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 'Osteoporosis and Chinese Medicine'
by Anna Pecheva, BA, Stanford University, CA
Qigong researcher, vice president of Hanlin Academy and the European Qigong Association
Jan  2003
 

OSTEOPOROSIS AND CHINESE MEDICINE
The osteoporosis (deterioration of bone tissue) is becoming a more and more increasingly occurring disease, which leads to risk of fractures, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist.

The Western medicine defines as one of the main causes of the disease the abnormal metabolism: the insufficient reserves of calcium in the bones, fast lost of mineral and vitamin content in the bone tissue due to shortage of estrogen formation and other hormones in the body.

For prevention and treatment of osteoporosis mainly are used methods for regulation of the metabolism process and the hormonal balance, as well as increase of the calcium and estrogen intake in the body.

The Chinese medicine examines two factors as main causes of osteoporosis: deficiency of energy (qi) in the kidneys and disharmony between the functions of the spleen and stomach.

The energy deficiency in the kidneys is the most important precondition for developing osteoporosis. It is manifested in such symptoms as an overall weakness and fatigue, pains in the lower back, waist and knees; easy bone fragility, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia, frequent urination, night sweating, dry mouth, sensitivity to cold, cold extremities, and asthma.

According to the principles of Chinese medicine and qigong therapy, the kidneys are in charge of the condition of body fluids, part of which are used for the formation of bone marrow. The bone marrow nourishes the bones and maintains them healthy and strong. That is why, in the ancient medical treatises of China it is said that "the condition of the kidneys defines the condition of the bones" and "the kidneys stimulate the formation of bone marrow". If the vital energy and the body fluids are insufficient, then the bone system would suffer as well, and there will present conditions for developing osteoporosis and fragile, soft bones with frequent fractures even in the lightest traumas.

If the roots of a tree are strong, then the trunk and the branches would be strong and unbreakable. The same happens within the human body: the kidneys represent the roots that give power to the bone system (the branches) and the whole body.

When the spleen and stomach functions are in disharmony, the body cannot adequately derive nutrients from the intaken food, which by itself leads to shortage of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, acids, hormones, and other important components.

The cause of disbalance in the work of the digestive system are many, but the most frequently seen are: qi and blood deficiency; insufficiency of energy in the spleen due to improper eating; over anxiety and stress; prolonged illness; pathogenic Dampness and Heat in the spleen; pathogenic Fire in the liver, which suppresses the normal work of the digestive system; accumulation of pathogenic Cold in the stomach due to intake of cold food and drinks.


Prevention and Treatment


For prevention and treatment of osteoporosis are used foods and herbs that have the action to tonify and warm the kidney qi, regulate the functions of the spleen and stomach, restore the body fluids and stimulate the formation of bone marrow. These are: soy and soy products, green beans, chives, nettle, avocado, black ear mushrooms (Jew's ear, also known as mu er) and tremella ("Silver ears", or yin er), fragrant mushrooms (shiitake, or xiang gu), corn, yams (dioscorea, or shan yao), carp, clams, cuttlefish, eel, cummin, trigonella, rosemary, cinnamon, anise seed, clove, fennel, curcuma, grapefruit, pomello, tangerines, plumes, jojoba (Chinese dates), grapes, cherry, lotus root and seeds, chestnuts, walnuts, ginseng, royal jelly, ganoderma (spiritual mushroom, or ling zhi), astragalus, Chinese angelica dong kuai (dan gui), woldberries (lycium, or gou qi zi), schizandra berries (wu wei zi), hip, drinaria (gu sui bu), etc.

From another point, in order to have healthy bone system, it is necessary to use methods for increasing the pure energy in the body. The energy (qi) is that which maintains all vital processes and regulates the functions of the inner organs. Its deficiency in the body weakens the immune system and leads to various disbalances, disturbances in the work of the bodily organs and condition for disease formation.

The thousand-year old experience of Chinese medicine proves that the methods of the qigong science and practice for increasing the inner energy through training of the quiet exercise (qigong meditation) represent one of the most natural, certain and effective ways of prevention and treatment of diseases.

There exist not a few examples with qigong practitioners who by replenishing the vital energy, have got rid of different bone diseases, including osteoporosis.

The increase of energy circulation within the body enhances the quality of the inner organs and their activity, improves and strengthens the bone marrow, straightens the position of bones and joints, removes the pains and the pathogenic conditions. Day by day, the qigong practitioners become more vital, more capable of working and rejuvenated. The osteoporosis patients who use the method of qigong increase in a natural way their kidney energy and regulate metabolism. Gradually, the bone tissue is replenished and it becomes possible to maintain healthy and powerful bone system.

The holistic approach for preserving health and treatment of osteoporosis is based on active use both of inner methods for self-regulation of the vital processes in organism and increase of more pure energy (such as the training of qigong) and outer, complementary methods, such as nutrition and fitotherapy, fitness, massage, and others, along with the curative methods of Western medicine, with which they can completely combine.


Anna Pecheva
Hanlin Academy

http://www.hanlin.hit.bg


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