of the mighty cucumber
so delicious at add into smoothies....
and let us not forget about the wonderful weight bearing exercise of qigong and tai chi. lots of studies coming out of the bone density improvement through these ancient practices.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Judith you deserve some serious apple love for this great thread.

I went looking for information for you at youtube and came across two great videos discussing this important topic. I also picked up a Prevention magazine and saw two things, lack of zinc and too much salt.

The first video was Dr. Oz doing a show and tell on a healthy and unhealthy spine. Mentioned our need of A B C D E VITAMINS.



Second video was two physical therapists showing three important exercises.



Edited by moderator to embed videos
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Regarding silica, I think horsetail is several orders of magnitude more dense with the stuff than oatstraw. I couldn't find info on oatstraw but horsetail is nearly %25 silica by dry weight.

I soak it in water in the fridge and then chew on it and drink the "broth"--its tasty. supplementing it because of needing to repair something specific, but I think it can't hurt for people in general to supplement it a bit, it's not likely we're getting it excess.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I almost didn't watch the videos, but I'm glad I did! I happen to have suffered a torn meniscus just a couple of days ago, and those exercises look like they would help me!

Thanks for posting them
T
 
Mike Feddersen
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The exercises are so simple but the effectiveness can easily be understood. I had explained the first in my first post only to have it lost because I type so slow on my phone that the site software threw me a curve.
,,,,,
I think the first exercise reminds me of a crosscountry skiier, stand on one leg with other slightly behind, opposite side arm reaching for the stars. Switch sides. It is showed with weights, too. Wall push ups, too ez? Do the floor kind. Walking. Practice good posture.
 
Jackie Neufeld
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After I turned 55 my bone density had gone down to osteoporosis. I learned about getting my hormones tested via a saliva test at a lab in Seattle. I have been taking natural progesterone cream, cal/mag/vit D, and exercising more by walking. My next bone density test got me out of the danger zone. I am still working on bringing it back up so am very happy.
 
Judith Browning
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You folks are amazing! So much information...I am still digesting it and looking for what I think will work for me. This is one of those things that would be easier to avoid than to 'fix' after the fact....much of what has been shared here would benefit anyone at any age thank you all !!!



 
Thekla McDaniels
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Judith,
Thanks for asking the question that started this wonderful thread. How could it help but benefit all who read it? I've gained some new exercises, among other things. I love it that these threads remain for future reference.
If you find yourself intrigued by the celebrity doctor's comments about the importance of the cell membrane, I think he called it "the brain of the cell" take a look at a book called "The Biology of Belief" written by Bruce Lipton in the late 90s (I think). He is the first person I know of to introduce the idea of the importance of the cell membrane, its functions being more powerful than DNA in determining physiological functioning. It also makes it clear WHY the right fats are so important. To get published it, he had to self publish. I think you may be able to listen to it as an audio book if that's easier for you.

He is a "hard science" man with a talent for explaining to the non-hard science population. Taught in medical schools for many years. His ideas were radical 20 years ago, and now the celebrity doctor is promoting them.

I like to imagine the bones being sculpted by my movements, by my mental imagery itself as I maintain focus. It helps me maintain an awareness of posture and alignment. I had to have xrays of my knees earlier this week and was so delighted to see my beautiful bones. I would not expose myself to radiation just to see their shape and form, but since they had to take them (torn meniscus, sudden excruciating pain, had to crawl home), I asked them to send me copies, which I have emailed to everyone I could convince myself might have the slightest interest. Also, at 64, I was glad to hear the young MD say there is not the slightest sign of arthritis.

In addition to everything else you do, dream of strong and beautiful bones, love your strong dense bones while you work and play. This is an important part of it. Do you already know that your body changes, swaps out molecules of this and that all day and all night, at a rate such that in ~ 7 years, maybe less, you are "all" newly made? That's an inspiring image for me, and I like to think it does n ot have to be an exact replica of my former structure.

