“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking,
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older ,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
(Pink Floyd – from ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’)
It starts as soon as we are born… the inexorable ’ ageing process’. It has become the nemesis of a great swathe of the populations of, especially, developed nations, who are desperate to beat it into submission, deny it, resent it and refashion it. Who has not come across, the term ‘anti-ageing ’?
But maybe we actually age faster when we cannot accept this aspect of life? What we cannot accept we have to set ourselves up against, at our peril.
I realize the concept of ageing is massively weighted against women, who are subject to relentless pressures/expectations to appear ageless – this is an underlying cultural sexism, which is most unfortunate.
We are all vulnerable to time, with handed-down genetic frailties, which may express themselves with the passing of the years, but we also have the strength of will and resolve and an enormous range of resources available, with which to maximize our lived potential. There are things we can do to smoothe the journey. I am going to look at a few areas – which many people expect to deteriorate, purely as a result of ageing – in which we can, with recourse to treatment and some personal effort, make considerable positive impact. I have selected particular categories, as they are very common clinical presentations and respond extremely well to acupuncture, chinese medicine, naturopathy, diet and other practices, which I’ll describe.
Its not until you have lost it or had it altered through injury, that one’s mobility is truly cherished. Once compromised, you become dependent on others, your immediate goals must be re-prioritised and life in general is rather slowed down; like going from high speed cable to dial-up.
Injuries need to be treated comprehensively because, if not properly resolved, the site will undergo problems such as weakness, poor range of motion, recurrent pain and stiffness and possible arthritis, over time. These problems often rear their heads as people enter their 40s and 50s, especially sites such as shoulders, back and neck.
It is my personal observation that as we age we are subject to a contractive force – having grown up, we tend to grow down. Some people visibly shrink. For the rest of us there is a drying, tightening, stiffening, rigidifying process evident. This is a waning of overall Yin Qi in the body that requires nourishing and replenishing.
Options – electro-acupuncture, massage and suction cupping. Specific supplements might include: Glucosamine, specialized magnesium supplements, natural anti-inflammatories and connective tissue support formulas. Chinese medicine looks to supporting the Yin and removing obstructions, with specific herbals. Stretching, especially isometrics and gentle exercise, are applicable, as are yoga, tai chi and qi gong.
Epsom salt baths are particularly indicated in muscular spasms, but to be useful, the salt must be fairly concentrated.Thats to say, two tablespoons of epsom salts in a full tub of water isn’t going to be therapeutic beyond the effect of a nice warm soak.
Whoever said ‘whatever goes up must come down ‘probably wasn’t figuring on BP. I regard a lot of hypertension as a lifestyle problem, notwithstanding passed down familial genetic predispositions.
Options: Many clients are already on medication when they present in the clinic. I follow a treatment path parallel to this drug therapy. My focus is to ascertain the big picture and attempt to improve the likes of cholesterol levels, body weight, blood sugar status, diet, activity levels, sleep patterns and stress.
Meditation is being embraced as a potent practice with the ability to improve HBP. Possibly, the positive effects of meditation are due to its influence over stress-induced dis-ease, in that it reduces, or compensates for the way stress affects both body and mind negatively. It also helps us recognise where in life we are our own worse enemies, enabling us to alter existing, counterproductive habits of mind. I think its still a positive result if a client doesn’t need to keep increasing their BP medication level over time. They usually feel fitter, healthier and happier as well.
Excess weight is a drag on the entire body. Weight gain is such a prolific health threat that its regulation has become a critical endeavour across all ages. There appears to be a tendency for our bodies to accumulate weight, in the form of adipose tissue, typically around the abdomen and especially beginning around the ages of mid 40s to mid 50s. This is often a time of reduced physical activity, and a time wherein many people report feeling ‘tired and wired’ a lot of the time, a loss of previous stamina, and the development of sensitivities/intolerances previously unknown. Maybe we have become a little too comfortable in daily life and our body weight is a signal to get out there and push the envelope, any envelope, somewhat? previously unknown.
Maybe we have become a little too comfortable in daily life and our body weight is a signal to get out there and push the envelope, any envelope, somewhat?
Options: Don’t bust your gut at the gym. Rather, discover a sustainable exercise approach that you know you will enjoy for many years. ‘Interval training’ is gaining in popularity and is easier on our older bodies. Adopt an eating regime that is yummy, nutritious, free of as many un-natural chemicals as possible and low in refined carbohydrates and starches, which lead to raised insulin levels. I eat organic produce, for its absence of chemicals, its nutritional value and very importantly, the taste, which is missing in so much produce these days. My taste buds are my most trustworthy feedback mechanism.
Consult with your personal practitioner regarding more specific approaches to fat metabolism, if that’s what is necessary to shift weight, approaches which are also kind on the body and mind and won’t lead to rebound weight gain at a later time.
Recommended reading for those who aspire to whole foods in their diet: ‘In Defence Of Food’, by Michael Pollan. It’s an informative, interesting and very inspiring read. Interestingly he advises we return in large to the meals our great-grandmothers used to put on the table; basically a whole-food array, with no artificial ingredients – food for thought for sure. Yes, theres nothing new under the sun and sometimes we benefit by turning back the clock to habits of old.
Visit Michael’s website for more great reading and health tips: www.michaelfinnhealthservices.com.auTo make an appointment with Michael, call Bardon Counselling & Natural Therapy Centre on 07 33681300.