Today I bring you an excellent conversation with Dr. John Jaquish. John has
dedicated his life to bone health. He has helped many people build strong bones.
Movement is a vital point to health and without bone health movement becomes
very difficult. We all need strong bones.
In this conversation Dr. Jaquish explains why he got so involved with bone
health and all that he has been able to accomplish helping people understand
what you need to do and how to do it to build strong bones. A really neat
conversation where I learned a lot and am pretty sure that you will also learn a
Full Transcription #
Ben Page: Let’s do this. Another episode of the Wellness Farmer Podcast, where
we talk about the four vital points to wellness, which include chiropractic,
nutrition, exercise, and what I like to call proper mental hygiene. And also
talk about farming, permaculture, and modern survivalism among other things, to
help us meet those needs.
And on today’s episode, episode 118, I’m bringing a conversation with Dr. John
Jaquish about the importance of bone health. John has an interesting story about
how he got interested in bone health, and what he has been able to accomplish in
helping people build strong bones is incredible. I learned quite a bit from this
conversation. And I’m pretty sure that you, as a listener, will also learn quite
Today is November 14th, 2016. I am Ben Page, your host. And I hope [inaudible]
getting things done this year, 2016, it’s coming to an end. And remember,
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So remember this is just opinion of one person. So if you have questions,
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, or a voice
message from the website. Let’s get in this conversation that I had with Dr.
John Jaquish. [email protected]
What a guest I have today. I am actually bringing on Dr. John Jaquish. And we’re
going to be talking about really bone health. Because bone health is so
important in our movement. If we’re not moving, we’re not healthy. It’s
something that we must be doing. If we’re not moving, we’re moving backwards on
the scale to hell.
So I brought on John to actually talk about the importance of bone health, but
not only bone health, but how we can prevent maybe some injuries when we’re
moving, and many other things.
But before we get into the main topic, I’m actually going to give John just a
couple of minutes to explain who he is, this the twisted path that we usually
take to get where we are in life, and what he’s doing now. So John, if you’d
like to introduce yourself to our guests, you can go ahead and do that now.
Dr. John Jaquish: Thanks, Ben. Hi. Yeah, thanks for having me. So my name’s John
Jaquish. It is an interesting and twisted path that got me here. What happened
was, when I was an undergrad, I came home one day as most college students come
home looking for something to eat, and to get their laundry done.
And so I noticed very quickly that my mother was upset. And so then my
priorities changed immediately. And I tried to figure out, ‘Wait. Hey mom,
what’s going on?’ And she said, ‘Well, I’m going to die.’ And my mother’s
dramatic. So I have heard that before. And Ben, you’ve had patients with
responses like that. Ben Page: For sure.
Dr. John Jaquish: Then when I asked her why she said, ‘Well, the doctor told me
I have osteoporosis.’ And I thought, okay, you’re probably not … this is
probably not in your head. You probably were actually diagnosed based on a DEXA
scan. So I was an undergrad, so I didn’t really have the background to
understand exactly what was going on. But I said, ‘Let me read about this and
understand it a little better. And maybe I can help.’
And so probably just the arrogance of youth, I started to look into what good
bone health is, and what bad bone health is, and why. And really the condition
of osteoporosis is a deconditioning of bone. So when bone is conditioned, it is
dense. When it becomes deconditioned, there’s a breakdown in the bone matrix. So
what I ended up deciding was, okay, so let me research how bone gets built to
the highest degree.
And this all came down, and you went through this in school, that the laws of
mechanotransduction, basically the more force that you put through bone in
movement, the greater stimulus you have to the bone tissue, and the more growth
So as I started looking at different studies, and who, what types of individuals
were able to stimulate the most bone, this won’t shock you, it was a particular
type of athlete that was able to build the highest levels of bone density. And
that was gymnasts. And you probably remember in your education Ben, when you
studied, when you looked at different people contacting the ground, it’s high
impact forces that build the greatest amount of bone.
