Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

“I’m Not As Good As I Once Was!” Dr. Weil to the Rescue

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

      “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good ONCE as I ever was” is a song that you may have heard. The singer tells about the his inability to do the things he used to be able to do physically – but on occasion, when called upon, he was able to rise to the challenge and succeed. You may have these moments yourself.

     Aging, maladies, and various other inhibiting factors can lessen the capacity that we once had to live life vigorously.  We can succumb or succeed, depending on attitude, adjustments, and certain actions- the AAA approach.  This success strategy can enable us to have a few more “ONCE” experiences.

     Dr. Andrew Weil is the media guru for living better longer. He has been a TIME cover story, been on Larry King and most every other talk show.  His commitment to researching, living, and teaching about maximizing good health is exemplary. His advice is worth noting.  Weil invites us with these words: “It is important to learn how to live in appropriate ways in order to maximize health and happiness.  That should be an essential goal for all of us.”

     The Dr. Weil headline items for aging well include:

DIET: (specific recommendations regarding carbohydrates, fat, protein, fiber, phytonutrients).

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: (emphasis on Vitamins C and E, Selenium, multivitamin, and calcium).

SUPPLEMENTS: (fish oil, aspirin, ginger and tumeric, co-enzyme Q-10)

WATER: (6-8 glasses every day)

EXERCISE: (cardio-vascular, strength training, stretching (he loves yoga)

REST AND SLEEP: (develop good sleep habits).

TOUCH AND SEX: (“find ways to touch and be touched as you move through life.” He particularly recommends massage, love-making with a partner, and solo sex).

STRESS REDUCTION: (exercise, meditation, breath techniques)

THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS, AND ATTITUDES: (positive mind set, psychotherapy, and medicinal drugs).

SPIRIT: (spiritual health and practice)

     One thing Dr. Weil does not mention specifically in the article is the aging of the brain.  The above regimen certainly is helpful for slowing the process of diminished brain functioning. Other practices for enhanced brain power would be cross word puzzles, reading, memorizing, learning a foreign language, a glass of red wine – and reflecting on this blog!

Women, Do You Want Your Man to Live Longer?

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

     This is not a trick question.  If the answer is “no”, come see me, not a hit man.  If the answer is “yes”, read on.  There is important scientific information available to you.

     Fact, based on a number of research studies, married men are healthier than man who are single, divorced, or widowed.  The “marriage benefit” both protects men’s health and also prolongs their lives. Three factors are listed as the main reasons for such an outcome.

     TOUCH: Holding hands, hugging, embracing, and cuddling warm the heart and lower stress. Dr. James Coan showed in his research that such touch actually reduced agitation in the hypothalamus area of the brain, which controls the release of stress hormones. These stress hormones turn off our immune function thus leading to a weakened immune system.  A weakened immune system invites poor health.

    EMOTIONAL SUPPORT: Men tend to be inattentive to, and deny, their physical symptoms. Attentive loving spouses pay attention to their husbands and nudge and nurse them toward better health. Studies show that husbands with loving supportive wives get sick less often and, when ill, recover faster than husbands who did not have such a caring companion.

     SEX MATTERS: A man who has a secure marriage and continues to be sexually active succumbs to illness less often and heals from wounds and surgery faster. According to Dr. Harry Lodge, the emotional brain circuit sits next to, and is connected to, the brain circuits that control heart rate, blood pressure, and how much adrenaline one secretes.

     In a decade long longitudinal study done at Queen’s University it was found that men who had sex three or more times a week had a 50% reduced risk of heart attacks or stroke.  And those men who reported the most orgasms had a death rate of one-half that of the less sexually active men. The research did not indicate how many of those orgasms involved intercourse. (A woman’s heart is also protected by sensual affection because of the release of the hormone oxytocin and the resulting lower blood pressure)

     In summary, scientific studies show that long-married men, in marriages with the above present elements, live up to five years longer than their contemporaries.  Such men have, to quote Dr. Lodge, a luminescence to them – a deep, calm, subtle glow.” 

     I am aware that this article will be brought to the attention of some women  by their “ailing” men, hidden by some reluctant women, and on the pillow of men with sensually deprived wives. I present these facts in hopes that most wives want to do all they can to assure that they have a long life with a healthy man who appreciates such a loving spouse!

“I Useta Could – Aging Slow Down!!

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

     I have a reoccurring memory of playing basketball with my Dad in our driveway when I was a teenager.  I remember how slow and awkward the swift “Jake” had become.  He had aged – not a pretty sight.  Not a great memory.

      I have a related unpleasant memory from a number of years ago. I was playing one on one basketball with my son, Kris.  He drove by me like I wasn’t moving.  After being thoroughly whipped I remembered the image of my father.  I had, like him, aged.  It was not a pretty sight!

     Perhaps you have similar memories and images of you becoming like your parents = old.  You probably are not as agile and vibrant as you once were.  You have some body sag and libido drag. “Senior moments” occasionally cloud your memory.

     What can you do to maximize good health and postpone deteriorative aging?  In a recent NEWSWEEK lead story two prominent scientists had the following recommendations:

      Dr. Marianne Diamond, 78- year- old professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, offers the “Five Secrets of Staying Mentally Vigorous”

  1. Healthy diet, including Edamame, Turmeric, Broccoli, Green Tea, Red Wine
  2. Exercise on a regular basis
  3. Challenge yourself
  4. Create novelty
  5. Love in your life

     Dr. Howard LeWine, of Harvard Medical School, age 60, says in his article on “Script for Better Aging”:

  1. Healthy diet
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Positive thinking (7.5 years longer says a Yale researcher)
  4. Happy marriage

     I find it interesting that both of these aging medical scientists emphasize loving relationships as being vitally important in maximizing physical and mental well-being.  Loving relationships are all about emotional connections. Without them other integrative connections essential to health diminish in potency and aging accelerates.

     May I ask you, how attuned are you to that loving relationship need in you?  What do you do to maximize loving relationships in your life?  Just as you would see an orthopedic specialist for your aching knees, perhaps, too, you could see a relationship specialist for your heartaches.  Or are knees more important?  Not according to these researchers.

      I hope the above recommendations are useful to you and that you will follow them.  If you do so you will postpone as long as is possible making the statement of “I useta could”.

          “USE  IT  OR  LOSE  IT!”