Hope your recalcification process goes well!

Thekla
 
Mike Feddersen
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Thank you to the moderator for fixing my videos, they might actually get watched now.
.
Judith maybe this could be your next book benefiting mankind. I remember a couple authors that had each chapter guest-hosted by a somewhat famous , in their circle of influence. You get to put your name on it because you compiled it and put in your story. Stories tell and sell.
.
"Your Back to the Future" A guide to heal and a road map to follow. by Judith Browning
.
(Love that title so much I almost kept it to myself. lol)
 
August Hurtel
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I forgot to add the most important thing- use your bones. I know this is the scary part, but if you want them strong, you actually have to lift heavy things. You can start light, but progress towards heavier things, relative to your strength. Lifting heavy things provides the signal to your cells that you need stronger bones.

Additionally, I want to note I have not found vegetable source of vitamin K to be very helpful. Animal sources appear to be the most bioavailable, and you get other benefits, like better skin. With a vegetable based product, all I got was weird pain in my teeth.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi bone people,
I just got Paul Stamet's "Mycelium Running" from the library. I was leafing through last night, haven't read it yet, and found amazing vitamin D figures. It depends on the species of mushroom of course. If Shitakes are sun dried with the gills up, exposed to the sunlight, there are HUGE amounts of vitamin D. If dried eithout exposure to direct sunlight, they have almost none. You might be able to get some info in an online search.

I guess it is one more reason to grow your own mushrooms, or get to know a local mushroom grower! If you are going to grow your own, (my plan) the book is full of "how to and why to"s. Two other good grow your own mushroom books are Trad Cotters and another Stamets.

There is good info on line, but I have been getting the library books because it is easier for me to understand, and all the information is in one place, and all that.

Thekla
 
Elisha Monger
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Judith,
Thanks for asking the question that started this wonderful thread. How could it help but benefit all who read it? I've gained some new exercises, among other things. I love it that these threads remain for future reference.
If you find yourself intrigued by the celebrity doctor's comments about the importance of the cell membrane, I think he called it "the brain of the cell" take a look at a book called "The Biology of Belief" written by Bruce Lipton in the late 90s (I think). He is the first person I know of to introduce the idea of the importance of the cell membrane, its functions being more powerful than DNA in determining physiological functioning. It also makes it clear WHY the right fats are so important. To get published it, he had to self publish. I think you may be able to listen to it as an audio book if that's easier for you.

He is a "hard science" man with a talent for explaining to the non-hard science population. Taught in medical schools for many years. His ideas were radical 20 years ago, and now the celebrity doctor is promoting them.

I like to imagine the bones being sculpted by my movements, by my mental imagery itself as I maintain focus. It helps me maintain an awareness of posture and alignment. I had to have xrays of my knees earlier this week and was so delighted to see my beautiful bones. I would not expose myself to radiation just to see their shape and form, but since they had to take them (torn meniscus, sudden excruciating pain, had to crawl home), I asked them to send me copies, which I have emailed to everyone I could convince myself might have the slightest interest. Also, at 64, I was glad to hear the young MD say there is not the slightest sign of arthritis.

In addition to everything else you do, dream of strong and beautiful bones, love your strong dense bones while you work and play. This is an important part of it. Do you already know that your body changes, swaps out molecules of this and that all day and all night, at a rate such that in ~ 7 years, maybe less, you are "all" newly made? That's an inspiring image for me, and I like to think it does n ot have to be an exact replica of my former structure.

Hope your recalcification process goes well!

Thekla


I have had the honor of meeting and listening to Bruce Lipton speak live on a couple of occasions. His work was one of the resources that helped me not swallow the dogma that I heard in the classrooms and analize what I hear and read for what makes sense. In more recent years, I have also seen him linked to the electric universe movement, a growing group of scientists shattering many of the long held dogmas in science.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Ah, you know more of him than I do. I think very highly of him and his view of how things work.

Thekla
 
R Scott
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Great advice so far.