So now this in itself was not particularly the solution. I joked to my mother,
and this was maybe a year later, I said, ‘Oh, I’ve got it. You can become a
gymnast.’ As a woman in her seventies, that was not very funny to her. Right?
But, but I was on a path to figuring something out. And so what I ended up doing
was creating an impact emulation device. So what it does is it puts the patient
in a position where they would naturally absorb impact, and then allows them to
self load in those positions. It’s a very simple device. But the idea is that
you take any multi-joint movement that is just short of full extension. So like
with the legs, there’s 120 degree angle behind the knee, and there’s a slight
bend at the waist. And if you were to be on a table and jump off and contact the
ground, that is a position that you would use to absorb the force when
contacting the ground.
So I took those positions and then allowed for self-loading in those positions.
And then gave biofeedback in those positions, so that people could see exactly
how much load they were creating, and then compete with their previous
performances, based on that biofeedback. So there’s a screen in front of them
telling them exactly what to do.
So it took years to actually get this prototyped and working correctly. And then
once attempting to use it, it was, of course, in theory, there’s a lot of things
with health that work, and theory and practice are two different things. So the
question I had was, are people going to enjoy using this? Is it going to be
comfortable? Because basically you’re going through the stimulus of high impact,
but it’s without the risks. So that didn’t mean it was going to be comfortable,
or people would to do it.
So fortunately it ended up being very comfortable, and individuals did enjoy
doing it. And so I put my mother through it. And after the first six months, she
took another DEXA scan, and she went from osteoporosis to osteopenia, so
improved her bone density by quite a bit. And then after another year, she was
back to healthy bone. So at 70 years old, she had the bones of 30 year old.
Ben Page: Wow. That is pretty neat.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Ben Page: And a real quick question before we continue. So does this take the
stress off of the joints also? Because a lot of these high impact, I mean,
there’s so much stress on the joints and they start to degenerate just a little
bit faster than they should. Does this mechanism, does that kind of take the
stress off the joints too? Is that what you’re saying?
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s a different type. It actually puts a lot more stress on
the joint. However, not in impact. So when someone has poor biomechanics, when
they’re damaging the joint, that’s what you’re talking about. Whether they have
improper biomechanics or not, what happens is they’re isolating these positions,
and then they’re slowly compressing these joints. And what ends up happening is,
they’re building tendons and ligaments. They’re actually making a stronger joint
And this has been seen in research a few different times, where as the joint
compresses, the tendonous and ligamentous tissue that surrounds the joint and
that actually, you don’t improve the thickness of cartilage, but the quality of
cartilage. There’s some new MRI devices that have a greater resolution that can
look deeper into, or more detailed into the quality of cartilage. And so that’s
being improved. So quality of cartilage and the thickness of tendons and
ligaments. Which is a huge change over, like you said, the degradation scene,
with those individuals that have some joint degeneration and acceleration if
they’re running, or doing some sort of impact exercise.
Ben Page: Wow. That is actually really neat. So it actually strengthens the
ligaments and tendons also, while strengthening the bone. That is actually neat.
So that’s how you got into it. It’s all because you just wanted to help your
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s right.
Ben Page: And from there, it just went from there. And that’s … well, we all
want to help our mothers, that’s a great way to start. So what are you actually
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, device is developed and it’s being used all over the
world. Now, my latest project is looking at how to monitor bone health in a
broader population. So we have impact emulation, that’s what I worked on first.
And now I’m rolling out in the next few weeks an iPhone application that looks
at how to determine, or it looks at a way so that an individual can see if they
are able to build bone through high impact.
So obviously, impact emulation is the benefits without the risks. But then
there’s the question somebody may ask themselves, ‘Can I build bone density with
high-impact movements?/ So running or whatever. And so the minimum trigger, this
was discovered in 2012, minimum trigger to grow bone is 4.2 multiples of body
weight. And that was established by some researchers in Bristol, United Kingdom.
