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    Old 08-24-2007, 11:05 AM   #1
    starfish81
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    Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Hi all-gosh, I feel as if I've been especially "chatty" on these boards lately , but I really believe that the more info/experiences/knowlege we share, the more we can help each other.

    Anyway, I've been taking weekly acupuncture treatments for osteoporosis for the past 2 months. The first few were concentrated more on alleviating the depression/anxiety that I've had ever since my last BMD. Today, the acupuncturist (she's trained and practiced in China, so there's a bit of a language barrier) asked me about maternal history of osteoporosis-specifically, did my mother ever sustain a non-traumatic fracture. I said no, she did have the "dowagers hump" but that may have been a postural thing related to self-confidence issues because early photos (age 30) show the beginning of it. My Mom never exercised either, and her diet left something to be desired-although she did live to 85. None of her sisters have osteoporosis and none of them (there are 3) are "humped over".

    The acupuncturist then asked if I had bone pain, especially at night. I said no, never had that. Bear in mind that I have some difficulty understanding this skillful practitioner. But from what I did understand, apparently, the Chinese don't worry so much about DEXA scores. Rather, if someone has bone pain or their bones "feel weak", they are considered to have a problem. Interesting, eh?

    She then told me to carry on exercising as I always have, eat enough protein, and get adequate sleep. She also told me I'm worrying far too much about my DEXA scores. I'm going to continue the treatments concurrent with taking strontium and Vitamin K2.

     
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    Old 08-24-2007, 03:26 PM   #2
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Hi Starfish: I'm totally fascinated by this topic, could you tell us more???

    What is the connection between osteoporosis and acupuncture? Is there an actual connection between the two or were you just going for the anxiety/depression? Do you have any kind of bone pain, like arthritis, bone or joint injuries?

    I've been trying to find someone that does biofeedback, guided imagery, acupuncture, and hypnosis for some time and the biggest draw back is that my insurance will only cover some hypnosis, because I have chronic pain, and that's it. Have you tried any of these other things or just the acupuncture?

    Sorry for all the quesitons, but I don't really understand the connection between acupuncture and osteo. It makes sense if you have pain as well, but it doesn't sound like you do. I hope it's helping a lot...can you let us know?

    You mentioned that your mother had a dowagers hump, do you think that was strictly from postural probs, or do you think she may have had compression fx's and didn't know it? My grandmothers had the same thing, but I have read and was told that most of the kyphosis (c curve) or hump comes from fx's that go undiagnosed. There are some postural probs that can lead to this as well that don't involve fx's, but a lot of people get this from fx's as well.

    My orthopedic surgeon told me that so many go undiagnosed because a lot of people who have this curvature problem don't realize they've had a fx. Some fx''s are very painful and some aren't as bad, or people tend to ignore the minor to mod pain, because they have existing spinal/back probs and write it off as a flare that will heal with rest. Do you think your mother falls into that category or the postural type.

    Does your insurance pay for the acupuncture? If so do you know how much they charge and how long and often you need to go to see results?

    I've never really felt that my bones are weak, but what you practioner said does make sense. Osteo is in my family and I have had many back surgeries with probs that I was told could lead to osteo, like degen disc, early meno, etc. but like I said I never really felt like my bones were particularly weak. I would love to try this for many reasons, pain, blood pressure, etc etc but haven't been able to come up with the money yet. I have to pay for some other medical procedures right now, so I'm waiting to see what I can afford. Let us know how this goes, I'm truly fascinated by it.

    If you want to look up hip fx prevalance by country here's the link from the Univ of WA. China is 6% per 10,000 women and the U.S. is 16% per 10,000.

    I don't know if you are interested in this or not, but you can find out if your mothers dowagers hump is from fractures or postural probs, by having an x-ray or scan. If she had a compression fx, either crush, wedge, or biocave fractures that healed over will show up on the film. It's no longer necessary to settle for this type of prob when there are non surgical treatments for the c-curve I'm talking about. Look up dowagers hump, widows hump, kyphosis, or c-curve and you'll see the different things that cause it, like paraspinal muscle probs, scoliosis, etc (non fx) fragility fx's, compression fx's. I have x-rays and ct/mri scans every year, or more often, to check for fractures, since I don't want to be slumped over like my grandmothers and aunts were who lost a lot of height from undiagnosed fx's. They only found out years later, when nothing could be done, but they also didn't have the corrective procedures available for this back then. Some imaging places automatically do x-rays to check for these when you have a dxa, and some do VFA's to tell you what your fracture risk is. I just hate to see people dealing with this if they don't have to. Loss of height, is also another key sign of a fracture. Keep track of your height by checking it bare footed as often as possible. I check my height twice a month either at the drs office or at home. Make sure you heels, buttocks, shoulders and head are flat against the wall when you check it, and if doing it at home ask for help to mark the height. Any decrease of 1/2 of an inch in a short period of time is cause for suspicion. Good luck...

