Medicare costs in Canada for the treatment of osteoporosis is estimated to be 1.9 billion annually. The annual economic impact of hip fractures alone was projected to be #2.4 billion by 2013. We are now in 2020. According to a study published July 25, 2020 by Osteoporosis International the Canadian provincial score cards for treatment vary. Ontario and Alberta received the highest grades (B) for uptake of DSA testing, whereas Saskatchewan received an F or failing grade. Ontario and Quebec received the highest grades for access to osteoporosis medications in the 2008 report card, while BC received a C- grade. There are gaps throughout the country when it comes to treating osteoporosis.
So what does that really mean? It means we need to look inside ourselves and practice good healthy exercises that support strong bones to prevent osteoporosis as much as we can. Hatha Yoga is a low-impact exercise that strengthens bones and balances hormones and it is one of the many techniques being used to fight osteopororis.
How Yoga Prevents Osteoporosis
Asanas that are weight-bearing, build strong bones and strengthen our muscles.
Meditation with complementary pranayama alleviates stress, improves our mood, strengthens our adrenal glands and helps balance hormonal symptoms, while the breathing of pranayama boosts our circulatory system, removes toxins and elevates oxygen intake into the blood stream which feeds our internal organs.
What Poses Are Good For Osteoporisis
Here are ten of my favourite poses:
Downward Facing Dog
Full body stretch and refreshes the mind
Standing Forward Bend
Lengthens hamstrings; calming
Revitalizes tired legs; quiets the mind
Body alignment; strengthens ankles, legs and feet
Extended Side Angle Poses
Elongates side body muscles from the heel to the lifted arm
Strengthens bones, tones muscles, improves mood
Energizes, strengthens and flexes the spine, abs, arms and legs
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Improves balance thereby lessening chances of falls
Increases stamina, grounding, and promotes good posture
Big Toe Pose
Stretches and lengthens hamstrings.
The key to any exercise is to never over-do. My safety measurement is to bend or stretch to the maximum of 90% of your capacity. The use of props such as pillows, rolled up yoga mats or towels, blocks, bolsters along with proper adjustments is key as all asanas can be modified for individual students. All of these poses help tone the body, increase bone density, remove toxins, release negative energy, massage organs, increase circulation and balance the endocrine system. Healthy emotions and physical health will improve your mood and prevent all kinds of illnesses.
Always consult with your medical professional and an experienced yoga instructor in order to prevent the following complications:
- People with very low bone density may develop spontaneous fractures to the spine as the body returns to normal positions.
- Backbends may cause stress fractures. To avoid pressure with bending the spine back, modify the asana by gently tilting the whole spine without force to avoid any pressure.
- Some weight bearing exercises can cause hairline fractures of the bones or spine.
If your goal is to prevent osteoporosis and you have no other health issues, traditional Yoga is a good option to consider. If you have any bone related issues, a slow pace, gentle yoga class is the way to go. Always start at the very beginning, go slow, pace yourself, and build up slowly. If you are 45 and over and have not yet had a bone density test, be sure to schedule one with your family physician. Knowing where you are now is always a good starting point prior to undertaking any new weight bearing exercise program.
Yoga for osteoporosis is a viable solution and a very good choice for prevention. It has certainly worked for me over the years. 😀
For those who wish to heighten their yoga experience further, try using choosing essential oils such as Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint.
Frankincense helps lift the spirits, soothes inflammation, relaxes muscles and strengthens the immune system.
Lavender is calming and relaxing and helps relieve minor aches and pain associated with daily life and nervousness.
Lemon stimulates the immune system, improves memory, helps with circulation and digestion.
Peppermint helps curb appetite, clears nasal passages and clears the mind.
*** Remember to always know the source of your essential oils as not all are created equal. Be informed, be safe.
Want to learn more? Check out my podcast on osteoporosis here.
(BTW: All the oils I have recommended are available in the Premium Starter Kit - best value for the buck!)
Author: Jan Sattler
Certified Yoga Teacher: CYT500
Independent YL Distributor #2454392