Today is the moment. And now is the time to take action. The population of the world is aging at a rapid rate. And according to a 2011 research paper from the Harvard School of Public Health, there will be close to a billion people over the age of 60 by 2020, doubling to nearly two billion by 2050.
This staggering number represents 22 per cent of the world's population. And it can only translate to one reality-that the business of anti-aging (or aging, for that matter) is a serious one.
A report by the MIT Age Lab reveals that the 50 and above age group represents the fastest-growing segment worldwide.
This new phenomenon has catapulted the wellness industry to a booming global business. In a report by the Global Spa Summit, it was stated that the beauty and anti-aging segment of the wellness industry was valued at $679.1 billion (S$829.46 billion) in 2012. And it's still growing.
With the growing demand for treatments to delay aging, there has been an unprecedented spike in the clamour for the "quick fix." "Instant" is the operative word. And suddenly mushrooming are spas, beauty centers, and even beauty parlours offering procedures that may be questionable and often risky.
We have known of many instances where patients have been disfigured or lost their lives due to excessive treatments promising quick transformations. Apart from the risks, all anti-aging treatments are expensive and not within the reach of the average individual.
Truth be told, recapturing one's youth isn't a matter of popping super pills, sophisticated regimens, injections or surgery. The most effective anti-aging regimen is good health. While this is not meant to disparage conventional medicine which can offer effective ways to address health and beauty challenges, it has long been observed by health experts that the quality of one's life offers a longer-lasting effect on one's overall well-being and personal good looks.
Working with nature
This scenario seems all too familiar.
You attend a class reunion and meet up with your former school buddies. You are met with a fair share of compliments mixed with amazement on the part of your chums or simply shocked to find your classmates totally aged, overweight and on maintenance pills.
What happened? You ask yourself. Some may even be bold enough to interrogate you about your beauty secrets. Maybe 20 years ago, the big "5-0" was synonymous with shriveled skin, a beer belly and balding head. But today's 50 is the new 30. And there is no reason why one cannot look vibrant and youthful.
A Mind-Body Medicine Course at the Harvard Medical School provides enlightenment to many that:
One need not be on expensive lifetime maintenance medication to get well from diseases like cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.
The human body can reverse aging and disease via proper nutrition, prayer, meditation, exercise, social and family support and yoga.
Stress causes long-term damage on one's health and speeds up aging.
Medication and physician error and adverse side effects from drug or surgery can be fatal. (Source: "Journal of the American Medical Association")
Ancient civilizations like China and India, through traditional Chinese medicine and ayurveda, echo a similar philosophy-that there must be balance of body, mind and spirit, the only solid foundation of feeling young. True beauty? It springs from a healthy body.
People with positive outlooks like Cathy Turvill, owner of Nurture Spa in Tagaytay (tel. 7109786; www.nurture.com.ph) and author of "Turn Back Time: Natural Anti-Aging Choices," maintain a golden attitude-"Aging is inevitable but looking and feeling old are not." How well said.
Here are her pillars of natural anti-aging:
C-Choose a positive outlook
H-Healthy eating and hydration
O-Oxygenate through exercise
I-Immune boosting with natural supplements
C-Cleanse your body and emotions
E-Embrace spa and wellness therapies
S-Sleep, skin care, spiritual support
Anything green, bright and uncooked coming from the fruit and vegetable kingdom is alive. Cooked food is enzyme depleted. Brenda Cobb, breast and cervical cancer survivor and founder of the Living Foods Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, is a 100-per cent raw and whole foods advocate who spreads the good news-that the power of natural healing is in living foods.
Power foods: Dark green/orange fruits and vegetables; berries, nuts, grapes; green tea; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower; citrus fruits; tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries; beans; garlic; onions. (Source: "Age-Proof Your Body," by Elizabeth Somer, RN)
Robert N. Butler, MD, in his book "The Longevity Principle" shares his wisdom:
10 nutritional principles:
1. Eat less salt-1,500 mg daily is good. Note: Salt comes in the form of MSG and soy sauce.
2. Eat as much fruits and vegetables. Two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables is ideal.
3. Eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, fruits and vegetables, milk and cheese, minimal fats, oils and sugar.
4. Go low-fat and go easy on high-fat foods.
5. Eat more fresh fruits, not canned or cooked.
6. Take whole grains.
7. Take low- or non-fat dairy milk.
8. Beware of hidden sugars in cakes, pastries and desserts.
9. Take vitamin supplementation
10. Hydrate well with good clean water.
There are many choices you can make. So, whatever regimens you intend to adopt-vegan, vegetarian or moderation-you have already taken the first step toward embracing a wellness lifestyle. For sure, you will live longer and feel better.
Cleansing through affirmations:
Don't be sad or angry. Be kind to yourself.
There is mounting scientific evidence showing the correlation between disease and negative emotions.
Stay calm. Breathe slowly and deeply.
Forgive and release.
Affirm with: "I am completely healed, body and soul."
Love and light!