I’ll never forget what it feels like to…not to be able to rely on your body or your bones. To feel like your bones are fragile or may fracture and you’re not sure what movements may cause a fracture so you stop moving. When I was 50, I had a hip joint injury and the surgery to try to repair it caused my hip joint to collapse. I felt fragile and tentative and tried not to move too much because I didn’t want to do more damage, break my hip or be in pain. I gained 30 pounds! I had a handicapped placard that I relied on, and I really needed it because walking would cause more pain. I felt too young to not be able to stand, walk or do all the things in my life that I wanted to do and I was frustrated. I love to walk, hike and I especially love traveling the world. I love the physical practice of yoga to keep my body strong and healthy and even that was becoming too challenging for me. I used to wonder if my bones were shrinking and could they just snap if they got too weak. To add insult to injury I was entering perimenopause and I was feeling blah.
Searching for answers…
I began joining programs online to participate in to lose weight, and heal my joints and my bones. Since I am health minded, I was trying to balance my hormones naturally and I wanted a lifestyle approach to getting healthy without medications. In 2014, I found the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Program and signed up to become a Health Coach to learn how to heal myself.
Teaching yoga to 55+…
During this time, I had begun to teach a few yoga classes at Torrance Memorial Medical Center to the 55+ crowed and I became aware of the degenerative process our body goes through as we age. My injury was accelerating my own degenerative bone and joint issue, so I fit right in! I understood what it’s like to have an issue that makes you feel nervous and cautious as you try to stay strong, mobile and limber. My students were my teachers, and I was theirs.
Healthy Aging & Bone Health Expert Yoga Therapist C-IAYT, E-RYT® 500, POLY, YACEP®, Health Coach & FDN Practitioner
Osteoporosis and Bone Health…
I began to study Yoga for Osteoporosis with Dr Loren Fishman and to learn from him as a yogi and as a doctor. It was important for me to stay safe and to keep those I work with safe and I trusted him. His work has proven that yoga postures can increase bone density and that is what I needed. I would practice what felt safe in my own body, bones, and joints so I would know what was safe for my clients.
I began to specialize in bone health and osteoporosis in particular because I was experiencing how important it is to maintain strong bones and joints to live an active and full life. I was experiencing that our bones are our foundation and when you feel like you can’t rely on them it’s a sad and scary place to be.
I had a total hip replacement when I was 51 and this began my journey back to living a full active life…
Then I figured out how to heal myself…
While I was recovering from my surgery, I wanted to completely heal myself physically and I wanted to be the healthiest I could be as I age. I wanted to get to the root cause of my issues and keep my bones as strong as they could be and not rely on medications. I am very health minded and prefer a natural approach to healing and I am attracted to functional and integrative medicine for this reason. I ran 5 functional labs through saliva, urine, stool, and blood and began to implement healthy healing protocols to get healthy from the inside out. I balanced my hormones, revved up my digestion, lost weight, stopped chronic inflammation which leads to bone loss, and even went off my thyroid medication.
I Understand the Struggle…
I know what it feels like to feel weak and feel like your bones and body have failed you. I know what it feels like to be nervous about what the future holds for you and to wonder if you will ever be healthy or active again. I understand how it feels to be cautious in choosing the right methods that are safe to build a strong body, bones, and balance slowly and surely.
After my surgery, I was determined to get strong again. I focused on my left hip that I had replaced because the muscles were so weak. In the 8 classes I was teaching each week I would model everything on my left side. My lack of movement in my right hip which was my real hip contributed to bone loss, and I was diagnosed at 53 with osteopenia in my right hip. I spent the next two years strengthening my right hip and pelvis with yoga postures to specifically targeted my hip, pelvis, and lower spine.
I was in the phase of life, 5-7 years post-menopause, when the greatest decrease of bone loss occurs, yet my next DEXA scan revealed an increase of .2 in my right hip bone! All that I was doing had reversed my bone loss.
And now I have a body that is healthy, balanced and I can rely on it to take me on fabulous journeys…
When you have a diagnosis of osteoporosis or an issue in your body involving pain or fragility, it puts you in such a protective place. I felt fragile and was so cautious with movement and needed to know how to proceed slowly. I had to discover those answers for myself and I did!
This is in Pondicherry India 6 months after my total hip replacement. The front leg I am counting on is my new hip!
Bone loss is not an inevitable part of aging. Bone loss is a balancing act between building new bone and bones breaking down. There are many causal factors that lead to bone breakdown and discovering your “why” of bone loss is the key to slowing it down, stopping it or even better, reversing your bone loss?
I am on a mission to change the way the world views osteoporosis, not as an inevitable part of aging but rather as a metabolic disease that can be reversed with lifestyle habits and behaviors that focus on building strength in your body, bones, and balance.
I have insight into what it’s like to have an aging body and the degenerative process of losing function in our muscles, joints and bones and in our biochemistry. When we lose our ability to weight-bear, to hold ourselves up and to move around it ends up having a deeper effect in our mind and emotional state. I had always been a happy camper then this injury and my lack of ability to keep living an active life wrecked my peace and inner happy. It was so interesting to observe how slowly and surely when we lose our ability to move and be active it will affect your mental emotional wellbeing. Then that can be a downward spiral…
I also have foresight because at the same time I was teaching to the 55+ crowd specializing in bone health and observed hundreds of people as they were aging. Many of my students have osteoporosis, replacement parts and/or issues in their tissues like me. I noticed what happens after years of our muscles (sarcopenia) and bones (osteopenia and Osteoporosis) degenerating and what happens once the nerves don’t communicate with the muscles and balance becomes a challenge. I observed the breakdown in the mental and emotional layer; the sadness, the fear, the pain, the suffering, and what it can be like if we lose function and mobility.
I am on a mission to help people realize that aging is a degenerative process and it is a use it or lose it proposition. I want to warn you what lies ahead if you don’t take action and what you can do to prevent arriving there, because it is possible through movement, nutrition and mindset. I work with my clients to get to the root cause of dysfunction and bone density loss so they can stop it and reverse it. Adding daily micro-movements into your life, whether that’s for an hour or a minute or anywhere in between is vital to remain strong, healthy and active as you age. To realize that this package you live in won’t last forever, as you may have thought in your 20’s, that there is a degenerative process taking place in the background. I’ll help you go deeper and look at your body at a cellular level of function and do what you need to get back to a place where you stop losing bone, balance your biochemistry and improve your health.
If you want to have a strong body, strong bones and great balance…
An osteoporosis diagnosis gives you a feeling of fragility that can bring you to your knees and to tears and I have observed this in my clients for many years. It is a physical diagnosis yet the biggest effects are in the mind.
I love observing those I work with as they get stronger in their body and mind and gain stronger balance which is critical to bone health. I love when their DXA scan results come back and the numbers have improved. I especially love the confidence they gain when they develop a strong body, strong bones, and strong balance and realize that they can dance and play forever!
If you feel frustrated and even hopeless, I’d love to help you realize that healing is possible. It is one day at a time, one movement and one breath at a time. The fact that you’re here reading this and that you found me, is a sign. I am on a mission to teach and share ways to work on getting stronger in your bones and body, adopting healthy daily habits and shifting your mindset to enjoy your one precious life!