Learning the meaning of osteoporosis

by Gill Randall, Physiotherapist Grad Dip Phys, Banbury, UK

A few years ago, the local gym I attended did a simple heel prick test and I was diagnosed with osteopenia, the precursor for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects bone density and strength, so the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue. In osteopenia, the protein and mineral content of bone tissue is reduced, but less severely than in osteoporosis.

Bone is alive and constantly changing. A healthy diet and lifestyle from an early age help us to maximize bone strength by ‘banking’ bone when we are young. A poor diet as children, eating disorders, and erratic diets can all affect the laying down of healthy bone. And as we age, particularly after menopause in women, there is a tendency to bone loss. Osteoporosis can tend to run in families, but whether this is due to dietary and lifestyle factors or ‘genetic’ tendencies is open to question.

I was surprised at my diagnosis, as I had had a healthy diet as a child. I did a bit of yo-yo dieting through my teenage years, but I’ve had a tendency to be overweight, not underweight, and have always been relatively active. Upon diagnosis I was prescribed calcium tablets with Vitamin D and told to do more weight bearing exercise, so I did some line dancing and an exercise class in the gym. I do have a family connection, as my mother had severe osteoporosis and had a lot of pain from it in her later years. It’s not a life threatening condition, but it can be life changing. When she lost bone density and 5 inches in height, she had constant pain, easily broke bones when she fell, and postural changes caused digestive problems.

Having witnessed my mother go through these progressive changes, I do not want this for my future, and so I want to learn what I can do to support the health of my bones.

In my sixties now, the condition is not affecting me with pain or physical changes, and I am eager to prevent this. I work and am active but my view of osteoporosis is changing. Being a student of Universal Medicine and the teachings of the Way of the Livingness, I have learnt a deeper understanding from Serge Benhayon that energetically, osteoporosis is caused by lack of self-love and deep disregard for myself. Initially my reaction was: ‘Of course I look after myself!’ But on reflection, I realized I did this after looking after everyone else. I paid lip service to looking after myself. This felt like a really old pattern of putting myself last for a very long time. I can fully appreciate this understanding: If I’m not nurturing my physical body, why should it be strong and solid to provide me with a sound bony foundation?

So I looked at my diet and felt into what types of food supported me, and noticed how my body felt after certain foods. I stopped drinking alcohol and felt immediately clearer in my head and my body. I knew that caffeine didn’t feel good for me, but did you know that we excrete calcium in our urine when we drink caffeine? I always knew I felt bloated and tired after eating bread and food with gluten, so experimented with reducing them, and found I had so much more energy. By changing my diet, my body feels more nurtured. I am giving myself more care, and I’ve started putting me first. I used to think that would be selfish, but now I can feel how self-loving this is. I’m living now by expressing myself more honestly when in conversation, feeling what needs to be said rather than pleasing people.

Living truly and supporting myself is also helping my bones.

I know as a physiotherapist that exercise is an important factor for health and bone density. Weight bearing exercise, specific resistance exercises and a healthy balanced calcium rich diet can all help bone density. But over exercising is not recommended, and it can be deleterious to people with anorexia nervosa to do extreme exercise. It can contribute to further weight loss, which could also be detrimental to bone density. High impact running, jogging or skipping can increase susceptibility to stress fractures in the feet or lower limbs. Or if people do horse riding or skiing and increase their risk of falling, this could increase their risk of breaking a bone. So the balance of exercise is important, as the present day thoughts of exercising to extreme is quite popular at the moment. My exercise changed from the gym using heavier weights to exercising gently on a regular basis with light weights and walking outside most days, loving the sunshine for the vitamin D absorption.

With this new understanding, I can feel the impact of a deeper healing from the conventional understanding of medical treatment for illness. I am learning to care for myself on a daily basis that is, in turn, supporting my physical body. This is a huge learning that I can bring into practice in other areas of my life, knowing how I can heal mental and emotional as well as physical issues I thought was going to carry with me throughout my whole life.

