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Osteoporosis

1 Learn

What is osteoporosis?

From an embryo to around the age of twenty five, the skeleton is transformed from soft cartilage to hard bone through a process called Ossification. Bone formation and remodeling is made possible by two types of cells called osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts create bone through secretion of material (deposition), whereas osteoclasts, use enzymes and acid to break down bone (resorption). This process allows bone to stay strong and meet the demands of our environment.

The more movement and weight-bearing our bones get the bigger the demand for our bones to be remodeled. This point is easily illustrated when astronauts travel into space. They have to exercise regularly. Otherwise they will lose bone mass, because there is no gravity creating a weight-bearing force. In weightlessness the osteoblasts lose most of their ability to rebuild bone and effective bone remodeling can no longer take place. In a healthy environment with lots of movement and weight-bearing our bones fully remodel every 7-10 years. So if you’re in your 40’s you have a completely new set of bones compared to your 30’s!

Another reason why bone remodeling occurs is for the release of the much needed calcium from the bones into the body. Our bones are responsible for storing up 99% of calcium, making them essential for our everyday function. “What does calcium have to do with everyday function?” I hear you cry! Well, calcium is also needed for essential tasks such as nerve function and muscle contraction. Therefore, the osteoclasts break down the bones allowing calcium to be taken to the needed areas of the body whilst the osteoblast are rebuilding the missing bone. An imbalance of this process can occur where the osteclasts break down the bone, but the osteoblasts can not rebuild it quickly enough. This thins the bone making it more likely to break, otherwise known as osteoporosis.

Next step

2 Create

Vision Exercises

  • Sunning

    We should all know by now that the sun has a full spectrum of benefits for our bodies. In particular the sun provides Vitamin D to help with the absorption of calcium in the bone. So by sunning regularly you not only encourage the production of happy hormones to lift your mood, but you also activate the macula in your eyes, exercise your pupils and, most importantly for osteoporosis, strengthen bones!

    This may well be true, but what if I live somewhere like England and it’s never sunny!?! Well try our skying exercise. Even if the sun is not gracing us with its full rays because of cloud, you are still receiving light rays and its benefits. Even, if you don’t want to sky just getting out the house and going for a walk is good enough, the only down side is you have to wear your bathing suit…only joking!

Body Exercises

  • Crossed Leg Rotations

    Depending on the severity of the osteoporosis choose movements such as crossed leg rotations, shoulder and head rotations that help improve circulation around the body to get more nutrition to the bones and make the body more efficient in remodelling. These movements will also help keep the joints strong and healthy making moving easier. A simple formula could be:

    More movement = More bone health

    This formula makes it easier to keep bones strong, regain bone health and then keep it that way.

    Remember, remember, remember that weight-bearing is what keeps the Osteoblasts rebuilding the bones. Without weight i.e. standing and walking these cells become less efficient.  So, standing, walking, jogging, running, gardening, playing with the kids etc. are all very important in improving and maintaining bone strength.

  • Head Rotations

    Depending on the severity of the osteoporosis choose movements such as crossed leg rotations, shoulder and head rotations that help improve circulation around the body to get more nutrition to the bones and make the body more efficient in remodelling. These movements will also help keep the joints strong and healthy making moving easier. A simple formula could be:

    More movement = More bone health

    This formula makes it easier to keep bones strong, regain bone health and then keep it that way.

    Remember, remember, remember that weight-bearing is what keeps the Osteoblasts rebuilding the bones. Without weight i.e. standing and walking these cells become less efficient.  So, standing, walking, jogging, running, gardening, playing with the kids etc. are all very important in improving and maintaining bone strength.

  • Shoulder Rotations

    Depending on the severity of the osteoporosis choose movements such as crossed leg rotations, shoulder and head rotations that help improve circulation around the body to get more nutrition to the bones and make the body more efficient in remodelling. These movements will also help keep the joints strong and healthy making moving easier. A simple formula could be:

    More movement = More bone health

    This formula makes it easier to keep bones strong, regain bone health and then keep it that way.

    Remember, remember, remember that weight-bearing is what keeps the Osteoblasts rebuilding the bones. Without weight i.e. standing and walking these cells become less efficient.  So, standing, walking, jogging, running, gardening, playing with the kids etc. are all very important in improving and maintaining bone strength.

Mind Exercises

  • Body Awareness

    In today’s society the vast majority of people have lost connection with their bodies. A great example of this is taking pain killers to numb the pain and separate “us” from ‘’it.” Pain becomes an inconvenience and we find it difficult to function whilst it is there. It makes sense for us to want to stop the pain as quickly as possible so we can get on with our work and daily lives.

    The problem with separating the body and mind is that over time the gap gets increased so we no longer understand what our body is trying to tell us. For example, someone is sitting for a long period of time. After 30 minutes or an hour the lower back starts to ache which is a clear signal to move or stretch. Instead, that person continues to sit for another hour or so until they are forced to stand up through either too much pain or another task.

