Osteoporosis, or a loss of bone density, is addressed by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by nourishing underlying root deficiencies caused by aging, overwork, or too much sexual activity using tonic herbs. Osteoporosis occurs mostly in individuals between 51 and 75 years of age, and is six times more common in women than men, with postmenopausal women at the greatest risk.
These are the main causes of Osteoporosis in TCM; typically, all three issues are present by the time a loss of bone density is diagnosed:
Kidney Essence Deficiency Causing Osteoporosis
Essence, or Jing, is a unique concept in Chinese medicine. The theory is that we are given a finite amount of Jing during our lifetime. Jing is the foundation of our bone marrow and is vital for strong bones. Essence is rare, and it must be preserved as it is incredibly difficult to restore once squandered. When our Jing is completely exhausted, we die.
Other indications of Kidney Deficiency would include knee pain, lower back weakness or pain, tinnitus, anxiety, hypothyroidism, ED, impotence, infertility, hair loss, premature graying of hair, and adrenal exhaustion.
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Spleen Qi Deficiency Causing Osteoporosis
The Spleen is pivotal in the production of Blood that necessary for nourishing bones and tendons. Our daily energy that way utilize is called Qi, or Chi; when Qi is exhausted we have to dip in to our Essence for our daily energy which compromises our health and speeds the aging process up. Other indications of Spleen Qi Deficiency may include weakness and feeling of heaviness of the limbs, tiredness, poor appetite, loose stools, abdominal bloating, and other digestive disorders.
Liver Blood Deficiency Causing Osteoporosis
Liver controls the Blood that nourishes the sinew, tendons, and joints. The Liver and Kidney are the two organs that control bones and sinews, tonification of both organs is equally important. Kidney Jing along with Liver Blood builds bones, increases bone density, prevents fractures, and promotes healing.
Lifestyle Improvements for Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis
In addition to herbal therapy, lifestyle and dietary changes are essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones. As osteoporosis worsens, the chances of bone fractures increases, and something as common as a hip fracture can often lead to a hastened deterioration of health. Weight bearing exercises is essential to maintain bone strength as we age. However, take care not to over-exercise, as this would lead to more Qi Deficiency. Walking and Tai-qi are ideal for maintaining and building bone density.
Nourishing food therapy for Spleen, Kidney and Liver energetic organ systems can be beneficial. It is necessary to consume sufficient amounts of absorbable calcium, either through diet or in supplements in order to maintain bone strength. A diet rich in protein and vitamin C is also beneficial. It is advisable to avoid drugs and alcohol, which may deplete calcium and exacerbate osteoporosis. Many elderly people become Vitamin D deficient because they do not get outside enough and should consider Vitamin D supplements as sufficient amounts of Vitamin D on a regular basis is necessary for healthy bones.