With a medical diagnosis and an esoteric understanding of osteoporosis, I am combining the treatment of conventional and esoteric medicine together to live in better health.

 

Read more:

  1. Osteoporosis and a lifetime of dairy consumption 
  2. The Chilling Facts about Dairy

 

 

 

754 thoughts on “Learning the meaning of osteoporosis

  1. Inspiring what you share here Gill, ‘Living truly and supporting myself is also helping my bones.’ That makes sense, like if we disregard our body then we are more prone to osteoporosis.

  2. Gosh, this combination of western/conventional medicine along with esoteric medicine is making a whole lot of sense. Who said we need to suffer and resign ourselves to our diagnosis? So much can be brought to these illnesses and diseases when we bother to dig a little deeper.

  3. Getting a diagnosis can be very supportive to the way in which we exercise and look after our body. I am planning to talk to my local nurse about the condition my bones are in, as there is osteoporosis in my family. If something did show up I would much rather face it now than later on in life when it could be much worse, but simply being aware that it is in my family and not to be ignored is in itself a great start to caring and deepening the relationship to my body.

  4. Why wait for a diagnosis? Let’s do all we can for our bones, in fact all of our bodily parts. Refining our diet, choosing the way we move and go about our daily life, the way we are with ourselves and realising that as we get older we need to pay special attention to these things, appreciating our vulnerability and realising there is a strength and wisdom to acknowledging and honouring our fragility.

  5. I too was surprised – or rather shocked – to receive a diagnosis of borderline osteoporosis and then with the understanding offered by Universal Medicine that energetically this reflects a deep disregard I accepted the truth of the diagnosis. This has shown me that to support my physical body I have to make changes to the way I am living and the way I feel about myself and I can feel I am gradually building strength and resilience within me.

  6. It is or should be disturbing that we think we are caring for ourselves, yet still ingesting foods and drink which are not supportive of health, running around becoming exhausted without adequate rest and feeling a lack of self worth so that we allow pressures in life to overwhelm us. A classic belief that supports a false notion of self care is the one about everything in moderation. Yet if we are to be honest, we must be open to how intensely rich foods that we ‘should moderate’ such as chocolate are only ‘good’ for us because although they provide momentary feel good relief, they are actually harming for the body. In which case, having little bits every now and then may reduce the harm, but it keeps patterns going in our lives where we believe it is ok to seek relief every now and then (relating back to our view of self care). The major problem with this is that there comes a point where life becomes overwhelming, a pattern takes over where we press the self destruct button. At this time, those harming foods we allow in moderation, become the go to binge food for that destructive binge. ‘Everything in moderation’ keeps this happening enough in life so that at times when we could really stop, deepen our awareness and say, this pattern needs to be dealt with once and for all, we instead bury our issues by ingesting comfort food or drink or binging on a self destructive behaviours. On the other hand, if we truly self care and eliminate from our diet or our repertoire of behaviours those ones we know are harming, then we are actually saying that I am caring enough to not hold on to those back door escape routes in life that allow me to numb myself big time (such as the chocolate binge) and instead am committed to life as evolution by building (rather than moderating or measuring) health and self worth so that when life becomes challenging it can be truly worked through and evolution can be chosen instead of remaining stuck.

  7. Recently my posture has become worse than usual and I can feel it is because I have not been as caring and loving with myself and with others, this has brought in a hardness that is in my upper body that is causing me to stoop. I have osteoporosis and I can see how easily I can fall into old patterns that are not only not supporting me but are contributing to my osteoporosis. A recent healing session showed me that I still go into judgement and this alone can be harsh and unyielding…something for me to watch.

  8. Awesome to read Gill how you supported your health by simple and practical steps to take care of yourself. The more I appreciate that our body is such an honest reflection of how we’ve been living, the more I get inspired to deeply take care of it.

  9. Some very simple and straight forward advice here Gill for anyone of any age who wants to take care of their health in a preventative way. We so often associate illnesses such as Osteoporosis with people in their older years, but rarely consider that the way we live and our daily choices when we are younger can have such a profound impact on our body later in life.