And so the question of this in an iPhone application is, is an individual able
to absorb 4.2 multiples of body weight? So what they do is they turn the
application on, and then they hold their iPhone against their hip, and then
they’ll jump and land. And then they’ll look at their phone and see if that
impact was enough to get past 4.2 multiples of body weight. So within just
seconds, they can tell if their biomechanics, their movement, their strength is
able to achieve osteogenic loading.
Ben Page: And if not, they’ll have to put some type of weight when they’re doing
it, I imagine?
Dr. John Jaquish: Right, right. Because over the years, as rolling out these
osteogenic loading devices, I noticed that … I would tell people, you have to
get past 4.2 multiples of body weight before you trigger any growth at all. And
even though people understand 4.2, and they understand it and you know, it’s
sort of like multiply your body weight by 4.2, they would look at me like that
was a crazy number. Or it just didn’t really compute. Or they’d say, ‘Well, I
don’t … I think … I go for a walk every day, so that’s enough for my bone.’
And when I’d say 4.2, no, that’s not, that’s actually less than one time your
body weight when you’re on both feet, or it’s just your body weight when you’re
running, it’s 1.3 times your body weight. So I wanted to create a tool where
people can understand exactly what 4.2 multiples of body weight felt like. So if
they got that feeling, they would understand, Oh, wow, that’s a huge amount of
loading. And now the therapy could be understood much better.
Ben Page: So we actually have to put a lot more weight on our bones than we
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, that’s correct.
Ben Page: Wow. And it’s funny too, because I talk about movement quite a lot.
And most people will think, ‘Well, I’ll just go out and walk.’ And that not even
close. I mean, we need to move so much more. We needed to move … I mean, we
Dr. John Jaquish: Weight lifting doesn’t really get there either. Like you’re
talking top athletes in the world lift 4.2 times their body weight. But it’s
through the hip, it’s the hip I’m talking about. The minimum levels for bone
growth in the spine we aren’t as aware of, there’s not as much research. Mostly
because hip fractures are the ones that have the mortality rate connected with
Ben Page: True. Very true.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Yeah.
Ben Page: This is very interesting. I never really thought about the importance
of how much weight we actually have to put on our bones. I just always tell
people, just put weight on your bones. But yeah, probably more than we expect on
our bones. That’s actually pretty neat.
So what are other methods? What do you do to keep our bones strong? And continue
what you’re saying too, and then we can go on to the next question.
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure. Yeah. The interesting thing about the 4.2 is just how
rare it is. And so there was one study in the UK that established this. And then
there was a followup study, which looked at how likely it is in an older
population that someone would absorb 4.2 multiples of body weight through their
And when it came to looking at, and I believe these people were average age 65,
though I’m not 100% clear on that. They might’ve been a little older. Almost no
one, there was no statistical significance in that individuals could even
achieve that level of loading one time, in one impact, during an average day. So
they’re just not getting it. And when they’re not getting to that point, based
on the research, they’re not stimulating anything.
So in medicine that has been a recommendation; you need to load bone. But it’s a
recommendation without a dose connected to it. So everything has a dose to get
the response. There’s a dose response. Like you don’t just tell a patient that
they should take aspirin when they have a headache. Well, is it five milligrams
or 5,000 milligrams? There’s a big difference. So, and with loading, there was
never a dosage associated with it. And now that we have that-
Ben Page: Hello John, can you hear me? Yeah. I just … Oh, I lost you real
quick. I lost you for a second, actually.
Dr. John Jaquish: Okay. Sorry about that. Ben Page: No, you’re fine. I lost your
right at when you’re saying, ‘Now that we have … Actually we have the number,’
the load, the load number, something like.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Well, yeah. Now that we understand, now that we have
that minimum dose response level, my hope is that we can educate the world on
that, and we can do more targeted activities to trigger bone growth.
