Recently, a classmate shared a fascinating video in our high school group. It showcased a massage expert on a TV program claiming to alleviate shoulder, neck, and back pains within a minute by pressing specific meridian points on the back of the hand. The results seemed almost miraculous, with an elderly lady straightening her back after years of struggling. Another classmate found it too mysterious and sought my opinion. Here’s what I think:

While the video may be a tad exaggerated, let’s delve into the pathophysiology. 

Spinal issues like herniated discs or bone hyperplasia, often leading to conditions like bone spurs, result from local overgrowth, causing narrowing. Inflamed and swollen surrounding tissues compress nerve fibers, inducing pain. These growth processes are gradual and challenging to reverse. Even if there are indeed “acupuncture points” on hands and feet with corresponding nerve endings, pressing them for a minute cannot dissolve years of accumulated bone hyperplasia. At best, intense pressure on a specific acupuncture point may divert attention, and coupled with inner suggestion, especially in hysterical patients, it might create a temporary illusion of reduced pain elsewhere.

To simplify, if the pain is due to muscle strain and not spinal nerve issues in areas like the shoulders, neck, or waist, acupoint pressure won’t be a silver bullet.

Having clarified this, let’s shift our focus to the remarkable effects of vitamin D3 and K2.

Balancing Calcium with Vitamins D3 & K2

In my experience with functional medicine, I’ve seen bone health issues like hyperplasia (overgrowth) and osteoporosis (weakening) improve by addressing the root cause: a balance between vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and magnesium. It all boils down to “wandering” calcium ions.

But why can supplements like D3 and K2 address seemingly opposite problems? 

We know D3 aids calcium absorption from food (it has other benefits too, like boosting immunity). Once absorbed, the calcium travels to various tissues, with bones being the primary storage site.

Sometimes calcium becomes “unbound” due to various factors.

Chronic inflammation ( caused by high blood sugar, triglycerides, etc.) can damage blood vessel linings.  This allows calcium to accumulate like sand in a clogged streambed, causing issues like decreased blood vessel elasticity and hardening – major contributors to hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Excess-free calcium in tissues and organs can also contribute to inflammation or even tumor growth, showing up as bone spurs in the spine, shoulders, neck, and waist, leading to joint pain. This can worsen symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

By managing calcium with D3, K2, and magnesium, we can potentially alleviate and improve bone issues at their core.  This is just a glimpse into the fascinating world of functional medicine

Keep reading along for more insights!

Balancing Your Body With Calcium, Vitamin D3, & K2

Vitamin D3 and K2 work upon a fascinating partnership to maintain our health. 

D3 plays a key role in prompting our bodies to synthesize special K2-dependent proteins. One such protein, Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), resides in our blood vessels. Through a series of biochemical reactions, MGP acts like a roadblock, preventing calcium from accumulating where it shouldn’t – on blood vessel walls. It even helps “grab” and deliver calcium ions to their rightful destination – our bones!

On the other hand, D3 also encourages the production of another K2-dependent protein called osteocalcin. This protein acts like a superglue, firmly binding calcium within our bones, preventing the development of osteoporosis.

Now, here’s where things get truly interesting. This delicate balance between D3, K2, and calcium impacts our health in profound ways:

Hardening of Arteries: 

As we age, a lack of proper calcium regulation can lead to a buildup of calcium in our blood vessels. This makes them stiffer and less elastic, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This, in turn, contributes to high blood pressure. In severe cases, blocked blood vessels supplying vital organs can lead to heart attacks (coronary artery blockage) or strokes (blockages or ruptures in blood vessels supplying the brain).

Brittle Bones: 

Conversely, a lack of calcium properly directed to the bones can lead to osteoporosis, making them weaker and more prone to fractures.

The Paradox of Sickness: 

This imbalance creates a paradoxical situation – the things that should be strong (bones) become weak, while the things that should remain flexible (blood vessels and tissues) become hard. This paves the way for various health problems.

By understanding this interplay between D3, K2, and calcium, we can potentially unlock new approaches to maintaining our overall well-being. 

The Power of Vitamin K2 and Magnesium

My journey into functional medicine opened my eyes to a fascinating truth: proper bone health goes far beyond just vitamin D3. While D3 plays a crucial role, it’s the synergy between D3, K2, and magnesium that truly unlocks optimal results.

The K2 Advantage:

For decades, vitamin D3 held the spotlight in bone health research. However, deeper investigation revealed the importance of K2. 

Here’s the key: 

D3 promotes the creation of special proteins that rely on K2 to function. One such protein, MGP, acts as a traffic cop in your blood vessels, preventing calcium buildup on their walls. 

Another osteocalcin, acts like superglue for your bones, ensuring calcium stays firmly in place. This dynamic duo, powered by D3 and K2, works wonders for both blood vessel health and bone strength.

The Power of Magnesium:

But the story doesn’t end there. 

Magnesium plays a vital role in this dance as well. It interacts with calcium, influencing its absorption and utilization.  A magnesium deficiency can thus disrupt this delicate balance, potentially contributing to issues like arrhythmias, muscle cramps, and even nerve problems.

The good news? 

Magnesium supplements are readily available and affordable. Modern medicine focuses on drug therapies, often overlooking the power of these natural allies. 

I say it’s time for a shift in perspective.

In future articles, I’ll delve deeper into the science behind magnesium and its impact on various bodily functions. Remember, a focus on natural solutions like D3, K2, and magnesium, backed by scientific research, can be a powerful tool for long-term health.

Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting these replace traditional medicine.  However, this knowledge empowers you to explore holistic approaches alongside conventional treatments.  Let’s continue this conversation and unlock the potential of functional medicine together!

Why Functional Medicine Has Been a Journey of Personal Discovery & Transformation?

Functional medicine has revolutionized my understanding of health and disease. Unlike some alternative approaches, functional medicine is rooted in science and respect for traditional medicine. 

Its pioneers are doctors on the medical front lines, constantly seeking innovative ways to improve patient care. Their courage to explore new paths is what truly inspired me to begin this journey.

This newfound knowledge led me to prioritize vitamin D3 supplementation. My initial blood test, five years ago, revealed a severely deficient vitamin D level (25-Hydroxy) of only 10ng/ml (normal range: 30-100ng/ml).  

A bone density scan confirmed bone loss. 

Back then, vitamin K2 wasn’t a major focus, and multivitamins only provided minimal amounts.

Two years later, with a deeper understanding of the D3 and K2 synergy, I began taking a combined supplement. Regular checks revealed a significant increase in my vitamin D level (85ng/ml).  

More importantly, a follow-up bone density scan after five years showed increased bone density in both hips! My lumbar spine showed slight increases in two areas, with no change in another and a slight decrease in one.  

For a woman of my age, these results were incredibly gratifying.

This personal journey highlights the power of functional medicine to optimize health and well-being. 

Stay tuned for future blog posts as I delve deeper into science and explore more ways to unlock true health potential.