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To do that, you'll want to access every variety of medicine, traditional and "alternative," preventive and therapeutic, pharmacologic and physiologic, cutting-edge and tried-and-true. That's just the wide spectrum I've brought to this book, and the six-week program walks you through all of them so you won't get lost in a tangle of conflicting information, but rather will leave with the best each has to offer.

As an osteopathic physician (more on just what that means in a minute), it's my life's work to integrate all these areas into one system of total wellness, uprooting any problems at their source, rather than focusing on fighting disease or reducing symptoms. In my practice, I work closely with a variety of practitioners, from orthopedic surgeons, endocrinologists, and neurologists to nutritionists, qi gong instructors, herbalists, acupuncturists, stress-reduction counselors, and physical therapists. I didn't learn much in medical school about nutrition or exercise, and certainly nothing about the benefits of tai chi or acupuncture or meditation. But now that I've learned—from colleagues and patients—how to integrate all these methods into my practice, I see my patients getting better and stronger in every way.

This integrative approach means that everything you do with and to your body has a role in how your body feels and performs on a day-to-day basis. What you eat (and don't eat), how you sleep, how and how much you move and which parts of your body you use, what work you do, which people you spend time with—all this makes a profound difference in your health. There is no magic bullet or prescription for a pill you can take to "fix" your bones. Too many doctors are pushing hormone replacement therapy or one of the new pharmacological "cures" for osteoporosis, without even mentioning the proven effects of noninvasive, all-natural approaches like eating foods rich in calcium and getting enough exercise that places demands on your bones, thereby stimulating growth.

The latest drugs the labs are turning out have a valuable place in the arsenal against excessive bone loss, but they should be no one's first choice. My goal with this book is to make sure you never get to the point where you need them. Nonetheless, it's nice to know they're there if you ever do. No matter how effective they are, and no matter how many even better and safer and more potent options emerge in the coming months and years, they are only an adjunct to the essential basics of nutrition, exercise, and hormone balance.

The 6-Week Bone Density Program puts together all the basics bone density, so that at the end you have a simple, straight-forward system of diet, exercise, supplements, and lifestyle that save your life. If you follow the steps laid out here, you'll gradually create a revolution in the way you live that will serve you for the rest of your life. It's not six weeks and—bam!—you have dense bones forever and ever, amen. It's a way of life, not a time-limited plan. But six weeks is all you need to learn what you to know, gather all the relevant information, lay in supplies, used to new things, and put everything in place. Six weeks is you need to form good habits. Once you do, what right now seems like a deluge of information and advice will become second nature, and you'll no longer have to think consciously about each component of bone health. You'll just be doing it, without having i think about it.

There are no easy answers and no instant solutions. But there are plenty of things anyone can do, starting today, no matter what your particular situation or age, that will give you the healthy lifestyle your bones require to maintain peak mass. Plus, there are some altogether pleasant components, like sweatless workouts, relaxation techniques, and mandatory snacks.


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