Resistance and Bone Health

By: | Posted in: Blog, Featured | Monday, Nov 18, 2019 - 6:31pm

Skelly and I were talking the other day, noting one of the many ways human beings are interesting; resistance and bone health came to mind.  When something is new or different, rather than running towards it, many times we put on the break, curious but with apprehension and a one-step-forward-two-steps back mentality. 

It moves us into varying spaces of resistance that can look like so many different things. Fear, ambivalence or procrastination all can be a bit dizzying.  And it can show up in all areas of life, including the area of bone loss.

For example, even if one is not in favor of pharmaceutical drugs, getting a DXA scan still provides you with initial specific information on your health. 

And, Bone Turnover Marker tests assess different aspects of bone remolding, which occurs in a cycle of resorption and bone formation.  These tests are now being used between DXA tests to determine bone loss level.

Next steps that don’t necessarily require medication. 

They also don’t necessarily require immediate action. In the willingness to open up space of getting information and processing it, there is an ability to lean into resistance. 

Instead of making, what may seem like radical changes, the information can then allow for the processing of feelings. Feelings that come with test results are able to present a time segment showing how slow or fast the development of bone loss is progressing.  The knowledgeable outcome of breaking down your resistance benefits bone health.

Knowledge can create a power and strength to help in allowing one to be in a form of resistance by taking further action. Until there is a feeling of readiness, patience and support is necessary for bone health. 

So why do human beings have a resistance to things?

Change, along with health issues, and loss (all variations on change) are just some categories that may bring about stress. Categorically stress begins with a sense of alarm. 

From alarm, the body moves into resistance and, by staying there, thwarting further forward motion because of a higher risk for more pronounced risks—aka change!  In Steven Pressfield’s book, “Do The Work” which focuses on points to assist being in the flow and getting “it” done—whatever your “it” is, looks at resistance points that everyone faces.

He points out that Resistance is an issue for anyone with a life and a dream because the goal of resistance is to sabotage aspiration.   And that the elements of resistance are most often present when there are components involved that revolve around changing the current to something different.

Leaning in to Resistance

As the old adage goes:  what you resist, persists.  So a start may be a willingness to bring a magnifying glass to your space of resistance.

1.    Understand why you are resisting:   Are you having strong feelings regarding moving into a step that leads to an unknown? Are you in opposition to doing the work required because it will take effort and likely lead to a domino effect of additional changes that need to happen?

2.    Once you get honest about the cause, admit it.  Say it to someone you trust.  No need for a megaphone, but do let others in on your situation.  Shedding light on it means it can no longer be alone in the dark and you might move out of resistance more easily.

Opening up to your resistance to bone health, leaves room for preparation for taking some action.  The moment you consider cooking a new bone-loving recipe, it offers the ability to lean into the resistance.

A first step towards further action. 

Working through resistance and bone health

Support driven steps to move out of resistance into bone health may include:

1.    Joining an informational group such as my Facebook group:
Facebook public group:  Osteoporosis and Food

2.    Finding a doctor to partner with who is willing to take a deep dive into your blood work, provide a script for bone turnover markers between DXA tests, who knows about nutrition for bone health and the value of exercise.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Chinese Proverb

Even if today’s step is filled with resistance, it makes room for a positive baby step tomorrow.

From my loving bones to yours,

Irma Jennings – Holistic Bone Coach


Let Me Support Your Bones

Get Customized In-Depth Private Session

Book a Private Coaching with Irma Now

Join Our Amazing Bone Tribe Community

Get the support & information you need to live fearlessly with your bones diagnosis

30 Essential Foods for Bone Health


  1. So well said and such an important message, thank you Irma! When I was first diagnosed with osteoporosis 20 years ago, I shrunk back (for a moment) into a protective resistance as you explain. I did not want to tell anyone. What helped me shed the resistance was reading about osteoporosis, educating myself about DXAs and lab tests and the causes of bone loss. It was gaining a knowledge base that gave me emotional power and a desire to forge ahead and do the things I needed to do to get healthy. (It also helped a bit that I was terrified by all the bones I began to break.) Yes, take that initial step, even if it is a baby step. Soon you will be running.

    Comment by Keith McCormick on November 19, 2019 at 8:13 am
  2. Lovely to hear from you, Dr. McCormick. Your bone journey highlights the patience and self-compassion needed as you look into the face of resistance. And you did it; managed your severe osteoporosis to a manageable osteoporosis in a way that allows you to do what you love; running, marathons, and being the athlete you are. You took the initial step which led to another step which let to another. Thank you for your living example of what is possible.

    Comment by Irma Jennings on November 19, 2019 at 10:31 am
  3. But how do I find a doctor that will do the bone turnover marker scans? My standard medical doctor at a major hospital says if I won’t take the drugs there is nothing further she can do.
    I am on Medicare now and believe that these tests will not be covered. Is that true?

    Comment by Mary OConnor on November 19, 2019 at 10:19 am
  4. Good morning, Mary. I sent you a private email response. Some of the tests are covered and some are not. Irma

    Comment by Irma Jennings on November 19, 2019 at 10:25 am
  5. How do I find a doctor that will do the bone turnover marker scans?
    I am on Medicare now and believe that these tests will not be covered. Is that true?

