part one

Baby boomer that I am, I don’t see myself as old but I’m not a youngster any more either. Like many of my fellow baby boomers, I don’t view myself any differently than when I was younger but the body doesn’t always have the same spring, the umph, the endurance I would like. Given this reality, two thoughts about my own process of aging are beginning to settle into my head: one, since Americans are living longer and I have longevity in my family, I may have only just passed the halfway mark and; two, in spite of taking good care of myself I’m going to have to do an even better job in the second half.

A lack of illness and fairly good health lull many an unsuspecting boomer into an advanced process of aging simply by ignoring their bodies. Suddenly the same ache you’ve experienced for years as tennis elbow now appears in a knee, a hip or your feet. You suddenly become painfully aware that it’s a process in your body – one that can cripple and bring pain. The inactivity leads to a more sedentary lifestyle, reducing lung and cardiovascular capacity, thinner bones, increased blood pressure and obesity – all the diseases of aging.

Even western traditional medicine is leaning towards early and better care of the body – preaching weight control, exercise, proper diet and stress reduction. Unfortunately, we take it all just too lightheartedly.

Although we cannot alter our genetic makeup, we can still strengthen weak areas and enhance the quality of our years. One of the best ways to learn about and influence a genetically weak link is by knowing your roots. If every male in your family died young of heart disease, young as you may be you are not immune. If breast cancer is prevalent in the female population of your family you need to take it very seriously. Take a pro-active role – especially in those areas of your health and don’t give all the responsibility to the doctor.

The new science of anti-aging medicine holds great promise and proves it is never too late to reverse at least some of the signs and disease of aging. Traditional medicine offers the more flashy procedures such as coronary artery repair that restores life giving oxygen and nutrients to a tired heart or joint replacement that returns function and relieves pain. Complimentary medicine offers less flashy procedures but still offers new hope to those suffering with more chronic degenerative diseases that come with advancing age.

Aging should not be something we fear or worry about. In fact, it is vital that we remain emotionally positive about ourselves and our bodies and live life fulfilling aspirations, dreams and goals just as we did in our younger years. In order to do so, we must maximize physical health through good nutrition, exercise and bodywork and supplementation.

We are never too young to embark upon a journey into anti aging medicine – given the new found idea that our biological and chronological age many times don’t match. Yes, you can be younger than your years.

Stay tuned for part two next week when I’ll discuss some of the best and newest products and ideas designed to help keep us all if not young, young at heart and feeling good about growing older.

Till next time, Rebecca


part two

Last week in part one of this two part series we looked at the dynamics of aging — how genetics, attitudes and current medical models affect us. This week we’ll take a look at some of the basics and newer high tech supplements used to slow aging and add life to your years.

The basics- Nothing will ever take the place in the fight against aging than sound nutritional practice, exercise, play, appropriate amounts of sleep and a positive mental attitude. Balance does not always come easily and as we age we will find many an adjustment necessary to maintain it. Various books and programs can help you find your way but the fine tuning must come from the intuitive self.

A personal journal is an extremely helpful tool in the discovery of self and balance. Don’t worry about what you write, just be sure to do it. The patterns that need addressing will naturally emerge.

Supplementation- A high quality multi-vitamin mineral supplement is a must. Our current food supply simply cannot provide enough vitamins and minerals to support even basic health.

Digestive enzymes help us assimilate what we have eaten and act as natural anti-inflammatories reducing free radical damage and C-reactive proteins that lead to cellular and tissue degeneration.

Glucosamine Sulfate by itself or with Chondrotin, MSM, or SAMe will help keep joints young and strong and less prone to injury that leads to inactivity and accelerated aging. SAMe also has a positive effect on mental health by producing a sense of well being, reduces pain and stiffness related to aging joints.

DHEA a naturally occurring hormone like substance used in low dose has been shown to reduce several disease pathologies related to age. The Journal of Immunology Feb 2002 discussed the positive effects of DHEA on immune function. Other studies showed a positive effect on bone density, fat reduction, reduced incidence of heart and organic brain disease.

Magnesium deficiency is extremely common and should be supplemented. Besides its importance in calcium uptake for strong bones, magnesium helps lower blood pressure, helps keep your heart healthy and reduces the risk of stroke and diseases of the brain.

Magnesium also helps increase glutathione levels a key cellular antioxidant enormously important in defending neurons against free-radical damage.

A supplement of fish oil, alpha lipoic acid or flax oil rich in key fatty acids play a vital role in cardiovascular and brain health and are not found in today’s diet. These supplements protect nerve tissue, give vitality and endurance, lower levels of bad cholesterol and raise levels of good cholesterol. If you have been unsuccessful in lowering high cholesterol levels this may be your answer.

A medicine cabinet of simple herbals will help keep you healthy without the use of over the counter medicines that imbalance and can lead to further high powered medication use. For simple colds and flu try garlic tablets, colloidal silver, ginger, Echinacea and zinc lozenges. For sore throat use any of the above with slippery elm to relieve the pain. For aches and pain use white willow bark, liquid magnesium or SAMe. For simple bladder infection try cranberry tablets and colloidal silver. For hangover try Dandelion or Milk Thistle. Medications do work and may at sometime play an important role in your health. Just don’t over use them.

Anti aging medicine and techniques shouldn’t be a mystery. Make the best of your genetics and remember we all have weak points, rather than stretching them to the breaking point they need protecting and enhancing. Personally I can only hope that one day a motto for anti aging will look something like this- live simply find simple answers to simple health problems and work to keep balance.

Till next time, Rebecca