  10. Gill this is marvellous, and is encouragement for me not to wait for any issues, but to take better care of my whole body, including exercising to keep my bones strong starting now.

  11. Thanks for sharing this with us Gill, it;s an interesting read. What came to me when I read this blog was ‘Love ourselves to the bone.’

  12. Great insight into a lot of factors that lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis. I have found that the way I move has a lot to do with it as well: do I walk in contraction or do I walk who I truly am? How do I move about in the house, at work? At times I can feel how everything is stored in the body and especially in my legs, with all the twists and turns from the hips down to the knees and to the ankles.

    1. I agree about walking. I would without doubt state that walking is the best exercise imaginable for the human body and it is so simple to do, doesn’t exhaust or drain you but rather can build your energy levels.

  13. I found this very interesting Gill. What if most illness and disease could be avoided if we self cared for ourselves in the ways that you outline above? Surely a little self care now is worth it to potentially avoid 20 to 30 years of ill health at the end of one’s life? We have to realise that only we can be responsible for our own health.

    1. Yes, agree Doug, We are responsible for our own health, and this blog demonstrates just how making time for self care, in the form of regular gentle exercise has the potential to avoid many illnesses and diseases as we age.

      1. Yes and not choosing to eat until we have obesity is also an important way of caring for ourselves and avoiding a whole trench of illness and diseases that are directly related to being overweight.

  14. A massive factor with any illness or disease is how we respond to it. Taking control as Gill has makes all the difference. In the case of Osteoporosis observing how it has affected others and taking steps to care deeply for herself is a massively intelligent thing to do. It seems obvious, but how often do we let our health gradually slip away, until one day we wake up and wonder how it is we came to be so poorly.

  15. Gill a great reminder of how we can help ourselves as we grow older by making more loving choices and exercising to strengthen our bones and supporting ourselves with the right kind of diet that supports our body too.

  16. While I was reading this article the question came up of “what’s next?”. I mean when it comes to illness and disease we usually get stopped in our tracks and given a chance to look at how we have been or what we have been doing. Health is a big one because we usually look at certain extremes and compare back to ourselves as a way of either feeling better or considering we are doing ok as a tick box type exercise. I mean for some not smoking or drinking alcohol maybe considered healthy while for others this maybe considered extremes that were never there. In other words “what’s next?” If the world is changing like it is and in fact you could say the world changes in every movement, even every breath then what are you doing and how flexible are you in the way you are to move or flow with these changes? I was considering this as I was reading this article because it’s easier to say I don’t have that or I don’t do that and then you dismiss what was or is being said because it appears it doesn’t relate to you. The care we can take with ourselves is an ever changing one and one that needs to be looked at continually. What or how we take care of ourselves at certain ages, certain times of year, certain weeks or days always needs to be felt and reassessed. After all one size doesn’t fit all and one part of care doesn’t always hit the mark.

  17. When we hear the esoteric understanding of the cause of certain illness and disease, it could be easy for us to say that nearly everyone should be experiencing that, because on some level we can all relate to ways of living that are harmful. However, our illnesses are specific for us and our evolution and so what our body presents is exactly what we need to learn about, regardless of what the condition is.

  18. Maybe if we had the understanding that when we put everyone else’s care before our own there is most likely to be a consequence in the form of a future health issue I am sure that many would begin to change what has become accepted over time to be a normal thing to do. Our bodies are precious and ‘breakable’ and to be taught from young to know this and then to be shown how to truly care for them first and foremost will, I am sure, go a long way to prevent those issues in the future

  19. It makes sense to me how having a balance between conventional and esoteric medicine is needed to truly support our health and well-being and the way we take responsibility to care for and nurture the whole of our body on a physical and energetic level.

  20. It is quite a wake up call to find that what we think is self loving falls short of the mark, and in truth we have been abusing ourselves for many years, on many different levels i.e with foods, relationships, being hard on ourselves – I could go on for ever.