    For self healing to be successful we need to rebuild our mind/body connection to understand what activities can cause pain and what we can do, ie exercises, to work with it, instead of against it. A benefit of this renewed connection is that instead of a quick fix for our condition we can make the effects longer lasting.

  • Body Journal

    By keeping a journal about working with your osteoporosis you can help strengthen your overall awareness. It can help show you what activities in your life are causing pain such as the way you get out of bed and/or sitting for long periods of time. Through journaling you can start to focus on what you need to do in order to avoid pain and maintain free movement. Everyone is an individual so certain exercises may not work for you. Your body will also change over the course of your program. The journal is a good way of keeping track of what is working for you and what is not.

    A body journal can give you a place to deal with pain and frustrations that are being experienced. Journaling also keeps track of your successes. Even the smallest improvement is still an improvement and should be appreciated! Over time its easy to forget how far we have come.  and keeping a journal can be a nice reminder of our progress.

  • Relaxation

    The body directly responds to the mind. If you are anxious your body create tension leading to strain. On the other hand you can consciously use the mind to relax the body through activities like meditation, visualization and general relaxation techniques.

Next step

3 Integrate

Home

  • Sunning – Open a window from within the house and sun.
  • Tapping – Watching TV, bathroom habits. before bed or first thing in morning, tap your feet any time sitting.
  • Crossed Leg Rotations – While watching TV, pick a time when to perform i.e first thing in the morning, before bed or lunch.
  • Head and Shoulder Rotations – Before sleep or first thing in the morning, bathroom habits ie whilst brushing teeth, showering etc, anytime whilst in the house, watching TV.
  • Light Exercise – House chores, washing the car, home aerobics video, home gym, if living in apartment take stairs instead of lift, gardening, carrying groceries.
  • Relaxation – Palming, meditation, napping, distance looking, listen to music or audio book, self massage, having a bath, going for a walk.
  • Body Journal – keep near by and add an observation when it arises, before bed i.e write out the observations of the day.
  • Body Awareness –  Standing and sitting posture, what movement or activity causes certain pains i.e getting in and out of bed, bring your attention to specific body parts when performing routine tasks, i.e brushing teeth chopping vegetables.

Work

  • Sunning – Try sunning just before and after work, go outside during breaks and sun, open a window from within the building and sun
  • Tapping – During breaks, while performing other simple tasks.
  • Crossed Leg Rotations –  While sitting in a chair, during a break.
  • Head and Shoulder rotations – When on the phone, reading emails, facebook etc, whilst sunning.
  • Light Exercise – Take the stairs in stead of lift, park a few blocks away from work and walk, walk during breaks or lunch. walking to get lunch instead of having it delivered.
  • Relaxation – Make sure you take your breaks! Palming, meditation, distance looking, listen to music or audio book, self massage, going for a walk.
  • Body Journal – Keep journal near by and make observations.
  • Body Awareness – Standing and sitting posture, bring your attention to specific body parts when performing routine tasks, i.e answering phones.

Transit

  • Sunning -.While waiting for public transit to arrive, when going outside stop and sun briefly to help eyes adjust to the light. Slowly wean yourself from sunglasses
  • Tapping – Before and during travel, taking a break from driving,
  • Crossed Leg Rotations – as a passenger, perform mini rotations focusing on lower lumber. if walking longer distances stop regularly and rotate lower back  (hula).
  • Head and Shoulder rotations –  Waiting for public transit to arrive, during travel, if driving stop for short breaks, shoulder rotations while walking.
  • Light Exercise -walking, jogging, cycling to work, get off one or two stops early on public transit. park in a space furthest away from entrance when shopping etc.
  • Relaxation – Palming, meditation, distance looking, listen to music or audio book, self massage.
  • Body Journal – Observe how the body responds during forms of transit, ie, sitting in certain position, length of time, walking up or down hill etc
  • Body Awareness – Standing, walking and sitting posture, how certain movements create certain sensations, looseness.

Computer

  • Sunning – Try sunning just before and after computer use, go outside during breaks and sun, open a window from within the building and sun.
  • Tapping – during breaks, while performing simple tasks on the computer,
  • Crossed Leg Rotations – sitting at computer, during a short break.
  • Head and Shoulder Rotations –  Perform rotations anytime when on the computer, before palming, whilst sunning and distance looking
  • Light Exercise – Going for a walk on your computer breaks, choose an active vision exercise to perform i.e Melissa. movement exercises, chair stretches.
  • Relaxation – Palming, meditation, distance looking, listen to music or audio book, self massage.
  • Body Journal – Keep the journal close by and make observations.
  • Body Awareness – Sitting posture ie are you arching the lower back in or out? Are you holding your shoulders up when typing, are you leaning towards the computer? is your back tired or in pain?