I was fortunate enough to appear on Dr. Rob Downey’s podcast, Field Notes: An Exploration in Functional Medicine.
We talked about two of my favorite topics: bone density support, and happiness. We set what is perhaps an ambitious agenda for us today that will try to summarize these two big domains for our listeners. I acknowledge that there are a lot of people who are suffering and are afraid.
FACT: Women develop 85% to 90% of their adult skeleton by the age of 18, and by the age of 20 for men. Peak bone mass for bones is around age 25 – 30, so what we do when we’re younger matters. Nobody wants to get older and have a hip fracture, especially when 24% of people with a hip fracture will die within a year of injury. The good news is that you could increase your bone density by figuring out the root cause, the right exercise, nutrition, and how to reduce stress and increase happiness.
One thing that really strikes me about bone density is how the gut and gut microbiome ties in with happiness and stress.
Exercise and nutrition are key to prevent osteoporosis or regain lost bone density. Walking alone is not enough — you also need resistance exercise. I am also happy to tie happiness in with bones. A lot of people say to me, “What do you mean happiness and bones?”
The happiness setpoint is 50% genetics, so there is a genetic component. Only 10% is based on your circumstances, so you are not happy because your circumstances are good. The other 40% is based on your habits which can easily be improved.
This interview is based on the premise of functional medicine is that we are the result of our genes bathed by our environment, food, perceptions, attitudes, and practices. Humans are epigenetic superheroes in our capacity to turn genes off and on.
To reduce your risk of osteoporosis or regain bone mass make sure that you are exercising and eating well, and also implement a practice to reduce stress and increase your level of happiness. One of the best relationship things that I’ve used myself, too, is the appreciation game.
I have two free gifts for you all. There’s a seven-day journal with happiness habits that can help you and there’s also a seven-minute morning meditation to get you on a path to practicing happiness meditation. You can also learn more about the world of Dr. Rob’s functional medicine practice in Homer, Alaska.
I hope for anybody who is feeling overwhelmed now or just wants this sense of connection, that you would take advantage of those gifts. Know there’s a relief in taking action. Just taking a step, it could be a journal or a meditation. I think if we feel frozen, once we get moving we get a sense of ease. We’re built to move. We’re dynamic creatures, so when we’re moving in a direction maybe it is a 50-mile journey, but even if we go a half a mile or a hundred feet that gives us a sense of peace and ease.
Margie Bissinger, PT
PS: My next 6 week online class for ‘Happy Me-Happy Life’ starts on January 5, 2021 and people can sign up here. I’d be thrilled to work with all of you!