  21. The balance you speak of with the right sort of movement and exercise is extremely valuable, and would support many women and men dealing with this issue.

  22. ‘If I’m not nurturing my physical body, why should it be strong and solid to provide me with a sound bony foundation?’ We often expect our bodies to keep on going regardless of how we treat it. Your question is a great one to ask ourselves for it offers us a stop moment to consider our own responsibility in our health and well being.

  23. There are too many people who are physically older than their years due to the choices they make, and simply changing our choices not only do they support us, they can make us look and feel younger too, no matter what age we are, or what prompted us to start making the changes.

  24. At 25 I was diagnosed with osteopenia, it was a shock initially but over time I have noticed that the esoteric understanding does make sense and correlates to my relationship with my body. Like a builder if I don’t focus on my foundations in life, those daily loving choices, how will those support structures (my bones) be strong enough to be in life?

  25. ‘If I’m not nurturing my physical body, why should it be strong and solid to provide me with a sound bony foundation?’ This sentence makes so much sense and has so much wisdom that it really brings alive the relationship between the energetic impact of our choices on how we live and how this plays out in our physical bodies.

  26. Thank you Gill I can relate to paying lip service to taking care of myself with no true understanding of what that meant. Choosing to listen to my body has supported me to make different choices with what I eat and how I exercise which have led to increased vitality and well-being and I am currently having tests to establish what more I can do to increase my overall health so that I can continue to live a productive life for as long as possible. To me it is very concerning that although we celebrate the fact that we are living longer for so many this means they are spending their last years blighted by ill health.

  27. It is important to consider that we may need weight bearing exercise to support bone health, but equally important to consider how we have been disregarding ourselves in life and in movement, and change the quality that we move through life.

  28. I have just received the diagnosis of osteopenia and felt to re read your blog and I would like to thank you Gill for all you have brought to us by your honest and informative writing. I will get further tests but I feel my body was already giving me the clear message I did not truly care, yes I did tick boxes and adjusted my food, my daily rhythm, my way of exercising but when I am honest, despite of all those changes, there still is, on a deeper level, a disregard towards my body by constant judging myself, which means I am not truly supporting and loving myself in everyday life.

  29. ‘I’m living now by expressing myself more honestly when in conversation, feeling what needs to be said rather than pleasing people.’ I feel this is also an important part of nurturing yourself, to open up and express the truth.

  30. It is beautiful how you are treating your disease with a program that feels whole, every part is considered and taken into account and you are not just trying to heal with medication and exercises.

  31. What an opportunity you have offered yourself by combining the physical and the energetic understandings. I have learnt new things today and can bring them into my daily living, not through fear of getting osteoperosis but because I can see and feel how important it is to support ourselves and our bodies in this way.

    1. I agree Lucy, a physical and energetic understanding of health enables us to bring a deeper level of support to our bodies until it becomes a part of us and way of living. .

  32. Beautiful Gill, and informative. It’s interesting to observe that osteoporosis and osteopoenia kick in particularly after menopause, when we no longer have our period to provide us with quite the same level of deep cleanse of the disregard we have been living in for the month prior. Yes, we move to a moon cycle which also offers us a cleansing but by then the die is cast, after a lifetime – or more likely lifetimes – of disregard.

  33. I appreciate your comment Gill about the current trend to exercise to extremes. More and more I meet women who seek ’empowerment’ through the running of marathons and I’ve even met a woman who undertakes treks up Mt Everest and the like on her vacations. Or worse still, they are doing so for a cause.

    Other than wondering why you’d choose to do either of these things to yourself, I wonder if they ever consider the impact on their bodies? They must certainly feel the immediate consequences, as neither of these activities leave the body unscathed. But these feelings must be dismissed or minimised in the ‘mind over matter’ sense of victory and ‘achievement’ that ensues.

