Recently, I was sitting by a pool with a friend. We were discussing health and aging. He made the comment, “Aging is a disease,” which struck me as fatalistic.
“No, it’s reality,” he said. “At about 26 years of age, our cells stop growing and producing and start to decline.”
I was recently inspired and re-inspired while reading current research on mind body psychology and taught a college course called mind body psychology for the second time.
The new research about aging and health is exciting and encouraging. There are ways to facilitate more creativity, health, and build a better brain. Genetics of the brain and body are being unlocked revealing that we cannot just live longer, but live a high quality of life as we age.
“But aging is a disease and we are all going to die,” my friend repeated.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Has our culture been so brain washed by the pharmaceutical companies’ commercials on TV that we now believe that everything is a disease, including aging?
Think about how many new diseases are created every week? Why are they created? So that medication can be prescribed for them. It’s a big profit industry and we are buying into it. It’s brainwashing. If you are tired, overweight, too hungry, not hungry enough, sleeping or not sleeping at night, stressed, overwhelmed, addicted to food, drugs, sex, shopping, or cigarettes, depressed whatever! There is a pill for it.
Are we becoming numb or unmotivated to make healthy decisions for ourselves? Have we given our health and wellness over to pharmaceutical companies and doctors who dole out the RX samples like free candy? Then we get “hooked” on or have side effects from the medication and guess what? There is another pill for that! We are not as disease possessed as the pharmaceutical ads would like us to believe.
Aging is part of the continuum of life. The continuum is from optimal wellness to death. It is not a disease and there is no pill to cure it. Aging is part of life — just as toddlerhood, adolescence, and adulthood are part of the continuum. Here is a metaphor I use to explain the continuum and how many factors affect growth, health, vitality and quality of life.
If you plant two fruit trees, one in the shade, in a shallow hole, no room for the roots to grow, and it receives no nutrients, not much sun and there are other bushes around it that crowd it; it’s growth and health are stunted and it produces little if any fruit. The other tree is planted in fertile soil with plenty of room for the roots. It receives sunlight during the daytime and is watered as needed. It has plenty of space to grow and it grows strong and full and produces a lot of fruit.
Our bodies, like the trees, have genetic material encoded, but there are many other factors that affect growth, development, and health. Recent studies in mind body psychology indicate that enriching life experiences that evoke newness, and stimulation of new brain patterns occur during creative moments of art, music, dance, drama, humor, literature, spirituality, awe, joy, and cultural rituals and that these can positively affect healing and the aging process.
Studies show that a mother’s touch creates stimulation of the immune system, growth hormones, and neural growth in her baby’s brain. Yes, we may be living longer but quality of life begins every day with making a choice to promote health, creativity, and neurogenesis or new brain neural pathways and a strong immune system. How?
I teach a webinar course for people who want to make a choice to live a more creative, healthy, happy and stimulating life no matter what age you are.
We offer a FREE 15 minute session to new clients. Contact Us to schedule it today. These sessions are only available via phone, email, text and Skype.