Ben Page: Perfect. So what are some of those target activities? And maybe you
can go into some targeted activities for different age groups if you-
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s exactly how we look at it. Because younger individuals
can absorb high-impact forces. So bone takes very long to degrade. So if
somebody has a very high level of bone in the thirties, they’re going to have
higher levels of bone through their life, typically.
Now there’s other factors that play into that; the amount of alcohol or tobacco
exposure, or certain industrial chemicals can affect negatively the bone
density. But if an individual, when they’re younger, engages in more high-impact
activity, they’ll have more. Which is one of the fears of this younger
generation, the millennials and younger, is they’re not active.
Ben Page: Yeah, they’re not moving. Oh yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. When I was a kid, it was my bike and swim practice and
baseball. It was being active. There wasn’t any other way to do it. But now kids
are very attached to electronic devices, and they’re not as active. And they
don’t absorb the same amount of impact, either the magnitude of impact or the
regular occurrence of impact. Therefore they’re going to have worse bone health.
But ultimately it is those impact like activities that are going to trigger that
level of bone growth. As people get older, the activities need to become more
controlled. There are individuals who can box jump. This is a trend in fitness
that has become popular in just the last few years. Mostly associated with
CrossFit. CrossFit keeps a lot of chiropractors in business, but I’m sure you’ve
had that subject come up on your show.
Well, aside from the injuries that are associated with CrossFit from time to
time, the practice of being able to jump up onto a surface, and then land from
that high surface in a more controlled environment, is great for even some
individuals who are over 30. So they can continue to trigger bone growth with
this method, jumping up on a box. And some of these boxes are 12 inches, 24
inches off the ground.
Now, the minimum height to trigger bone growth, to get 4.2 multiples body
weight, we know what that is too. It’s 15 inches. You need to be jumping off of
something that’s 15 inches in minimum height to get that 4.2 multiples of body
weight. So that’s another interesting thing that people look at. Now when I was
prototyping the iPhone application, which when it comes out, it’s going to be
called FRACTUREPROOF. When I was prototyping, I did some tests. I took
individuals and I looked at how able they were to use this application, and try
to get on a high surface and jump off. Let’s say, starting with a curb type
thing, jumping off with both feet, holding the phone against their hip joint, to
see if they were able to achieve the minimum levels of bone growth, the 4.2
multiples. There were some individuals who could do it, even in their fifties,
but it was very rare.
Ben Page: And so for those people that are 50 and above, what would you
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, then there’s osteogenic loading therapy. Then there are
centers of all over the country, and soon all over the world that employ that
first device I was talking about, that can safely put the … far beyond 4.2
multiples. In fact, people who do it for a year, average age of 52, so there’s a
broad population statistic. This was all the way from thirties to seventies.
People averaged 8.7 multiples of body weight through the hip, with this therapy.
So with the therapy, with the controlled environment and the computerized
biofeedback, people were able to very safely, very easily get far past the
minimum levels to trigger bone growth, and are able to grow bone very rapidly.
In fact, the results we’ve seen from a bone density perspective, similar to my
mother’s, individuals can grow bone three to five times faster than, depending
on the clinical trial of which drug you’re comparing it to, three to five times
faster than any drug that’s been trialed.
Ben Page: Incredible. That’s awesome. Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Ben Page: So what are some tips to prevent some sports related injuries? Because
we’re talking about movement, growing bone. I mean, anything we could do to help
prevent these injuries that sometimes happen when we are doing these motions?
Dr. John Jaquish: Great point. Ultimately, osteoporosis is something we look at
from two perspectives. One is bone density. We want to create bone density. But
if we can’t create bone density, we also just want to prevent fractures. So
someone will have lower bone density later in life, on average. That just makes
sense. And therefore, if we can … first, we want to try and keep a level of
bone density higher. But if not, we want to keep them from fracturing.
