Can you really reverse bone loss naturally? Without medication? I get these questions all the time.
And today I want to share some pretty exciting news.
Doing just 10 minutes of yoga a day can make the difference between bone loss and bone growth. Here’s how I know.
I’ve been following the work of Loren Fishman, M.D. He’s conducting a study on the effectiveness of yoga to build bone. Dr. Fishman is assistant clinical professor at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. In over two decades of practice, he has written more than 70 academic journal articles and six books.
Several of my clients are part of Dr. Fishman’s study. Just this month, he shared some of the preliminary results. And I wanted you to have this bone-saving information as soon as possible.
But first a little background.
85% Of Yogis Studied Gained Bone
In 2009 Dr. Fishman published a small pilot study on bone loss and yoga. He tested bone mineral density in 18 people with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Their average age was 68 years.
Dr. Fishman taught 11 of the subjects a sequence of 10 yoga poses. They held each pose for about 20 to 30 seconds. The entire sequence took about 10 minutes a day. The other 7 subjects served as the control group and did no yoga.
After two years, the control group members who didn’t do the yoga either maintained or lost bone. But about 85% of the yoga practitioners gained bone in both their spine and hip.
How does yoga build bones?
Yoga is a weight-bearing exercise just like walking, jogging, or weight lifting. You hold the weight of your body up against gravity. When you resist gravity, you stress your bones. That stress forces bones into laying down new growth.
But the special advantage that yoga has over walking, jogging, and even weight lifting, is that it’s gentle on your joints. That is so important as we get older and feel the years of wear and tear on our knees, shoulders, wrists and other joints. I often hear complaints about painful joints from my clients.
Dr. Fishman believes joint-friendly yoga may be the answer to osteoporosis.
He’s now conducting an even bigger study with 725 participants using his 10-minute yoga sequence. His results so far are promising. In his current control group who don’t do any yoga, participants lost about 11% of bone overall. But in the yoga group, there was no bone loss.
Some of the people doing yoga were also taking pharmaceuticals to build bone. That subgroup actually gained 1% in bone density so far. But in the group just doing yoga the average bone loss was only 1%. That’s still an amazing result.
And there are good reasons to try yoga first. As Dr. Fishman points out, osteoporosis medications have lots of side effects like disintegrating jaws, eye disease, slow healing, atrial fibrillation, gastric irritation and spontaneous fractures.
The side effects of yoga on the other hand are improved posture, better balance, improved strength, better coordination, larger range of motion, and less anxiety.
Is there really a choice?
Join Dr. Fishman For Bone-Building Yoga
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, or just want to prevent bone loss and fractures, yoga is a good strategy. But be careful.
Yoga can be a bone saver, but only if it’s practiced correctly. Some typical yoga moves like forward bends and spine twists can increase the likelihood of spinal fractures for someone with osteoporosis. It’s important to find an experienced teacher trained to focus on proper alignment and safety.
Dr. Fishman studied yoga in India with BKS Iyengar. The 10-minute Iyengar yoga sequence he designed is safe. He reports that his study participants have spent 70,000 hours collectively practicing his yoga without a single fracture. Other forms of yoga may not be as safe.
The beginner level of Dr. Fishman’s program is designed for those with osteoporosis. The intermediate level is for those with osteopenia. And the advanced level is for those with healthy bones now who want to prevent future bone problems.
Dr. Fishman’s study is still accepting participants. If you’d like to be part of this scientific study and are willing to commit 10 minutes a day to gentle yoga, contact Dr. Fishman email: [email protected]
Please tell him I sent you.
Or you can view the 12 poses on Dr. Fishman's website: www.Sciatica.org
For more information, check out Dr. Loren Fishman’s book Yoga for Osteoporosis: The Complete Guide. You can find it here on Amazon.com.
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4/12/14 - Presenting: Food for Healthy Bones at "Taking Charge of Your Bone Health" - a full day workshop offering the latest information on Bone Health with 4 other bone experts. This event is sold out
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