According to the National Osteoporosis Society, it is estimated that around 3 million people in the UK have Osteoporosis and that one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 in the UK will fracture a bone, mainly due to Osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
People usually assume that bones are fixed. However, just like our skin and hair, the skeletal structure is constantly renewing itself. The adult skeleton in said to be completely renewed within a period of around seven to ten years. The old bone tissue is broken down and replaced by new bone. Osteoporosis occurs when the breakdown of the old bone exceeds the production of new bone tissue. The term Osteoporosis means ‘porous bone.’ The struts which form the inner bone become thin and the inner part of the bone is spongey, making it lighter, more brittle and susceptible to breakage.
Osteoporosis usually goes unnoticed until the person experiences a fracture. It can also be picked up on a bone density scanner. Modern medicine categorises bone density in 3 ways:
§ Normal bone density.
§ Osteopenia- Bone mineral density is lower than normal (T-Score of 1 – 2.5).
§ Osteoporosis- Bone mineral density is significantly lower than normal (T-Score of below -2.5).
Why do we get it? - Modern Medicine’s Explanation
According to the National Osteoporosis Society there is a long list of factors that can put people at risk of Osteoporosis, including genes, age, gender, race, body weight, smoking, alcohol and previous fractures.
The National Osteoporosis Society also list some medical conditions that they believe can increase your risk of getting Osteoporosis. The medical conditions they have listed include Rheumatoid arthritis, low levels of Oestrogen or testosterone, Hyperthyroidism and Parathyroid disease. They have listed medications such as anti-epileptic drugs, prostate cancer drugs, glucocorticoids (steroids), injectable progestogen contraceptives and certain drugs for mental health problems.
As you can see from the very long list of possible causes or risk factors, conventional medicine doesn’t reveal any conclusive answers as to why people get Osteoporosis.
The Meaning behind Osteoporosis- From a Meta-Health Perspective
In order to understand the symptom, it is important to first understand the function of the organ in question, which in this case is the bones. The bones are there to give us strength and form whilst providing protection for the internal organs. The bones keep us upright and enable us to assert ourselves in the world, distinguishing ourselves from the environment and those within it.
A bone problem like Osteoporosis indicates that there is a problem with strength, identity, sense of self-worth or self-protection. A life event or a series of life events whereby an individual feels criticised or ridiculed can cause them to doubt their self-worth, which can in turn lead to a pattern of self-devaluation and weakness of the bones. If this pattern persists, that is when Osteopenia or Osteoporosis occurs.
Why Osteoporosis Occurs in Different Body Locations
The specific area in which a person is experiencing Osteoporosis is very important for revealing how the individual is experiencing self-devaluation. Osteoporosis is usually detected in three main areas, which are the spine, hips and wrists.
Osteoporosis of the spine occurs when one or more vertebrae become weak, these are usually the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. This loss of strength results in the bones becoming squashed, causing a compression fracture. When the spine heals, it can often take on a different shape, resulting in a curving of the spine.
In simple terms, if the spine is strong, this indicates a strong sense of self-worth. If the spine is weak, this indicates a lack of self-worth, a sense of inferiority or feeling ‘not good enough’.
The lumbar spine is responsible for holding us upright, so weakness in the lumbar is often related to issues around. This can be expressed in several ways, it could be that the person feels obliged to support others, or maybe they always put other’s needs first. It could also be that they feel unsupported by others, or unable to support themselves.
Similarly to the spine, the hip enables us to stand up straight. More specifically, the hip enables us to stand up for ourselves and hold our position or stand our ground. Osteoporosis in the hips often expresses that an individual has difficulty feeling able to stand their ground or withstand a certain situation.
Wrist fractures that are believed to be caused by Osteoporosis are called fragility fractures. Fragility fractures of the wrist are noted to be most common amongst middle aged women who put their arm out to break a fall.
The wrist enables us to hold others away or bring them closer. From a Meta-Health perspective, wrist weakness results from an individual having a experiencing difficulties setting boundaries, they often have a conflict between both wanting to hold others off and bring them closer at the same time.
Can It Be Resolved?
With Osteoporosis the body works in a natural process of bone breakdown and bone regeneration. While the issue is in stress, the bone breaks downs and when the issue resolves, the bone regenerates. This means that in order for the bone to strengthen and renew, the underlying issue that is causing the Osteoporosis has to be resolved.
Meta-Health has a very comprehensive framework and questioning process that assists the client in identifying life situations, thoughts and feelings that are creating stress for them. As well as helping the client gain awareness, we also use modalities such as EFT to help clients to release emotional charge surrounding the issue and walk the path to lasting change.
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