So then there’s fall prevention activities we can take part in. So balance
training. Whole body vibration is fantastic for stability and balance training,
and many chiropractic practices employ that. I’m sure you’ve seen-
Ben Page: Yeah, I have.
Dr. John Jaquish: And different types of vibration products. There’s many
different types. There’s no one is better than any other.
And then the object of deceleration. So when someone does strength training in
the lower body, slowly lowering themselves, in clinics that I work with that
have vibration, I have people do very slow squats, or one legged squats if they
have the balance to do it. And by one legged spots, I don’t mean bending down so
that their femur’s parallel with the ground. More like slight bends, soft knee
to straight knee, just able to balance themselves and decelerate, as in lower
themselves. Because that’s how your biomechanics cushion yourself from impact.
So if they happen to miss a curb, if they happen to fall or brace for a fall, or
miss a step, they can slow that loading down, so that peaks in loading don’t get
high enough to cause a fracture.
Ben Page: Cool. Cool. Very neat.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Yeah. In movement we are decelerating. If you look at
the breakdown of a femur, there’s 700, it’s a little over 700 foot-pounds that
it takes to shatter a femur when it’s cadaver extracted. But if you think about
just hopping, if you hop on one leg, you’re putting more load than that through
your femur, right?
So how is it that we can hop on one leg and not break the femur, break the
joint? And the answer is we decelerate the loading. So our tendons, our
ligaments, our muscular tissue slows that load down, so those peak loads don’t
get to the inside of the bone matrix. So it’s dissipated with the muscles, the
tendons and the ligaments. So it’s very, very soft on the inside of the bone.
And that’s how biomechanics are designed to work.
Ben Page: Exactly. And great information. I mean, so much where you can just
learn from these couple of minutes that we’ve been actually talking together.
One more question before we let you go, because we’re about at that time. So
winter’s coming up in the Northern hemisphere. I’m in the Southern hemisphere,
but up in the Northern hemispheres winter’s coming. What are some ways to kind
of keep our bones strong during the winter, when there’s a lot less sun out?
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, the activities that I’m talking about are exercising
inside, and then also taking away a lot of the fall hazards.
Ben Page: Just.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. [inaudible] the day.
Ben Page: I lost you again.
Dr. John Jaquish: Are you there now?
Ben Page: Yeah. I lost you again about right when you started answering. So.
Dr. John Jaquish: Okay. So yeah, the ability to avoid falls really. So we want
individuals to be as mobile as possible, to do fall prevention type exercise,
balanced type exercise. And that can be done very easily. There’s American Bone
Health is a nonprofit institution that offers a lot of these educational
programs online. And they have bone health awareness clinics that they run all
over the nation. And so people can learn how to do some very simple fall
Now, the facilities that use the device that I created are called OsteoStrong.
Those facilities are around the country, and they can go to osteostrong.me to
see where those facilities are. So they can end up doing both balance training
and the activity, osteogenic loading activity. So the actual therapy that
triggers bone growth. And those are in the Northern hemisphere too.
Ben Page: Perfect.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Ben Page: Well, thanks a ton for coming on John. I mean, bone health is so
important because if we don’t have the bone health, we’re not moving. And as we
see younger generations aren’t moving, and as we grow older, the older
generation also is not moving. And it’s just so important that we’re moving to
stay healthy. And to be able to move, we need strong bones.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s right.
Ben Page: So really, really neat episode. And I’m so glad you were able to come
on, explain some of these things that I didn’t even know. I didn’t know, the
4.2. So these are things that I’m learning.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Yeah. Very exciting.
Ben Page: And just great things that we’ll be able to share. And any last words
before we kind of close this up?
Dr. John Jaquish: Just thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure. Ben
Page: Perfect. Yeah. Thanks for coming on, John. I had a great time. I learned a
lot, and I know my listeners will learn a lot.
Dr. John Jaquish: Great. Ben Page: And you have a great day. Dr. John Jaquish:
All right. Thanks, Ben. Have a good day.