- Chronic Pain & Wellness
- Chronic Pain & Wellness
7 Simple Steps to Aging Better
I’m off again to share my learning, research, and study of the human body. This life-long pursuit started with my questioning of how we age and how to stop it from happening as I watched my great grandmother slowly disintegrate into a mere shell of a woman.
My quest has grown into a profound understanding of cellular science. I’ve learned that when you really want to know about something, you have to travel down the rabbit hole, asking deeper and more complex questions about a topic most people would rather avoid.
The thought of aging seems synonymous with the process of death. As a society we tend to not find anything glamorous about getting older. What do we have to look forward to as we add another year to our life? Wrinkles, a new notch on the belt buckle as our mid-section grows wider, our hair gets thin and seems to grow everywhere but the top of our head, our libido declines to the point sex is more an idea than a physical act, and we soon recognize we are so far out of the loop of modern times we get upset when we refer to something of our youth like albums and typewriters, and realize people only a decade younger than us have never used or touched one in their entire life.
One could only wish we could conjure up a pill that you could take one time, cause zero side effects, and somehow reverse the aging process, sustain a youthful appearance well into our 80s and perhaps live 125 years feeling like we were 40.
Dare I disappoint you by declaring, “There will never be a cure for aging. It’s not a disease by the way.” Many of us are willing to pay mega bucks to try any and every cream, pill, diet, injection or surgery to reduce the effects of father time. Yet entropy is inevitable and aging is simply a byproduct of time.
So, how can we slow down, reduce, or even eliminate some of the negative effects we associate with aging?
I believe we can. Yet science really does have trouble proving it to be true. How can you know that something will make you live longer? How can you scientifically measure longevity of a human beyond a cell in a plastic dish? You would have to be able to live one lifetime not doing something and then living a second lifetime trying something else to really know if what you are doing is making you live a longer life.
Even if you took two groups of people, one doing something and another not, you are still studying two different people in each instance. My genes and yours might react and respond differently to one particular type of intervention. You can’t look into a magic ball and see your future ahead of time. Looking into your future too far makes today less realized. Moreover, you can’t guarantee an accident won’t happen that would sabotage all of your Being present in the moment. Being present is most certainly the foundation of living a long, happy, fulfilling lifetime.
Don’t get depressed. I have good news coming.
Because technology and curious scientists and clinicians in my field of research are able to study human cells, DNA, and the genome we are able to recognize critical elements that cause cell death and others that help cells divide, proliferate, and regenerate. There are some really, really simple things you can do daily as keys to living well, well into your 100’s. This is list is going to seem too simple but when I work with people who suffer with neurological disorders I can certainly say most if not all fail to achieve a single component of good living that’s on my short list.
So before you pop a collagen pill, inject your face with Botox, try another fast or fad diet, or spend $200 on a miracle face cream, check my list and tell me you live each day with these top simple 7 elements.
- Human touch. It turns out many of us don’t obtain enough physical touch in a day. Many elderly adults don’t get a single hug, kiss, or touch even once a week. In fact, they barely touch themselves. This will kill cells faster if you leave yourself physiologically void of external stimulation. So I encourage you to get at least three hugs and one kiss everyday this week. Make it a challenge and see how you feel seven days from now. You might be surprised how much a hug can improve your overall health. If you can’t find someone to give you a hug, MELT yourself. Giving your own body some gentle touch and self-care is a step in the right direction. Your cells respond to touch whether you touch yourself (and I mean that in any which way your brain is thinking right now) to someone touching you. Touch is essential to good health so get up and get a hug today.
- SMILES and eye contact. I don’t know what’s going on with our youth today but man, making eye contact for more than a second is like asking for their soul. When I greet someone I do it with a smiling “hello” and go out of my way to achieve eye contact with that person. It’s fun to see their posture change, their eyes light up, and their voice lifts a touch. Sharing in human energy will boost yours and the others faster than a shot of espresso.
- More water. Many of us go literally hours without sipping any water. Well, it turns out your cells NEED frequent, small additions of water to proliferate in general. You don’t necessarily need to ADD more water to your day in fact, just drinking more water may over tax you kidneys and just make you pee more. But sipping small amounts of water frequently is the easiest way to aid your cells in staying healthy and it’s the key ingredient in cell division – the primary step in cell development and growth.
- SLEEEEEEEEEEP! Getting a truly sound restful REM abundant night’s sleep is such a key ingredient in cell health. Missing a few zzzzz seems fine to many but missing out on even one REM and deep sleep cycle can reduce your vitality for the next day by 50%. This increases your tendency to develop poor eating habits, overdose on caffeine, and stress your brain function, vision, hearing, and basically overtax your senses. Sleep in a pitch black room or use an eye mask to help you get more deep and REM phases each night. Your eyes, brain, and body will thank you for it – and you will eliminate those bags under your eyes, giving you a more vibrant, youthful appearance.
- Learn to change your state of mind. Have you ever gotten so angry because someone was mean to you that it entirely wrecked your day? More over, harboring the anger makes you relive the moment in your mind over and over again only in your mind you see yourself punching the person square in the face? Learning how to change your state and shift your energy quickly takes practice. Learning to laugh at the moments that initially sent you to that angry, sad, or frustrated place. Letting go of hurt is tough but necessary.
- A simple act of kindness goes a long way. Have you ever just helped someone for no real reason at all? Held a door open, giving your lunch to a random homeless person, called a friend out of the blue just to say hello? It’ amazing how giving love gives you the same ten fold. Sharing love, giving good energy out to others also is a key component to living a healthy, long life.
- Move, baby, move. Daily life can be spent in a very sedentary state for most hours. Although you may be working and thinking, if you aren’t moving enough your cells will not proliferate and rejuvenate properly. Movement is essential in our overall longevity and health. You don’t need to run a marathon by the way, just get up, stretch, again MELT your feet or your hands, go for a walk, or take a quick lap around the office a few times today. It helps restore fluid flow in your cells and enhances proper blood flow.
Although the thought that life is short is true and unfortunate, living each day fully with happiness, joy, and love will make you look and feel good each day. Live today with good intentions, focus, and one goal to make tomorrow better. Try to knock out all seven by the end of the week each day.
Let me know how you feel and if you haven’t MELTed yet, well… don’t wait for the negative effects of aging to motivate you. Just get up and do it. You will be better for it.
About the author
Creator of the MELT Method®
Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, is a nationally recognized somatic-movement educator and manual therapist. Her decades of practice, research, and study of anatomical science and alternative therapies... View Articles