Life is lived in perpetual motion. Without resistance to that motion, our bones aren’t stimulated to grow strong - making them more susceptible to serious breaks, especially later in life. 

Physical therapist Dr. Sarah Avery wishes she’d learned about the importance of strength training and its connection to osteoporosis earlier. As the owner of In Motion Integrative Physical Therapy, in addition to those with other chronic issues and acute injuries, she sees too many women suffering with osteoporosis. 

Studies have shown that athletes, including dancers, cyclists, and runners (with a lower body weight and who don’t include strength training in their routine) are at higher risk for developing osteoporosis. While dancing at SUNY Potsdam, Dr. Avery experienced first-hand the pressure to perform put on dancers and how easy it is to fall into the unhealthy habit of overtraining and undereating. 

After earning her doctorate from Clarkson University in 2016, Dr. Avery began working with dancers at Skidmore College, stressing to them the importance of living in a way that will keep the body beautifully in motion for years to come. 

“What you do in your younger years significantly impacts your hormone and bone health later on in life,” she said. 

Lift Away the Fear

Teaching women how to effectively use weights to load the skeleton in a safe way that grows bone density and strength is considered a preventive medicine not deemed medically necessary by most insurance companies. As a result, it isn’t covered by most health plans. 

Additionally, bone scans aren’t typically recommended to patients until age 40, a decade after bone condition has reached its peak and begins decreasing. Even then, tests are only offered every two years, so it can be difficult to know how quickly the deterioration is progressing. 

Of the women participating in the osteoporosis weight lifting sessions led by Dr. Avery and her co-instructor, NASM-certified personal trainer Michaela Smith, eighty-percent have maintained or improved their bone health.  

Even more encouraging is how these classes give women the confidence to again perform everyday activities. 

“When you’re diagnosed with osteoporosis, what you’re receiving is a fear-based message that says you shouldn’t do the things you love or act in certain ways because you’re at greater risk for fracture. It puts you in this avoidance state. What we do empowers women instead,” said Avery. 

Break Free from the Vicious Cycle

For young women, problem periods are one of the earliest signs of a hormonal imbalance that may contribute to the development of osteoporosis later in life. 

Growing up as the oldest of six sisters, Avery took a particular interest in women’s health at a young age. As a twelve-year-old who experienced significant pain and bleeding with her periods, Avery was prescribed hormone-based birth control by her doctor. 

Later in life, when she started thinking about having children, ripping off the birth control band-aid proved difficult. To restore hormonal balance, Avery used food-based methods including seed cycling. 

By grinding seeds (especially those with tough casings, like flax and sunflower) the body is better able to absorb their nutrients. After first grinding seeds for herself and others, Avery founded the Moon Cycle Seed Company, which sells seed-cycling kits at 13 area farmers’ markets. 

By adding the two seed powder blends to a variety of recipes, your body receives what it needs to regulate hormones in an ultra-easy way that is totally raw, organic, gluten free, and vegan. 

Milk-based Remedies

Take your milk to new heights of goodness with the Moon Cycle Seed Company’s Moon Milk, a blend of healing herbs and plant extracts known as adaptogens that help the body adapt to stress. 

Used for millennia, particularly in Asia and India, adaptogens naturally reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone caused by stress that damages the body’s production of other hormones, such as those needed for reproduction.   

Moon Milk is available in three flavors: Golden Turmeric (musky, yet sweet, with dashes of cinnamon and ginger); Lavender Cardamon (a soothing vanilla-y blend); and Cherry Beetroot (which has a tart, earthy taste). 

To avoid the added hormones found in cow and soy milk, Dr. Avery recommends adding Moon Milk to organic or raw milk. It can also be delicious when mixed into non-diary almond, cashew, oatmeal, and rice milk products. 

To learn more about how to restore your body’s natural rhythms with In Motion Integrative Physical Therapy and the Moon Cycle Seed Company, follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Fitness classes are held virtually, at Saratoga Heath & Wellness, and at Battleground Fitness in Saratoga. For recipes, informative e-books, and to register for a FREE 20-minute consultation go to

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