Living Longer Better

More and more of us are getting older…… much older. The fastest growing population group in Australia now is those over 85 and by the year 2020, this group is expected to triple.

This post is a little tangential from  Osteopathy and osteopathic practice per se,  but is certainly an important one in regard to our own health and wellness.

With the huge amounts of money being invested into stem cell  and telomere research ( for those of you who don’t know about this …. telomere’s are segments of DNA found at the ends of chromosomes. Every time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter, and once a cell runs out of telomeres, it can’t reproduce anymore and dies. But there’s an enzyme called telomerase that reverses this process; it’s one of the reasons cancer cells live so long. So why not treat regular non-cancerous cells with telomerase? In November, researchers at Harvard Medical School announced in Nature that they had done just that. They administered telomerase to a group of mice suffering from age-related degeneration. The damage went away. The mice didn’t just get better; they got younger ) …. it appears that in the not too distant future we will all be living longer, and equally as importantly, vitally.

In the meantime, we are already living longer but those of you with aging parents or grandparents know that there are huge problems with aging and morbidity.

Many people who I talk to opine that they don’t necessarily want to live forever but they want to live healthily and vitally for as long as possible and then go quickly and with dignity when their time comes ….

So it appears that we are going to live longer, and until these great scientific advances become reality for us in the evryday,  we need to ask ourselves what we are doing to ensure that our lives remain vital for as long as possible?

I am gonna recommend a new Facebook group to you which produces regular updates on the latest information and tips for vitality and health as you age.  So go to your Facebook page and search and ‘like’ the page “Live Until At Least 120″.

Understand the latest information which will help slow down your aging process and help increase your vitality as you do age.

If you’re not on Facebook …. maybe its time you considered it …. taking on new mental challenges and new ideas is one of the actions you can take to help you live longer better.

Winding up into the New Year

After the summer break, we are all heading back into the fray having re-vitalised ourselves and recharged our batteries. But how do we help ourselves to stay on top of when we are back into our routines. Here is a tip from your osteopath to help you improve your health and focus during the year.

One of the answers to help give ourselves a mental break is to meditate … a chance to rest the mind for a bit and restore your mental vitality.

Meditation is basically about focusing your attention to reduce, and even get rid of, the stream of racing and crowded and jumbled  thoughts that often take over our mind and are believed to be one of the of causes of stress.

An interesting study quoted in ‘The Guardian’ by Harvard Professor Daniel Gilbert concluded that 47% of the time our minds wander from what we are doing. The interesting fact here is that people were not at their happiest when their minds wandered and drifted into fantasy but rather when they were focused on the present.

Needless to say, meditation will help this process. Meditation will help, not only to improve your mental and emotional health, but some research suggests it will also help your physical health and help increase your longevity.

Click here to quickly read about 5 basic meditation types from The Mayo Clinic’s website. The major elements of meditation are;

1. Focusing your attention

2. Relaxed breathing

3. A quiet location

4. A comfortable position

So straightforward …  a little  something for you to think about as you embark on your new year

The Male Menopause

Everywhere we look lately we are being presented with the various issues, especially around health, of the aging population. Having reached the half century myself and working in the health industry these are issues that I see every day.

I was interested to read an article recently in Science Daily talking about age-related hormone changes that occur not only in women but also in men. while menopause has been mainly talked about in terms of woman’s health, men also may suffer from some this in what is medically termed hypogonadism, where the testicles start decreasing their production of testosterone leading to a male menopause

The hormone changes in women occur more quickly with the cessation of ovulation leading to a relatively quick decrease in hormone levels. In men this happens much more slowly but it is estimated that testosterone levels begin dropping by about one percent a year starting in the late 30’s.

Symptoms include fatigue, mood swings, decreased desire for sex, hair loss, lack of concentration and weight gain. Diagnosis is, not surprisingly by blood test and treatment is via hormone replacement therapy with very quick and effective results.