Last year our family began a grand tradition. It was our first year to make our own maple syrup!
In the fall while the leaves are still on the trees, we go hunting for maple (and walnut) trees and tie pink curly ribbon on them so we don’t forget which ones we want to tap. Then we wait the winter out and look forward to the spring thaw.
When the weather just starts to warm up sap-collecting season begins. We get out a hammer, drill, spiles, tubing, and buckets, and bundle up for a hike through the woods, to hunt once more for our pink-ribbon-tied trees.
Sap serves trees much like blood serves the human body. It’s a way for nutrients to be transported throughout the tree (body) and to get rid of waste. It’s a really important system in order for the tree to receive the nourishment it needs to be strong and healthy.
Likewise, the human body must have good blood circulation in order to be nourished. If there is poor blood flow, it is a sign of illness or disease.
I recently researched and wrote a continuing education course on osteoporosis. During my research I found some super interesting studies relating the warmth of the body to the health of the bones.
Turns out, body temperature is a risk factor for developing and worsening osteoporosis!
Here’s what the science says … as people age, their core body temperature actually decreases. Another thing that decreases is their bone mineral density (BMD) which is a measure of the strength and toughness of bones.
Are these things related? The evidence points to yes!
In fact, a lower body temperature has been directly correlated to less bone cell generation and more breakdown of bone. Likewise in trees, for sap to flow the temperature must be above freezing.
When our bodies are colder than they should be, our bones slowly become more brittle. The colder we are, the less bone we make and the more bone is resorbed which leads to a lower bone density.
It’s the perfect storm for osteoporosis.
Makes sense doesn’t it? Is a tree as flexible in the winter as it is in the summer?
Neither are the bones.
Ok, so maybe you’re not at the age that your body temperature is lower than it should be. Does this matter
When you get dressed in the morning, what part of your body do you put the most clothing on?
Usually it’s the trunk of the body right?
In the summer especially, the arms and legs are oftentimes left uncovered.
Because our trunks are already the warmest part of the body due to larger blood vessels and therefore more abundant amounts of blood in the area, the arms and legs (and feet and hands) are the most susceptible to chilling as they are farther from the big blood vessels of the trunk.
It takes more effort for the heart to pump blood into the areas farther away from it, and even moreso if those areas are colder.
Knowing what we do about the importance of warmth and good blood flow to the bones for them to be strong, doesn’t it seem logical that we should have at least as much, if not more, clothing covering the parts of our body that are farther away from the trunk in order to maintain a balanced temperature?
So what is the simple natural home remedy for osteoporosis? Warmth!
What changes can you make to your wardrobe to make it more bone-friendly?
Patel, J.J., Utting, J.C., Key, M.L., Orriss, I.R., Taylor, S.B., Whatling, P., et al. (2012). Hypothermia inhibits osteoblast differentiation and bone formation but stimulates osteoclastogenesis. Experimental Cell Research Elsevier Inc., 318, 2237-2244.