I had a wonderful conversation with Cydya Smith recently. Many of you from the WAW community know Cydya as an alum from Women At Woodstock 2012. She’s the founder of Xuberant Life!, where she is a Health & Wellness Lifestyle Coach, helping people create personalized “roadmaps to health.” When Cydya was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis several years ago, it came as quite a shock. She had always been mindful of her health and diet and considered herself a healthy person. The steps she took following her diagnosis are quite inspiring. Cydya graciously shares her process with us, in this article that details the path that took her from fear to wisdom.
– Ann Voorhees Baker
Osteoporosis Gnosis – It’s Time To Get Wise
by Cydya Smith
“ You have severe I osteoporosis” my doctor said. The impact of his words was devastating. “Me – you must be joking!” I said. You have to understand – I always considered myself to be uber-healthy. I was fortunate not to have to take any prescription medications. I was delightfully in sound health, and looking forward to weaving the final threads in my tapestry of life on a golden loom of infinite, and active possibility.
“But – I just went sky-diving a few months ago. I’m considering taking horseback riding lessons” I said quietly… almost to myself.
“Out of the question” he stated quickly, with what I perceived as an enthused, albeit pitying, expression on his face. “You must be extremely careful because if you fall, you will surely break your hip, which happens to countless people every day. You may never recover and then… you’ll have to be looked after by others for the rest of your life.”
I admit that upon hearing the words “looked after by others” the fear meter inside me increased on the volume scale from a whisper to a scream. My mind instantly began forming scenarios starring me as an invalid having to be fed, bathed, burped and toilet-monitored for the entirety of my life.
My heart sank … so though reluctant, I bought the hype and started ingesting the prescribed meds for more than a year. My doctor also suggested I additionally take a calcium supplement with vitamin D, and lift weights (which was already a part of my normal exercise routine); never once was I asked about the foods I ate or anything about my diet. Oddly, I didn’t think this was unusual… and so I began my year plus some months of living dangerously on prescribed medication, walking very carefully and slowly, and easing my way through life.
During this time I decided to begin researching alternative methods for treating osteoporosis and this decision led me to train to become a Health Coach. I began eating foods high in calcium and magnesium because I learned that the two work synergistically and together represent the “dynamic duo” of bone-support because magnesium is actually what drives the calcium into the bone. I learned that most calcium supplements without magnesium are excreted through urine without being absorbed.
I discovered how much I LOVE vegetables – all of them, especially the dark, leafy greens. Kale became a Queen in my house… never had eaten much of it before but now… WOW! I have it raw in salads, sautéed or steamed in other dishes, in soups or stews, in energy drinks with chia seeds for protein, baked and dehydrated for delicious snacking chips. Yummy! I also learned about bone broths, teas made from bone-strengthening herbs, and all would become staples in my diet.
Deepening my online search to include other forms of weight-bearing exercise that I could do to enhance my process, I discovered Whole Body Vibration technology (WBV) as a possible treatment. The technology had been created for the Russian Cosmonaut program as a therapy to treat muscle atrophy. Further study indicated that bones were favorably impacted as well. This is where the research became provocative to me and as I delved deeper, I learned that WBV tech had been co-opted by NASA for the Astronaut program, then by Hollywood, and I knew, intuitively, that this was something I needed to try for myself.
I found my angel in the guise of a gifted Physical Therapist, appropriately named Gabriel, who is passionate about WBV technology as a therapeutic treatment for the rehabilitation of his clients, for their exercise, restoring their balance, and for increasing bone-density. After several sessions, we decided we would work together for two years and track the results to prove the efficacy of WBV therapy as a possible treatment for osteoporosis.
I shared my exciting information with my doctor and asked how long would I have to remain on medication. I was admonished and told “for the rest of your life” and that I should not be so quick to embrace an “untried” method of treatment that could possibly be injurious to me.
How disappointing! I had thought my doctor would welcome the opportunity to partner with me in my healing process, however, I recognized the same fear-inducing tactic that had caused me to begin taking the medication in the first place. I rebelled! To his surprise I thanked him and then stated that I would no longer take the medication. He said he could not be responsible and continued cautioning me against it. I surprised myself by stating that I was prepared to take responsibility for myself in this endeavor. Thus began my two plus years of living consciously and actively on whole, nutrient-dense food, and the technology of Whole Body Vibration Therapy.
I took a bone density test before Gabriel and I formally began tracking the results. Gabriel created a series of exercises for me to perform on the Vibration Platform three (3) times a week. More than two years later, the results from my bone density test indicated an increase in bone density overall and in my left hip alone by a whopping 8.3%. We were both over the moon! When I shared the results with my doctor, I was cautiously congratulated but told that I had been lucky since there was still no significant data on the efficacy of this treatment. I smiled.
I learned a lot in those two years of living consciously and refusing to live in fear of not being active and doing things I loved to do. I took responsibility for myself and researched what I could do to mitigate my condition. Most importantly I discovered that by using the healing remedies found in Whole Body Vibration Training, and meditation for stress management, I was able not only to increase my bone density, but improve my health overall as well.
The most powerful lesson for me is that we each have the innate power to heal ourselves – therefore we must assume our rightful place as primary architects of our individual health construct. I am passionate about helping others to discover that what we EAT is one of the foundational pillars in the construct and that real food has the ability to heal us. I also learned that traditional, allopathic medicine is necessary in some cases so it is wise to forge a collaborative relationship with your doctor. Together you can explore the amazing world of healing modalities that have been used successfully to heal people for thousands of years.
Last but not least, it really is “Time to get Wise” so wise up and educate yourself… Your body is yours for safekeeping… keep it safe.
“He that takes the medicine but neglects the diet wastes the skills of the physician.”
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”