One thing to avoid: FLUORIDE! It displaces calcium in bone structure and makes it more dense per tests, but brittle and less strong. It is becoming almost impossible to avoid, but eliminate all you can. It shows up in raw milk if the dairy is on municipal water. It is in many locally grown fruits and veg because they are watered with municipal water. But it is a poison that does nothing good inside your body.
 
Bill Puckett
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I've heard the astronauts bones demineralize while in space (and I assume remineralize over time when they return and do weight bearing exercise)


I bought a whole body vibration machine (VibraTrim VT400, now the VT500) back in 2011 for $1,500. One of the main benefits of WBV can be improved bone density. Here is a NASA story on vibration from 2001. My research indicated the US began training its astronauts with WBV prior to the story in order to survive in space as long as the Russians, who caught on first.

The vibrator also provides many other benefits. Lymphatic Vibration dot com is where I learned a great deal.
 
Bill Puckett
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I also built the near infrared chicken brooder lamp pallet sauna around the vibrator workout station.
 
James clifford
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tony robbins has experts in teh field of bone density that a could regimen with a quality re bounder is one of best methods to build strength in bones- without stress- plus a lot of other benefits-
it gives you a substantial work out that will signify a bodily response to rebuild and or stegthen the ENTIRE SKELETAL SYSTEM/

stuff like boniva which is practically drain cleaner- will harden bones but they will be brittle like glass.

calcium in milk is negated by the sugars in milk-- doesn't matter organic or monsanic-- its just teh chemical reactions that kills calcium absorption from milk

adding DE diatomaceous earth to diet may help-- research this

dr. peter egoscue is the a world leader in body alignment- he builds teh bodily muscles to correct posture
most chiropractors manipulate the bones into position which they stay for a short time- but will pop back out of alignment because the muscles are too week -- this equals job security for chiropractor
 
Thekla McDaniels
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James clifford wrote:tony robbins has experts in teh field of bone density that a could regimen with a quality re bounder is one of best methods to build strength in bones- without stress- plus a lot of other benefits-


dr. peter egoscue is the a world leader in body alignment- he builds teh bodily muscles to correct posture
most chiropractors manipulate the bones into position which they stay for a short time- but will pop back out of alignment because the muscles are too week -- this equals job security for chiropractor


I don't know what the first part means. is "could regimen" a typo?

and re bone manipulation by chiropractors, which requires readjustment, it is also muscle spasm, or confused routing of load by CNS that makes the bones not stay aligned. This is also addressed by the disciplines of Gyrotonic Expansion, and Gyrokinesis, restorative therapeutic movement systems best known in the field of dance.
 
James clifford
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:
James Clifford wrote:Tony Robbins has experts in the field of bone density that a GOOD regimen with a quality re bounder is one of best methods to build strengthen bones- without stress- plus a lot of other benefits-


dr. peter egoscue is a world leader in body alignment- he builds the bodily muscles to correct posture- which holds the bones and stuff in proper alignment. which reduces pain and promotes overall heath as all systems are a part of a total system .
most chiropractors manipulate the bones into position which they stay for a short time- but will pop back out of alignment because the muscles are too week -- this equals job security for chiropractor


I don't know what the first part means. is "could regimen" a typo?

and re bone manipulation by chiropractors, which requires readjustment, it is also muscle spasm, or confused routing of load by CNS that makes the bones not stay aligned. This is also addressed by the disciplines of Gyrotonic Expansion, and Gyrokinesis, restorative therapeutic movement systems best known in the field of dance.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Ah, I see. Perhaps I could have figured that out myself.

Thanks James.

Thekla

 
James clifford
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I should type better in the dark!!
 
