Thursday, 8 August 2013

Skeletal system

Let's talk about our skeletal system!

Maybe somebody could imagine our bones as something similar to iron rods, that would be a good reason for our bones to be strong enough to carry and protect us for all our life! Other will think to bones as so strong and sturdy that when we become adult they get the final shape... until in old age they start naturally to break... Reality is totally different!
Look at this
It's your right humerus, your upper arm bone, at the junction with shoulder joint... looks more like a sponge than an iron rod, isn't it?

In our bones we find the perfect combination of 2 "opposite" qualities, resistance and lightness... they're strong enough to resist hard impacts and light enough to let us run and swim in a nice way... try this: fill a backpack with 30 kg of additional weight, put it on your shoulders, run/jump/swim/whathever and tell me the difference... if you notice it eheheh!!

In a few words there is an extracellular matrix made of collagen and mineral deposits (mostly calcium plus phosphate, magnesium and more) filled by other stuff... including blood vessels, nerve endings, marrow... and i would add some air, at least at an elemental level bones are the mix of earth (that gives the solidity) and air (lightness)... that's why, talking in ayurvedic terms again, kapha (earth+water) has very good and strong teeth and bones, while vata (air+ether) can have problems in both... too much air my friend!!!
This leads us straight to the functions of the skeletal system:

- Support, this is our framework
- Protection, think to the safe place inside your skull or chest for you brain and lungs/heart
- Movement is the combined job of muscles and bones!
- Blood cells production is mostly happening in the marrow
- Storage of minerals, for example calcium in excess is stored here for when it will be requested

Do you think that after childhood the shape of your bones is never changing? Answer is NO!

There is a constant process going on called bones remodeling, this is evident when you break a bone and it rebuilds but it's a really always going on process, this fuction is there to let you access easily to your mineral deposits and for the system to respond to new mechanical solicitations, obviously the remodeling is quicker when you're young but it can change your bones at a 10% per year rate in adult age... do you think it's not a big amount?
It happens through the combined job of 2 opposite forces (again!!!)... osteoclast cells open the matrix (so you can access to your deposits) and osteoblast cells are responsible for new bone formation... an unbalance between the 2 is the root of bone diseases as osteoporosis... too much osteoclast-catabolyc power releases the calcium but there isn't enough strength on the other osteoblast-anabolyc's side to balance, you breakdown more than you build and the bones become narrower and easier to break.
This is a very important possibility to have present in your mind...
the more you move,
the more your muscles will require calcium (it's necessary in muscular action),
the more you require calcium,
the more it will be released from your bones,
the more calcium is released from your bones,
the more you bone's extracellular matrix will be open
-> as result you'll be able to work at a very deep level on the shape of your bones, the shape of your body, your posture and everything connected!

Here some links to deepen these informations, some are very technical!

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