Osteoporosis is one of the hazards for post-menopausal women, and is caused by loss of calcium in the bones, which become progressively weaker, thinner and more brittle, and can break very easily, particularly at the pelvis or the wrist. Osteoporosis can sometimes begin to affect people as early as in their twenties. Loss of bone mass leads to the spine gradually becoming shorter and more curved, causing loss of height and hunched shoulders, “dowager’s hump”. Exercise is very important, even a leisurely daily walk is therapeutic, and the gentle Chinese exercise system of Tai Qi can be extremely effective. It will boost the emotional and mental energies as well as helping the patient to function normally.
In Chinese Medicine, as the kidneys dominate the bones, so osteoporosis is the result of a kidney deficiency. If bones become decalcified, it is through lack of nourishment to the kidneys. The Chinese Medicine treatment is concentrated on tonifying herbs. Drynaria tuber, cibot rhizome and eucommia bark might be prescribed, depending on the severity of the problem. Osteoporosis must be caught in the early stages, to prevent further damage or slow down deterioration. As the kidneys lie deep in the body, they are not easy to tonify quickly, so treatment must be long-term.
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