  34. it is so empowering to know that the way we conduct our lives, take care of ourselves and express that which lives in us, all contributes to our health and wellbeing in one way or the other. Either a vital and joyful life in good health or a life in lesser heath in which we suffer from illness and disease instead.

  35. Hmmm.. I am getting the message that I could be proactive in my own health screening – although I feel more well than I have in years, something like screening for osteoporosis seems a very good idea, whatever the results there will be facts, and an honest appraisal of how to move forward. I suspect my family may be inclined to osteoporosis, though my mother died of breast cancer at 49 before that manifested. Thank you for the prompt.

    1. I agree Shirley-Ann, Gill’s blog is a great reminder for us all about taking care of ourselves and making sure we book in for the regular check ups at the GP, the pap smears and the breast checks etc. I too feel inspired to look into this again and deepen my own self care.

  36. ‘Living truly and supporting myself is also helping my bones. It does make sense when you have an understanding about energy and how everything is energy, so our thoughts around ourselves and then how we are with ourselves and the choices we make, have to have an impact on our bodies that feel everything. If we making self loving choices, this has to feed all of our body.

  37. You appear to be taking this diagnosis seriously enough Gill to make changes in the way you live that will support you in your healing progress. We need to also not beat ourselves up for the choices we have made in the past that may have led to this diagnosis.

  38. Lovely to read all your changes, which you have done in the last years. To nurture our body is so important. Recently I started to use a body cream on a daily basis and my body just loves it. And it feels like a very loving gesture towards myself – my body is so precious and it deserves to be treated very lovingly. There was a time in the past, I didn’t know how to love myself. Nowadays I know, the more I’m connected to my body and to myself, the more I can feel the love inside me for myself and other people.

  39. There is a delicate and very magical order to our bodies’ natural inner workings that we often don’t consider. Especially so given that life does not seem to meet this with its busy-ness, dramas, tensions, abuses and at times abhorrent behaviour. We carry this delicious magical order in our bodies through each and every moment. And it’s in all of us no matter who we are. Our bodies are indeed very very special!

  40. ‘Living truly and supporting myself is also helping my bones’ You describe a whole body, whole life approach to true health Gill: determined not just by what we eat and drink, but the way we eat and drink, how we exercise and relate to other people. It really is more all encompassing than most people believe it to be.

  41. Thank you Gill for sharing and introducing the importance of screening for bone density levels when post menopausal.

  42. As my self worth increases the easier it is becoming to care for and love myself. It has taken me quite some time to pluck up courage in asking my husband to look after the children while I go to the gym because of the guilt to give to myself but I know and can fully appreciate that unless I commit to loving and honouring my body first then how can I truly love and care for others including my husband and children?

  43. How we live growing has a huge impact on our health as an adult. It is great to have intergenerational conversations about illness and disease and learn from people who have experienced them. It would be great to embed this into the education systems.

  44. Osteopenia and Osteoporosis are far more common than we realise! What I find interesting is that in severe osteoporosis the person can fall because their bones are so brittle that they cannot hold their own weight and hence the fall is a result of a break. Normally we would expect someone to fall first and then break a bone as a result of the fall, but in osteoporosis it can happen in the opposite way! This says a lot about the fragility of the bones and makes us realise how important it is that we look after our foundation or skeleton of the body, for without this being solid we can run into trouble. Once we have broken a bone, it can take a long time for rehabilitation – not just with the bone mending but also with allowing for the muscle bulk to re-develop after it was lost from the lack of use/rest during recovery. Bone health is so important, yet at the same time it is very common to see osteopenia and osteoporosis around which says that we need to pay more attention to this as we are likely to have this ourselves at some point in our lives – there is much we can do with weight bearing exercise and a diet that support the bones – and this can be preventative or support in not letting the situation get worse – after all it is never too late to support oneself and feed back the very skeleton that supports us in life!

  45. It’s so inspiring to feel your acceptance and taking responsibility for the diagnosis. There not an ounce of judgement or blame, just a willingness to make the changes needed to support yourself fully.

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