In my last post about improving bone health and slowing the effects of ageing, I shared what to eat following the 5 element diet in Chinese Medicine.
In this blog post I will share what we can do to strengthen the whole skeleton and prevent bone thinning,
Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone. This affects men and women, but women who are just past menopause, are at highest risk.
Studies show that the right type of activity and movement is critical to maintain bone density and strength. What works best is load bearing exercises such as squats, leg presses and lifting weights. These are standard practices in gym’s, where people use equipment to build body mass, muscle and bone strength. However as a 53 year old menopausal woman, that wouldn’t be my kind of thing at all. I don’t want the fuss and bother of going to gym, working out how to use special equipment and perhaps even injuring myself in the process. So I use my own body weight and gravity as resistance training to improve muscle and bone strength. This can be as effective as training in a gym with weights or weight machine.
Why not try it?
Every morning in Chi Flow with Jo, over 380 of us practice simple, effective exercises, just like the one in the video, to build healthy bones, muscle mass and core strength. All that is required is concentration on coordinated movements and breathing. No special equipment, no special expertise and no previous experience. (sign up for free class at the end of this post)
Tiger what tiger?
The deeply focused and relaxed states we attain in Chi Flow with Jo also help regulate the nervous system. When the body is under stress or fearful situations such as running away from tigers, the body flushes out calcium and magnesium because these chemicals are not needed in the flight of fight response.
Every so often, this is no problem, as how many tigers do we generally encounter! but if the body is responding to every day events such as project deadlines or dinner on the table as if it were being chased by a tiger, then this is a serious problem.
As I discussed in my last blog about food for strong bones, calcium and magnesium are the two minerals essential for bone strength.
5% of calcium and magnesium is transported around the body in the blood, the rest is stored in the bones. If the flight or fight response is constantly being triggered, and the calcium and magnesium being flushed from our system, eventually the body will have to go looking to the bones for the calcium and magnesium to restore the body to balance. This is just one of the bone weakening effects stress can have on our body.
To prevent this mineral loss and bone thinning, we must maintain our emotional, mental and physical balance, learn how to self soothe and return to calm after stressful anxious times. Chi Flow with Jo with breath and movement coordination, activates the naturally occurring emotional and physical mechanisms of self-repair and health recovery.
In postmenopausal women, studies show moderate exercise helps preserve bone mass in the spine and prevents fractures, plus it shows increasing physical activity can improve your mood and stop the loss of minerals at times of stress.
Add to this that women who are not physically active are more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Sedentary women may also have chronic back pain, insomnia, poor circulation, weak muscles, and depression.
Endorphins which are morphine-like substances found naturally within the body, account for moods of well-being or euphoria such as we experience after enjoyable workouts or even eating chocolate. These happy hormones, are released in the brain and this improved mood can last for several hours which in turn helps the body fight stress. Qi Gong and Chi Flow with Jo will boost these happy hormones to improve your mood and your mental strength. Research conducted by Harvard Medical School indicates that regular Qi/Chi gong practice is a safe and effective way to maintain bone density, relieve pain, improve balance and the ability to do daily activities.
Here’s what some members of Chi Flow had to say
“I can’t recommend this highly enough, a great way to support your body and just in half an hour – go on you deserve it. Best thing I’ve signed up for in years!” Solway Shiatsu
“Totally recommend Chi Flow with Jo. I started the practice last October and my body feels well and flexible.” Maighread
“I do them 3+ times a week and it makes a HUGE difference to my energy levels and general health & coping skills.
Give it a go for a month and see the difference.” Helen
Sign up for the free class at the end of November and try it for yourself: December is all about bone health and reducing stress