Ayurvedic approach to Osteoporosis
By definition, osteoporosis means “porous bones”, where the bones become so weak and brittle that a fall, or even a mild stress such as bending, sneezing or coughing, can result in a bone fracture.
There are a number of treatments commonly used to stop bone loss and to preserve bone mass, however, none of these provide a permanent cure to the condition and come with a considerable risk of side effects.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the general cause of osteoporosis is explained by the accumulation of air and ether (Vata dosha) in the bones, which can result in bones breaking due to an overflow of these elements.
Excessive Vata causes dry skin, pain or stiffness of the joints, lower back pain, convulsions, spasm, headache, dry cough, intermittent fever, abdominal pain with constipation, painful bowel movements and general fatigue. Eventually it relocates to the bones where the specific symptom of disease appears and the illness is identified.
As with all things in this Universe, our bones are not static. They are constantly undergoing a process of remodeling or rebuilding. The food we eat builds all tissues in our body, including bones and marrow.
When diet is not balanced, it negatively affects the doshas in our body. A balanced diet is the most important long-term preventive measure and the best remediation approach to osteoporosis. It should take into consideration the age, the season of the year and the mind-body constitution, to determine the type of food that is most appropriate for the individual. Regular application of oils through self-massage must be part of the daily routine, along with a specific herbal support.
Exercise and appropriate rest, along with emotionally nurturing and loving relationships all contribute to our complete health. Finally, in pursuit of proper dosha balance, the Ayurvedic approach stresses the need to include other spiritual practices in our life routines such as yoga, meditation, and exposure to nature in order to nurture our soul and connect with the source of life and health.