    [url]http://courses.washington.***/bonephys/opmapfxs.html[/url]

    TIA

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 08-24-2007 at 07:42 PM.

     
    Old 08-24-2007, 05:34 PM   #3
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Starfish-Do you think that your osteo diagnosis anxiety has decreased with the acupuncture? I too have had the diagnosis traumatization. To me this is no reason for me to take an anxiety med , like an anti depressant.( In any event I have read that prozac is no more effective than a placebo, Maybe other studies say differently- I don't know and don't want to mess with brain meds. anyway.) I have felt that the anxiety was to a degree a discomfort which has functioned in a way as a motivating source. The tension in a way has pushed me to
    reach out to others who are in same situation to share info
    research exercise programs to see what would be best for me
    research supplements and dietary suggestions
    try to find a doc who specialized in osteo who was also an endo(this was hard)
    So, some of the anxiety has been useful.
    But sometimes, it is too much. And, I work on that with tai chi and meditation.
    I am also interested though to hear about your acupuncture experience as it relates to the diagnosis trauma, freak out, anxiety , tension, fears etc. whatever you want to call it.
    Hey , don't feel you are being too chatty. You are a great addition to a wonderful board. So glad you are here. Please don't stop sharing!

    Last edited by osteoblast; 08-24-2007 at 05:40 PM.

     
    Old 08-24-2007, 08:11 PM   #4
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Starfish: Osteo is right, don't ever concern yourself about talking too much, we need the input, and there's always something new to learn from everyone. Some forums here at HealthBoards get over 50 posts per day, and not all of those are new posts. A lot of them are people talking back and forth on medical topics, and I often wish this board got that much action However, that is a lot of reading-so I better watch what I wish for.

    We all have something unique to share with others, and it really is amazing the amount of info you can get here if you want to. I can't tell you how many times I've counted my paragraphs right before I post and I almost die just thinking about it, and wondering if it really bothers people, but the problem is, I just can't change-that's me, and then I'd ask myself OMG am I nuts or what??? I have visions of people seeing my name, and skipping the post because of it's length, but that's fine to. In college I used to hear the KISS acronym,[keep it simple.....] a lot from my professors-Gee I wonder why????

    So you keep right on talking, it's great!!!!

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 08-24-2007 at 08:30 PM.

     
    Old 08-24-2007, 08:40 PM   #5
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Hi Desert and Osteo, I certainly don't mind answering questions; we're all here to help each other, right? First of all, I do see a guided imagery professional as well. That is $50/hour and the acupuncture $75/hour. I do the former about every 2 months (because she's an hour and a half away) and the latter pretty much weekly. I have no insurance coverage for either, and what little I have didn't cover the growth hormone I did for 10 months either, which set me back about $15K. (this is a VERY expensive disease )

    As for a link between acupuncture Tx for osteoporosis, there really isn't much in the literature. I only found out about it because the acupuncturist works a day a week out of the gym I go to, and my personal trainer goes to her and happened to mention my situation. She said she could help, and by that time I had just received my latest BMD plummet to -3.4 (after the growth hormone which didn't work) and was totally beside myself with anxiety etc. I was willing to try anything other than prescription drugs! I did read a couple of studies indicating that slight BMD increases were possible, so figured "why not; there's no side effects and at this point I have nothing to lose".

    At my initial appointment, I didn't tell the acupuncturist I was suffering from depression/anxiety because I was in denial. But she knew right away, and said she'd like to treat that at the same time, so I said sure. After about 4 Tx, I do feel better; I no longer have overwhelming anxiety. But let me stress that before this diagnosis I never, never had anxiety or depression.

    I've heard that osteoporosis can break your bones, but more significantly, it breaks your spirit, and that's where I was.

    Anyway, my moods are much improved so now we're concentrating on BMD. I'm told that bone strength is related to kidney "chi" or energy. So that's the meridians that acupuncture works upon. I should mention that the acupuncturist had me go for complete bloodwork and ultrasounds to rule out any abnormalities (I had none) before she did much bone Tx.

    Lets see...what else did you ask...oh yeah, we can't find out about my Mom's spinal condition because she's been dead for 7 years. Scoliosis/kyphosis does run in the family though. I had a career which did a number on my posture so am now trying to undo years of damage with Pilates, weight training etc.

    I hope that the combination of acupuncture, strontium and Vitamin K2 have the desired effect. It's not the osteoporosis that's ruining my life, it's the fear . Interestingly enough, my family MD and the age-management clinic doctor (who Rx'd the HgH) are both supportive of my decision not to use prescription meds, and one of them even admitted "we as doctors really don't know much about this disease".

    So there you have it. If I've left anything out that you wanted to know, by all means ask !

     
    Old 08-25-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Starfish-Thanks for sharing with us about your experience. So now I am wondering about the guided imagery you mentioned.