Jennifer Richardson
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My mom has been on Evista (Raloxifene) for osteoporosis for a while now, and has been looking into more natural solutions to improve her bone density. This thread gives me a lot to work with! One thing that I didn't see mentioned here but that I've seen elsewhere are weighted vests to wear/exercise in such as these:

http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/weightvest.aspx

Does anyone have any experience/knowledge of these to share? The website says:

Research documents the benefits of wearing and exercising using a weighted vest. When women who wore and exercised with the vest were compared to control groups that did not, the difference in bone mass and other indices of hip fracture risk were dramatic.


with the following citation:

Snow CM, Shaw JM, Winters KM, Witzke KA. Long-term Exercise Using Weighted Vests Prevents Hip Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2000;55(9):M489-491. Shaw JM Snow CM. Weighted vest exercise improves indices of fall risk in older women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1998; 53(1):M53-58.

The website also claims that the vest is a way to "Naturally increase your bone density and avoid the hazards associated with bone density medication" and that it "Provides weight–bearing exercise without going to the gym" because it can be worn "to go shopping, to clean the house, to pay bills, to cook, and to exercise."

Frankly, it would be a lot easier to get my mom to wear a weighted vest for a few hours a day than to consistently do weight bearing exercise or overhaul her diet (not that she is unwilling to change--she's actually very willing--but she has trouble sorting the wheat from the chaff with all the conflicting advice out there (Weston A. Price, vegan diet advocates, Dr. Oz, Dr. Fuhrman, mainstream dieticians and doctors, etc.) and is leery of downing a bunch of supplements or eating "controversial" things (such as lots of animal fats, eggs yolks, etc.). She does take a Vitamin D supplement currently.

I am curious if anyone has tried these weighted vests or has heard anything that would discourage their use?
 
R Scott
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Weighted vests and wrist/ankle weights used during normal activities are a great way to strengthen bone and muscle, for any age. They have to FIT RIGHT or they are uncomfortable at best and potentially damaging at worst.

You don't need to spend crazy money to get a little weight, anyone that can see can add pockets to a vest to hold sand or water bottles. To get lots of weight without bulk does mean you probably need to spend quite a bit. Even buying bulk shotgun shot costs a lot when we are talking non lead, it is cheaper to buy than DIY at that point.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Thank you, R Scott! That is very helpful. I will try a little DIY to start with and see if she can/will wear it regularly before spending money on a weightier option.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Jennifer,

I never htought of weighted vests before, but that would make all activities "weight bearing", for the parts of the body supporting the weight. So, a weighted belt would only benefit below the waist, because that is what is doing the load bearing. Wrist weights would get forearms on up, and then shoulders on down, unless a person is seated, in which case the waist down would not benefit. See what I mean?

Seems like you would want to start very slowly with someone who has already lost bone mass. But you could start small and work up, both in amount of weight, and in length of time a person is wearing them.

A person could use hand held weights and do arm and shoulder exercises while seated in a chair, too. That would begin to get the spine. Learn about the "crush" fractures that happen to people's vertebrae. It would be possible to crush fracture vertebrae with too much weight added too soon to the spine.

I think you could also shear off the ball of the hip joint by adding too much weight above the joint, if the bone has already decalcified significantly.

Research Vitamin D. Maybe your mother needs to be in the sun outdoors a few minutes a day, then increase the time. Starting in the shade to prevent sunburn will still expose her to the sun's radiation, which stimulates the body to make vitamin D. I am not sure what all the building blocks are for vitamin D, but I think cholesterol is one of them. If your mother is on a "prudent diet", low fat, liquid oils as opposed to solid naturally occurring ones like butter (YUM) and full fat yogurt, and sour cream, and bacon, you might consider reading "Big Fat Surprise", an eye opening book about how the "prudent diet" originated, and how even the research that was done to try to support it did not bear out the theory. It's fully researched and documented. It is troubling information, in that many of the ills our population struggle with originated in this ill conceived strategy. Maybe your mother would read it herself.

I wish her good health and the return of her strong bones!

Thekla
 
R Scott
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DEFINITELY want to start slow and ease into it! And discuss it with your doctor if you have any concerns or issues.
 
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