Well, I promised to write about spinal Osteopenia and Osteoporosis this month...so here it is. If you are not going to read the whole post, do scroll to the end where there is announcement about next month.

1. My spinal bone dexa results have always been better than my hips. I have NO RESEARCH on this but I have always chalked this up to being an out of print book seller for some 30 years. Slinging 30 pound boxes of books for years certainly puts 'stress on vertebrae'.

2. As always I want to begin by saying what NOT TO DO if your vertebrae are 'thin'. Avoid bending forward from the hips - that includes everything for yoga poses to loading the dishwasher to picking stuff up off the floor. (Please if you practice yoga do not send me a rant- I have a mail box full already and am just reporting what researchers report. Even Lila includes a warning on her videos)

There is a long history of vertebral fractures when coming up from such forward bends. Advice? Buy some low stools for filling the dishwasher, picking stuff off the floor, loading the clothes dryer.

3. If you take pharmaceutical drugs for bone loss, there are some that have shown better results for the spine. Talk to your health care provider.

4. Weight vests place 'load' on spine. Up until now I have not talked much about weight vests because most sport vests use 1 pound or 1/2 pound weights. Since good balance requires keeping the vest weight balanced it means adding 2 weights at a time.

At 1 pound or half pound weights, you can reach 5-6 pounds pretty quickly and anything more than that can cause a person whose balance has begun to be compromised (if you are over age 40) and coming down on uneven ground or such could mean that a person would tip and fall - thus risking a fracture. Since weight vests are not cheap, I have never been sure that this is really cost effective.

Then this summer a new company in Texas contacted me - They are a 'start up' that makes 'sand weights' for those with arthritis etc. who find metal hand weights hard to use. And they make a weight vest that uses weights of 2oz. (Lots of small packets)

They sent me a sample - one of the owners of the company has an older relative with spinal osteoporosis and so he thought I might be interested in this vest.

Well. I used it. I realize that starting with 4 oz....one could add 4 oz (two weights) at a time....and by going from wearing each increase in weight for a half hour, to an hour to two hours etc. this vest could be of use for a longer period of time than most of the sports vests.

Now, please do NOT take that as an endorsement. I have no scientific studies. And since spinal osteopenia has not been a major problem for me, I have no personal testimony.

Also, I debated whether I would mention the vest at all since the company asked if I would like to be an affiliate....and that means I would get a small commission from sales made from the web site. I do not want to take up SELLING things to readers. That is not the orientation I want for the site. But then I should not NOT mention things that might work for you.

Oh, yes, if interested in reading more ...do a search for 'weight vest' in the search box.

As for other things, I have no documented studies about just the spine....though Tai Chi has shown stronger spines.

There are the acupuncture points ...exact ones on the web site.

OK...promise kept.

ANNOUNCEMENT. There will be no issue of this newsletter in December. Why? Well, I am a philosopher by trade. I have an article due for Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Editor reminded me that it is over due by several months....and I have been invited by UNESCO to participate in a conference in Paris and I need to get my remarks ready....and to be honest, I need a bit of R&R. 2010 has been a long year.

Now if you want to use the time to look at some of my other work, go to: www.women-philosophers.com

or my new site about new directions for the over 50 crowd is at: www.anti-aging-articles.com

Be well. Be happy. Enjoy December. Will be back in touch during first week of January.

Love, Kate