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Strengthen Your Bones and Joints with Traditional Asian Medicine!

Healthy strong bones and joints are an important part of wellness. These key structures have many important functions and are helpful for people to be able to exercise. Exercise is key for cardiovascular health, weight management, blood sugar levels and many other aspects of wellness.

Mothers who were depleted at the time of nursing, those with autoimmune conditions, are overweight and or have had physical traumas may be more susceptible to bone and joint issues. Also, very important is as we age, the strength of our bones and joints tend to lessen. So even if you are not a part of any of the above mentioned groups, bone and joint health is important. In Traditional Asian Medicine, the decreasing strength of bones and joints coincides with the waning of what is called kidney energy that typically accompanies age. The energy of the kidneys affects the health of bones and has a close relationship with joint health as well. Here are three key ways to help keep your bones and joints healthy.

Exercise
Gentle exercises like Qi Gong, Tai Chi and walking help to promote the flow of nourishing blood and nutrients to joints without increased risk of injury. Certain Qi Gong postures as well as weight bearing exercises can promote bone health.

Stay Mineralized 
Good nutrition, and specifically foods rich in vitamin D, K, calcium and magnesium are important for bone and joint health. Such foods include leafy greens, lentils and healthy whole grains. If you eat fish, wild salmon and sardines can also be helpful. In Traditional Asian Medicine, we sometimes use the principle of the doctrine of signatures, thus the minerals found in bone broth can also be helpful for those whom eat meat. Make sure to have a variety of foods from both land and sea sources. If you do not eat fish, foods like seaweed and sea moss can also be helpful.

Plenty of Sun
Adequate sun exposure is also important. Aim for at least 30 minutes daily of sunshine at midday to help obtain vitamin D. Research shows that melanated people require more time in the sunlight to create vitamin D, but an exact amount to say for everyone is difficult. Make sure to have your vitamin D levels checked when you have your blood work done to be aware of any deficiencies and additional supplementation you may need.

Additionally
Maintaining a healthy weight is important as excess weight can wear down joints more quickly. Also, if you are taking any medications, be aware of the side effects, as some may affect the health of your bones and joints. Obviously taking your prescribed medication is key. If this is an issue for you, consider discussing with your doctor additional means to help compensate for  potential side effect/s. If you ever have any difficulty with your bones or joints, get help early. The longer it takes to handle, the worse it can become.

Take good care and love being a woman,

Dr. Danett

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