Q: I heard an expert talk on your syndicated radio show about treating osteopenia with yoga. I have been doing yoga for nearly three years and also walk more than two miles a day.
I can’t tolerate osteoporosis drugs like alendronate. When I tried it, my muscles ached and my back became very painful. I stopped taking it and increased my calcium supplements since I am allergic to milk. I declined my doctor’s offer of another osteoporosis drug.
I had a bone-density scan in May at age 65. It showed a reversal of osteopenia in my back. The hip is no better but has not gotten any worse. My physician was so pleased with these results that she phoned me personally and said, “I don’t know what you are doing but keep it up.” I told her I am doing yoga and walking.
I have three compressed disks in my back and began yoga with modified exercises initially. In addition, I suffered with sciatica off and on for years. Since starting yoga, I have had only one or two flare-ups.
Q: I’ve read several suggestions for hot flashes. My chiropractor recommended a vegetarian supplement derived from rhapontic rhubarb. After the first month of taking it, my hot flashes decreased in severity, and shortly after that they disappeared altogether. So did the night sweats. I haven’t experienced either in months. The brand I take, Estrovera, costs a dollar per tablet, but I feel it is worth it.
A: A standardized extract of rhapontic rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) has been used in Germany to treat hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause for decades (Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, November-December 2008). A placebo-controlled trial of 112 women found that the botanical product reduced symptoms significantly more than placebo (Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, January-February 2009).
Meditation can help in so many aspects of our life. For those who are facing particular challenges, especially in physical and mental health, I offer this healing meditation. www.charlesglassmanmd.com
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