Welcome to all our new readers....and to all those returning to read another issue.

Today's newsletter contains:

1. Research? It can get confusing.

2. Bushen, herb for men and women.

3. Reflection on medical care and osteopenia

1.Research can be contradictory at times.

This month's edition of the Review Endocrine Metabolism Disord. has an article stating "...While there is consensus that patients with osteoporosis should be investigated and treated, the issue is much less clear for patients with osteopenia. Because osteopenia is so prevalent, it would be unrealistic to treat all patients with this condition...."

But just a few years ago, Osteoporosis International published a study done in Australia that said only 26.9% of fractures took place in women with Osteoporosis, while while 56.5% were in women with Osteopenia and 16.6% in women with normal bone density. That article concluded "women who did not yet have Osteoporosis needed treatment".

In any case, It appears that there is real reason why ALL of us, even those with normal bone density need work on balance and co-ordination on a regular basis - since most fractures are the result of falls. And all of us need to review our living and work situations for things that 'tend to cause falls'. There are pages abut each on the web site. NOTE: I have no special studies about men and fractures right now, but I am looking.

2. Bushen is an herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are now 9 peer reviewed journal article about this herb which both stimulates osteoblasts (bone building) and slows down osteoclasts (bone removing). If you have been reading this newsletter for awhile, you have heard of this herb before AND that early studies on rats showed it effective to both male and female rats. But now that there are so many peer reviewed studies that I added a full page about Bushen to the site. Just copy this link into your browser:


3. Reflection: Sunday morning as I sat in the kitchen watching the October mist in the garden, I was thinking of you, the readers of this newsletter. I have noticed that readers seem to cluster around two different poles. Those who want THE pill or THE be exercise that will get their bones back to normal. Others seem to see their diagnosis as needing a sort of life reform: food, activity, relationships etc. - even a prescription sometimes. These two approaches seem to reflect two very different approaches to health care.

Pre-industrial society was integrated - My father, who was a mechanic, used to speak of the old days when your car was built from the drive train up in a shop with one or two master mechanics and a group of helpers. They KNEW you car...every part in relation to every other. Then after Henry Ford made his changes, automotive workers only knew their piece, their part of the job. Everything got specialized.

Medicine is like that. Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese medicine, indigenous medicine systems tend to view us as an integrated whole, connected through social relationships and even with the entire cosmos. To them, any illness is a sign of something out of balance - maybe we work unthinkingly or work too much or eat too fast or....

Scientific medicine tends to see the body's ills as more discrete. The aim to fix bone loss ...or high blood pressure or sinus problems but these are not seen as all connected. A medical issues does not call for a rethinking of our lives as a whole, our place in society or the universe. - rather we take pill for this, another for that and maybe get ome dietary cautions or a suggestion to exercise.

On Sunday morning I began to think of the people have written to me saying that their last dexa scan showed 'normal bone density'. They often mention "what they have been doing". I have been struck that each person seems to have used a different cluster of things.

So maybe those who have found success, have found it by rebalancing what was out place in their own lives.

Maybe our best chance to reverse bone loss is to see it as a call to reintegrate our life. Maybe my own experience of finally making progress when I found ALL the causes of my own bone loss and began to address them, fits idea that healing comes when there is an overall rebalancing in our lives.

Maybe the ancient traditions..which might say that a diagnosis of such an ill is a great gift. Some things in our lives now or in the past have been 'out of whack' and that this ill is a call to 'create and live a more balanced life plan'. And when we do THAT we begin to heal.

If that is true, then Osteopenia is a real gift because it calls us to live more balanced lives - to discard activities, habits and even relationships that are causing havoc in our bodies and to take up those that will allow us to heal.

As I got up from the kitchen chair Sunday I was thinking of the gift of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis ....and hoping that each of you will welcome it ...

I am a philosopher by trade and it seeps into all parts of my life. I hope this reflection is useful for you.