Going by some stunning data, over 53 million Americans suffer from conditions related to poor bone density. When bone density is reduced, the bones start becoming weaker. The fall out is a higher risk of bone fractures. It is harder to manage when the fractures are located in the hip, joints, spine or wrist region. Here’s where natural healing systems of wellness like Ayurveda can offer immense preventive help. Certain herbs and herbal oils, as well as balance restoring and rejuvenating body wraps and oleation treatments can strengthen your bones, increase bone mass, rejuvenate and lubricate the joints.
The ‘king of oils’ in Ayurveda-sesame oil-is laden with many regenerative qualities to benefit the human body and mind. It is used as a key ingredient in making herbal formulations for Ayurvedic treatments to address the healing in bones, heart and digestive system. Since the oil molecules here are so tiny, they easily get absorbed and penetrate through the skin tissues to the bones, providing the much needed lubricating quality. Sesame oil preparation is often used for full body warm oil massages called Abhyanga.
Another gift of nature for stronger bones and joints is the veldt grape or Cissus Quadrangularis which is known to increase the absorption of calcium in the body leading to increased bone mass and faster healing of fractures. Studies suggest regular intake of the grape can reduce bone fracturing risks by 40%. Rich in vitamin C, it also has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
Indian Gooseberries (Amla)
Indian gooseberries are excellent source of vitamin C, minerals and tannin-nutrients that are essential for growth of bone mass and stronger joints. Experts suggest one can consume 1-2 gooseberries every day to have healthier bones.
Perspiration Therapy (Njavarakizhi)
An important principle in Ayurveda is to restore balance where needed. For example, too much dryness will be offset by facilitating therapies and treatments that oleate and lubricate, too much heat will be offset by dietary consulting and treatments that reduce the heat element. One such treatment is Njvarakizhi which uses boluses stuffed with herbal preparations which are pressed on the body after a massage with warm oil. The cotton cloth boluses contain a special type of rice preparation mixed with milk and herbs like mustard, deodar and clarified butter. This therapy is known to relieve symptoms of Arthritis, relax and tone muscles, improve skin tone and release accumulated stress from the body tissues.
Joint Rejuvenation Therapy (Janu Basti)
Janu Basti is an Ayurvedic therapy that helps in treating conditions of the knee joints like knee injuries or osteoarthritis, patella-femoral pain, Iliotibial band syndrome which results in pain on the outer knee. Janu Basti involves bathing the stiff joints in warm medicated oil by forming small wells in the affected areas where the herbal oil is allowed to stand for some time for more efficient absorption into joints and tissues. This treatment also includes a massage to the affected area.
Make sure you take these treatments in a calming atmosphere closer to the nature where you can relax without having to worry about life and work, ideally away from the bustle of a city life. One such piece of heaven is the Art of Living Retreat Center nestled in the lap of Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, North Carolina. It has been ranked the #1 Ayurveda program in the US by Organic Spa Magazine.
With inputs from Dr. Nibin, Sri Sri Ayurveda consultant
Disclaimer: The conditions and illnesses could also be due to a mix of Dosha imbalances. Please do not try to self-diagnose. This article is purely for informational purpose. We strongly recommend you consult a Sri Sri Ayurveda physician for a thorough examination of your constitution and its balances/imbalances.