Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Osteopathy
by Stephanie Jourdan, Ph.D.
Question) Why do people in poor countries have healthier bones than those living in the richest countries in the world?
Osteoporosis is the condition of excessively thin bones and has become the most common bone disorder in the United States. Half of all Caucasian American women will have suffered one or another osteoporotic fracture by the age of 50 ... spanning from a slight spinal fracture that goes undetected to a life-threatening hip fracture. And by age 65, a third of those women will have experienced at least one spinal vertebral fracture. By age 85, the majority will have had at least one partial spinal deformity.
Spinal fractures result in untold spinal deformation and painful crippling. 30% of hip fractures result in long-term care and 20% end in death.
15% of our American population is 65 or over. This figure will climb to 25% by 2050. More people are fracturing more bones more often. Hip fractures alone account for $40 billion annually. Some authorities speculate that hip fractures alone could bankrupt the Medicare system.
And yet, this disease barely exists in much of the world. Have we as a society created it? If so, can we eliminate it?
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease. Its cause stems from a breakdown, a degeneration, of normal physiological functioning. When functioning normally, the body builds and maintains lifelong healthy bones. This is a natural, effortless process in vertebrate animals all over the world. Bone is built spontaneously; it requires no conscious effort. This generative process is natural, simple and automatic. It is only when the body is forced to adapt to less-than-ideal circumstances that it builds weak and fragile bones.
Unhealthful lifestyles throw our bodies out of balance. Balance and coordination among every body system are necessary for full and spontaneous functioning. Balance is necessary for even the lowest level of physical functioning and a very refined level of balance is necessary for optimum physical and mental functioning. Healthy bones are the result of balanced functioning of many bodily systems.
In an evolutionary sense, there is a constant balancing act between the strength and the weight of bone. The evolutionary advantage is in having the lightest possible bones capable of doing the job that needs to be done. Our bones evolve and adapt day by day, always with the same efficient goal of being no more heavy than necessary. If we put more stress on them through exercise, if we build muscle or have a heavier body to move around, bones will be stronger. They grow stronger in response to the demands that are placed upon them. If we are inactive, our bones become lighter and thinner.
The latest reports on osteoporosis are no longer focused on menopause and hormone therapy, but rather upon lifestyle changes. Today, most degenerative diseases, and certainly osteoporosis, actually represent the approach the body takes to valiantly maintain an internal balance.
While our bodies might seem essentially the same day in, day out, they are constantly changing with every breath and every meal. In just one year, 98% of all the atoms in our bodies will have been replaced. Even our fat cells are filled with fat and emptied out constantly resulting in a complete "oil change" every three weeks.
Bone is alive. At any given moment, anywhere from one to ten million sites are busily dissolving old bone tissue and replacing it with new. Every atom within our skeleton is replaced within a three-month period. Bone is living tissue, constantly nourished and detoxified by blood vessels.
Bone loss generally begins in the late 30's, and in women can accelerate around menopause. This is not a consistent finding though. Even rapid bone loss slows a few years into menopause and by the mid or late 50's, the rate of bone loss returns to less then a percent per year or even ceases. Bone loss begins in the late 60's for men.
Bones do more than give us structure and protection, they produce some 2.4 million red blood cells every second. In return for all this mass manufacture of red blood, it requires a constant supply of nutrients.
99% of your total calcium is stored in your bones. 85% of phosphorus, 60% of magnesium, and 35% of sodium. Not only do these minerals give strength and rigidity to our bones, these minerals are stored in the bones for the whole body.
Calcium maintains many essential functions: heartbeat, nerve transmission, blood clotting, and enzyme activation. Calcium is the most fundamental regulator of intracellular processes and the role of the bone as regulator of calcium metabolism is more vital than structural strength. When the blood calcium level drops, calcium gets pulled from the bone and deposited into the bloodstream. The same applies to the other minerals stored in the skeleton. The process is accomplished by bone cells called osteoclasts, whose role it is to break down small bits of bone releasing calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and other nutrients for use in the blood. Another group of bone cells called the osteoblasts does the reverse by absorbing and restoring the minerals. If these two processes are not perfectly balanced, i.e., more minerals leave than can be absorbed for rebuilding, than the bones become thin and weak.
Bones are designed for strength and resistance, yet they must also be flexible. The hip must be able to withstand 600 pounds of force yet be flexible enough to tolerate twisting and bending without breaking. Bone contains an elastic living matrix made of protein. This living part of bone is called collagen and it makes up 22% of all bone. The collagen gives the flexibility and the minerals which are deposited on the honeycombed protein matrix, give rigidity and strength.
The osteoclasts eat up old, weakened segments of bone, while the osteoblasts lay down fresh new segments of bone. The process can be visualized as a highway repair. The site is excavated removing the old weakened asphalt. New material is put down.
This is bone remodeling. This self-repair process is vital to emulate as imbalances in the bone remodeling causes osteoporosis. When more old bone is eaten up than new bone laid down, bone loss occurs. Be sure to stress in your visualization that the highway repairmen find that they have ample building materials available to them.
Bone density is but one risk factor. Other factors include:
Only on feet for fewer than four hours per day.
Not walking for exercise.
Poor depth perception and/or poor contrast sensitivity.
Resting heartbeat of 80 or greater beats per minute.
Inability to rise from a chair without using arms.
Also essential to bone building beyond adequate quantities of essential nutrients are the needs for healthy and well-balanced endocrine gland functioning, appropriate exercise and activity, and well balanced bodily chemistry.
Hypnotic suggestions should include a suggestion that the higher consciousness just naturally and automatically guides the client to procure and assimilate usable calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, boron, silica, vitamins A, B?s, C, D, K, folic acid, iodine-rich foods, essential fatty acids, and protein.
Other suggestions should guide the client to act wisely in avoiding the bone-robbing behaviors of:
* excessive salting of food
* consumption of sugar
* consumption of caffeine
* consumption of carbonated drinks
* consumption of animal fat
* physical inactivity
* imbalanced dieting
* use of aluminum containing antacids
* unhealthful responses to stress
* poor eating habits that lead to poor digestion
* inadequate exposures to sunlight
* doing exercises that require bending over forwards (too much pressure on the spinal vertebrae.
Also include suggestions for strengthening digestion, such as:
* Chew your food well and eat at a moderate pace.
* Eat in a peaceful and relaxed environment.
* Eat simply and moderately.
* Eat warm, freshly-cooked fresh foods.
* Drink hot water and herbal teas.
* Sit still for a few minutes following your meal.
* Take digestive enzymes.
* Eat fruit between meals.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Kidneys and kidney energy are viewed as responsible for the utilization of minerals and the health of the skeleton. The kidney is also the organ system where your vital energy is stored and depletion of the energy leads to aging and general debilitation, as well as a weakened skeleton.
Traditional Chinese medicine focused upon lifestyle habits and herbal therapies to tonify and nourish the kidneys, especially as one ages. Menopause is seen as a beneficial mechanism wherein the body seeks to preserve the vital kidney energy by ceasing the loss of nutrient rich blood every month.
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