    I really enjoy guided imagery too. While I have not had a consultation with someone for guided imagery, I purchased two dvds from ****** by Martin Rossman MD. I love the dvds. If you research him on the net , he is what I think you could call a pioneer in the mind-body-connection field. His voice is perfect for the guided imagery sessions, very gentle and soothing. The dvds I have are guided imagery for anxiety and guided imagery for self healing. Each dvd has 3-4 guided imagery sessions on it. They run about 25 min ea. The dvds really helped me through some difficult times. I think at least for me what guided imagery does is that it allows me to shift my thoughts from the fears to something enjoyable and strengthening. Sort of like being able to switch the dial on a radio. At least for me, sometimes I get stuck on a pretty lousy station and forget that I can change what I am listening to.

    Each guided imagery session starts out with being conscious of your body(not a bad thing) , calming your breathing and then e.g. going to your special place; meeting with a person you totally trust and respect and asking for their guidance; asking yourself how you could help yourself best etc.

    Did you want to share anything about your guided imagery consults that might help those of us who are interested in guided imagery?

     
    Old 08-26-2007, 05:29 AM   #7
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by osteoblast View Post
    Each guided imagery session starts out with being conscious of your body(not a bad thing) , calming your breathing and then e.g. going to your special place; meeting with a person you totally trust and respect and asking for their guidance; asking yourself how you could help yourself best etc.

    Did you want to share anything about your guided imagery consults that might help those of us who are interested in guided imagery?
    Hi Osteoblast and interested others:
    Sounds as if the DVD and the real thing are very similar; except when you are working with an imagery therapist you can tell him/her at the beginning of the appointment what issues or areas of the body that you want to concentrate on. For example, the last time I went it was about a month after my disastrous BMD results, so I told her about that and she suggested we focus on my spine and was there a message it was trying to tell me.

    She also places her hands on various areas of the body, using/sensing energy I guess (that part I don't understand, but I really trust this practitioner and therefore am comfortable with whatever approach is used).

    After inducing a relaxation (just like what your DVD does), she might ask me to envision a light at the spinal level or something. Sometimes I "take myself" to a "special place" (like your DVD does) and sometimes we just concentrate on the body issues-it depends-I think the therapist takes the cues from what the client is experiencing at the moment.

    It's one of those things like cranial-sacral therapy (which my massage therapist does).....not something one can readily understand or explain, but it seems to help in a small way, and in any case, you come out with a sense of well-being

     
    Old 08-31-2007, 12:54 PM   #8
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    I'm new here but am so glad I found it. STARFISH -- Your post is exactly what I've been thinking about so I can't thank you enough for posting it. I've been thinking about trying an acupuncturist for this osteporosis, but didn't know if they treated this. I guess they treat almost everything, though. I've been to a couple of them before with good results for other things. I'm too afraid of the biophosphates from what I've read so I refused them so I was looking for alternatives.

    I had breast cancer when I was 38 with no sign of spread. But they talked me into doing chemo anyway just in case it MIGHT kill some stray cells that MIGHT have gotten out. I was against it, but they scared me into it. Because of that, I went into early menopause and now I have osteoporosis at 49. I am so happy to read what that acupuncturist said because I do feel great and my bones do not hurt. In fact, I feel very strong. My new endocrinologist (of old school - my previous one retired) told me my bones scores were very bad and there was nothing I could do and that it was beyond the scope of diet, exercise, supplements, etc. Well, that made me mad. In spite of what she said, I've been doing slow yoga stretches twice a day to pull those muscles gently in my back to hopefully increase bone density. And I read in Christianne Northrup's book about a woman who had about a 50% loss of bone density. She also refused the biophosphates so Dr. Northup put her on an exercise program, calcium plus Vit D supplements, and natural progesterone cream and soy isoflavanoids. And this woman actually increased her bone density by following that regiment. So that's why I'm trying to. THanks again for everyone's posts! You're the only people I have to talk about this with!

     
    Old 08-31-2007, 05:17 PM   #9
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Diane- Welcome to the board! I know that you will find alot of helpful information and very nice people who are very supportive. This board has been a godsend for me.
    Do you recall the name of the book that you read the osteo trmt. information in? Thank you.

    Last edited by osteoblast; 08-31-2007 at 05:18 PM.

     
    Old 09-19-2007, 06:17 PM   #10
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    Thanks for the welcome, Osteoblast! Sorry it took me so long to get back on. I had a vacation and lost the link for the site. I finally found it again. The book I read was "The Wisdom of Menopause" by Dr. Christianne Northrup. I'm glad I have this group!


    QUOTE=osteoblast;3186432]Diane- Welcome to the board! I know that you will find alot of helpful information and very nice people who are very supportive. This board has been a godsend for me.
    Do you recall the name of the book that you read the osteo trmt. information in? Thank you.[/QUOTE]

     
    Old 09-19-2007, 06:47 PM   #11
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    Re: Osteoporosis-from an acupuncturist's perspective

    "The Wisdom of Menopause" is another excellent book; that and "The Myth of Osteoporosis" have kept me sane throughout all this osteoporosis crap. It's so nice to see a doctor admit that medical science doesn't have all the answers.

     
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