Natural treatments are increasingly sought out as an alternative to conventional medicine and drugs. This is a trend that has its roots in traditional medicine which in many cases predates and gave rise to much of Western medicinal practice. This natural approach to health care is appreciated for its relative lack of side effects and non-invasive techniques. Today many of these treatments are recognised for their value and are used in conjunction or in place of conventional medication.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis sufferers experience a thinning of the bones, as the body loses its ability to replenish and strengthen them. This typically occurs with age, with women the most likely to suffer the condition - a result of the hormonal changes that occur. Diagnosis is via bone density scan or x ray, as the condition has few symptoms to speak of. The primary form of treatment is a range of medication that halts the breakdown of bone. Lifestyle changes include load bearing exercise and dietary modifications – specifically the inclusion of calcium and Vitamin D.
Natural Treatments for Osteoporosis
A range of natural treatments or medicines also offer hope for osteoporosis sufferers. These include:
- Acupuncture for osteoporosis: This treatment utilises microscopic needles which are inserted into the patient’s skin at predetermined points. These are governed by the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which identifies energy pathways running through the body to all the major organs. Any obstruction of these energy meridians result in an ailment and/or disease such as osteoporosis. Acupuncture for the treatment of osteoporosis focuses primarily on pain relief.
- Chiropractic and osteoporosis: Chiropractic treatment is focused on the appropriate alignment of the body, specifically adjustments to the spine – which is seen as central to the effective functioning of the entire body. Chiropractic treatment can help restore the normal range of motion for osteoporosis sufferers.
- Herbal Medicine for osteoporosis: Herbal medicine utilises plant and plant derived matter to create remedies and treatments for most illnesses and conditions. This is a system of healing that has ancient roots, and is still practised in the Ayurvedic tradition of India as well as in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Herbal medicine can aid in promoting calcium absorption by the body, and is therefore useful for osteoporosis sufferers.
- Massage and osteoporosis: Massage is an ancient technique utilised to relieve muscular and psychological tension. It also has remedial value in the alleviating the symptoms of a range of ailments and conditions. For osteoporosis sufferers it can help relieve muscular stiffness related to an injury, and help promote circulation to limbs.
- Nutrition for osteoporosis: Nutrition has long been recognised for its role in maintaining a robust immune system and essential growth processes. This begins with keeping to a healthy balanced diet, with daily intake of a range of approved foods and food groups. Thus includes fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrain products and lean meats; amongst others. Diet is crucial in treating osteoporosis, with calcium rich dairy products essential in maintaining bone condition.
- Osteopathy and osteoporosis: Osteopathic treatment manipulates the limbs, joints and muscles with the aim of restoring balance and harmony to the body. This can be beneficial for osteoporosis sufferers who need mobility after a fall or injury to a limb, for example.
- TCM and osteoporosis: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of healing that incorporates a number of elements, including acupuncture, body work, herbal medicine and exercise. A TCM practitioner will assess your health and prescribe a treatment, or combination of treatments. For osteoporosis this may involve acupuncture for pain relief or an herbal remedy to improve calcium absorption by the body.