Presents an easy to understand six-part plan that harnesses the incredible healing power of clinical nutrition to promote healthy bones. Based on the premise that every person can achieve the nutritional balance which is at the core not only of healthy bones but of all health. Written by an author who used this groundbreaking new method to recover her own bone health.
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Pamela Levin, R.N., is an award-winning author. In writing this book as a nutritional journalist, she draws on over 30 years' experience in the health field. She compiled Perfect Bones out of gratitude after recovering her own bone health using the methods described in these pages.
She is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Nursing, Chicago, has over 70 hours of postgraduate education in advanced clinical nutrition, and is a practitioner of Contact Reflex Analysis.
She studied Transactional Analysis with its founder, Eric Berne, and became the first nurse to be awarded Clinical, then Teaching Membership in its international organization. She has taught and trained health professionals in 51 U.S. cities and in 6 foreign countries on 4 continents.
Her other writings, now in ten languages, include numerous published articles and four books which have sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. Her books Becoming the Way We Are and Cycles of Power received the Eric Berne Memorial Scientific Award, and are the foundation for Jean Illsley Clarke's parent education system, Self-Esteem, a Family Affair and Growing Up Again; as well as John Bradshaw's book and PBS series, Homecoming. She has been in private practice since 1970. She is the mother of 2 grown children.
To fill out a self-assessment questionaire of 84 warning signs visit the Perfect Bones WebSite.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
CHAPTER 1. WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS AND CAN IT BE REVERSED?
The pain seared through my back like a bullet ripping through my spine, and it knocked me to the ground as fast. One moment I had been reaching for my handbag to board the last leg of a flight home; the next, I was on the floor of the airport lounge, consumed by painful back spasms so severe I was not only unable to get up, I was going into shock. But I had not been shot. Rather, my back muscles had suddenly seized up, pulling my spinal bones out of alignment when I reached for my bag.
How could this have come about? Resting safely in bed at home two days later, with the help of friends living near the airport and their chiropractor, I had plenty of time to review. I had noticed a certain tension during sleep. I'd dismissed this as relating to work conflicts. Then there were backaches. I'd assumed they were from lifting kids and gardening. Still, morning stiffness had progressed so that it took considerable time to get out of bed. I had become used to ignoring it and would quickly remind myself I wasn't as young as I used to be and try to forget it. I decided I needed to get in shape. Preparing for a run one day, I leaned over to tie my shoes and my back had seized up. I was unable to get out of bed for a week.
Other warning signs had been more insistent. Once, for example, I shattered a tooth while eating bean dip! I asked my dentist if this might relate to calcium deficiency and received a negative answer. When the second tooth shattered, I received the same reply. One night after a 14-hour plane trip, I had stretched in bed and ruptured a disc in my lower back. During my recovery, I made all kinds of promises to myself that if I ever got better I'd be a really good girl and exercise no matter what. Meanwhile I felt hopeless, like I was doing something wrong and didn't know what.
Well-meaning family and friends began assorted campaigns. "You have to exercise every day!" insisted one. But by now even walking could make my back seize up. A friend concluded emphatically, "It's all in your mind." I only felt more hopeless. I balked when a concerned relative insisted I get a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. I'd seen what had happened to my own mother: five major back surgeries beginning in her mid-forties and over 30 years of unrelenting pain the surgeries did not relieve. Failing to heal from the last surgical invasion, she continued to deteriorate until she finally died.
To placate my family, I agreed to an x-ray. After spending two weeks recovering from a bulging disc, I presented myself at the x-ray department. The technician instructed me to lie in the very position I already knew was foolhardy for my back. I objected, he insisted. I protested, he grew testy. Finally, I complied, reinjured the disc and spent another two weeks recovering. The x-ray results were inconclusive. Considering I was nearing 50, I thought this sounded positive.
But I didn't feel very positive about my impaired lifestyle. For example, I'd learned not to try to do anything physical much before noon, especially leaning over to make the bed. As the afternoon progressed, my body seemed to improve slowly and I could increase my activity level if I were cautious with every move. But that meant drastically limiting things I loved to do, trying to cram them all into the tiny window of opportunity near nightfall. And I felt so frail, like a leaf in the wind that could easily be blown away. I had even become fearful of walking in a crowd, afraid someone would jostle me and I'd be injured. I was beginning to think I should give up trying to have the life I wanted and just learn to `go gently into that dark night.' Had I been a different personality or different age, perhaps my experience would have been different.
It certainly was for Carol Gieg, now a woman, but whose problems began in childhood. Activity had been so much a part of her youthful life that if her body was giving her signals that she was going over the edge of toleration, she either didn't listen or denied them. What she did do was keep going. After all, she was a young girl, and activity was her life. Kids have accidents sometimes, they fall, they bump, they get hit. But five fractures in six years? That became impossible to ignore. She sought medical help and continued her beloved activity. Then, she broke her hip! Her age: twenty-two.
These two scenarios, Carol's and mine, are but two different versions of a story with the same title: Osteoporosis. This is what it's like to lose your bones. Whether you decrease your activity to avoid injury or keep active and hurt yourself, the result is ultimately the same. Slowly and silently your abilities as a human are removed from you. Molecule by invisible molecule, atom by atom you lose your membership in the vertebrate world. You are slowly reduced to the realm of those undulant creatures adrift in the tides, for whom mere osmotic changes are a threat to existence, who are all nerves, jellylike. You are no longer capable of strong resolve or stamina; you are incapable of self-defense other than that of the mythical Medusa: producing such a fearful stare that anyone who looks into your eyes will immediately be turned to stone.
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