    Comment by marti on November 20, 2019 at 11:36 am
  6. Hi Marti: In general, the bone turnover markers are not covered unless you are on a bone drug… general. If there is a pre-existing condition that leads to bone loss, and you have a doctor who will write a script, it may be covered. There are workarounds. Please email if you’d like to discuss this. [email protected]

    Comment by Irma Jennings on November 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm
  7. I love the idea that “the role of resistance is to sabotage aspiration.” I’ve found that resistance is often there to protect us from the fear of the unknown. But as you say, educating yourself goes a long way to helping release the fear and the resistance so you can get on with your aspirations and goals. Thanks so much for this very helpful post!

    Comment by Margie on November 21, 2019 at 10:29 am
  8. Thank you, Margie. You and I both know the perils of resistance….and we both have high aspirations tugging at our hearts.

    Comment by Irma Jennings on November 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm
  9. Great to open up to this post today. I am in total resistance mode. I am frozen between ambivalence and concern about taking the medicine and knowledge that I need to do something because I committed to my heath. Knowing this is normal was very comforting because I have been hard on myself about the lack of action and decisiveness in face of the diagnosis.



    Comment by Anne on November 21, 2019 at 1:54 pm
  10. I appreciate your honesty, Anne. Thank you.

    Comment by Irma Jennings on November 22, 2019 at 11:59 am
  11. Well said Irma!
    Here in Southern California I’m working out with a new program
    At a place called Osteo Strong. It’s a fantastic program currently being used by astronauts and professional athletes and it’s all about increasing bone density. Been doing it for several months now- and I feel great. It’s a once a week program using state of the art equipment and top notch trainers. They’re expanding rapidly- hope you can check them out and add them to your repertoire!

    Comment by Ellen Levine on November 25, 2019 at 12:00 pm
  12. Hi Ellen: I know about the promises that Osteo Strong offers. One of my clients is currently using the program. Would you kindly email me at [email protected] I have a few thoughts on this topic. Thanks for your comment, Ellen. Always good to hear from you.

    Comment by Irma Jennings on November 25, 2019 at 2:29 pm
  13. What are bone turnover markers? I have never heard of this.

    Comment by Antoinette on November 25, 2019 at 8:03 pm
  14. Basically bone markers determine what the health of the bone cells. Most focus on two cells: osteoblasts (that Build bones) and osteoclasts (that Clear bones)

    Bone is the rigid, hard connective tissue that comprises the majority of the skeleton in humans. It is a living, growing tissue that turns over at a rate of about 10% a year. Bone markers are blood and urine tests that detect products of bone remodeling to help determine if the rate of bone resorption and/or formation is abnormally increased, suggesting a potential bone disorder. The markers can be used to help determine a person’s risk of bone fracture and to monitor drug therapy for people receiving treatment for bone disorders, such as osteoporosis and Paget disease.

    Bone is made up largely of type-I collagen, a protein network that gives the bone its tensile strength and framework, and calcium phosphate, a mineralized complex that hardens the skeletal framework. This combination of collagen and calcium gives bone its hardness, and yet bones are flexible enough to bear weight and withstand stress. More than 99% of the body’s calcium is contained in the bones and teeth. Most of the remaining 1% is found in the blood.

    Throughout a person’s lifetime, bone is constantly being remodeled to maintain a healthy bone structure. There are two major types of cells within bone: osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are the cells that lay down new bone, but they first initiate bone resorption by stimulating osteoclasts, which dissolve small amounts of bone in the area that needs strengthening using acid and enzymes to dissolve the protein network.

    Osteoblasts then initiate new bone formation by secreting a variety of compounds that help form a new protein network, which is then mineralized with calcium and phosphate. This on-going remodeling process takes place on a microscopic scale throughout the body to keep bones alive and sturdy.

    During early childhood and in the teenage years, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. As a result, bones become larger, heavier, and denser. Bone formation happens faster than bone resorption until a person reaches their peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) between the ages of 25 and 30 years.

    After this peak period, bone resorption occurs faster than the rate of bone formation, leading to net bone loss. The age at which an individual begins to experience symptoms of bone loss depends on the amount of bone that was developed during their youth and the rate of bone resorption. Traditionally, women exhibit these symptoms earlier than men because they may not have developed as much bone during the peak years and, after menopause, rate of bone loss is accelerated in some women.

    Several diseases and conditions can cause an imbalance between bone resorption and formation, and bone markers can be useful in detecting the imbalance and bone loss. Most often, the markers have been studied in the evaluation and monitoring of osteoporosis, including age-related osteoporosis or secondary osteoporosis, which is bone loss due to an underlying condition. Bone loss may result from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing disease, chronic kidney disease, multiple myeloma, or from prolonged use of drugs such as anti-epileptics, glucocorticoids, or lithium.

    In children, bone markers are also useful in helping to diagnose metabolic bone diseases and in monitoring treatment of these conditions. Examples include rickets, juvenile Paget disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, sometimes called brittle bone disease, and hypophosphatemic rickets, a type of rickets associated with low phosphate levels and hypophosphatasia (HPP), a disorder causing abnormal development of bones and teeth. To learn more about these, see the links in the Related Pages section.

    Comment by Irma Jennings on February 17, 2020 at 10:07 am