The research on aging is taking off! Never before in human history have we had so many ‘older’ adults living on our planet.
We’re all doing it, that is aging. From the time we are born we are headed toward the eventual death of our physical bodies. It’s inevitable.
But, what about the quality of our life and longevity
The rising health care crisis and epidemic of autoimmune diseases, obesity and death from use of pharmaceutical drugs are leading the way for the current rush to learn about aging.
The big question everyone wants to know is, “Can we slow, or even reverse aging. If so, how?”
Quality of life as we age is also on everyone’s mind. Do we want to prolong life if the quality of it suffers and declines.
I recall when I was “younger” I never thought aging and the decline of my physical body would happen to me. In fact, it turns out, that most of us when we’re young have this same tendency to think we are somehow immune to aging. No matter the signs of aging we see in the mirror.
At some point for all of us this avoidance and denial strategy starts to breakdown. I would say my reality check on physical aging came at age 46. How about you?
Today, I prefer to think of myself as maturing and ripening with age. Like fine wine, I keep getting better and better.
The natural lifespan limit set for humans is at 125 years. Still, with all of our technological advances in the modern age, few of us achieve this natural lifespan. Centenarians on the planet are in sparse supply today. Why is that?
The National Institute of Health (NIH) age categories:
- Young adults (ages 18-35)
- Middle-aged adults (ages 35-55)
- Older adults (aged older than 55)
For some reason there is no 'wise elders' category for people 75-95 years of age and beyond. Maybe if we create an elders category that will help more of us reach our natural lifespan. It will then become the norm, rather than the rare exception.
The average life expectancy for U.S. adults had been increasing until recently. According to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, the life expectancy has now dropped for the second year in a row. The average U.S. life expectancy is now 78.7 years which is 1.5 years lower than other developed countries like Germany, France, Canada, Japan and the U.K.
If the life expectancy in developed countries is at 79 years that means we fall a 'shocking' 46 years short of our natural human lifespan of 125 years!
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) cited the cause for the declining health of US Americans as: despair.
The drop in life expectancy is fueled by opioid addiction, suicide, and alcohol consumption. As well as, the rising obesity and diabetes epidemics.
On average 115 people die each day in the U.S. from opioid overdose. More deaths and illness are contributing to the rise in health care costs.
Interestingly, at this same time more and more doctors for the first time ever are beginning to onboard their patients to take a part in their own healthcare. Your healthcare is becoming a team effort with your healthcare providers.
A massive research study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on the impact of health habits was conducted. They collected data from fin 1986-2014 from more than 120,000 participants (34 years for women and 28 years for men).
The researchers gathered data regularly that looked at diet (+whole foods), physical activity (+30 minutes daily moderate to vigorous), body weight (+normal BMI), smoking (+no) and alcohol consumption (+moderate).
According to the study, the people who had healthy lifestyle habits extended their life significantly longer, 14 years for women and 12 years for men (if they had these habits at age 50).
Previously, before this study, a healthy lifestyle was not seen as a significant factor in preventing disease by most mainstream doctors.
Hopefully, the tide has turned for healthcare. We’ve reached an era when we will spend more time, energy and money on the prevention of disease rather than developing pharmaceuticals to treat disease.
However, If people keep voting to continue funding pharmaceuticals by paying for the quick fix to alleviate suffering rather than addressing the root causes, then the drug companies will continue developing designer drugs to manage symptoms, and the healthcare crisis and decrease in human life expectancy may also continue.
Bottom line: It seems that human individuals must reach a threshold of suffering when they say, ‘enough is enough’ and then change happens.
Essential oils can improve the quality of your life, as well as help with all facets of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re suffering from despair, addiction and breaking bad habits or negative mind chatter (to name a few areas of concern for many people) essential oils can help. They are safe, non-habit forming and, because they are so concentrated, relatively inexpensive. 1-3 drops of an oil for direct inhalation is all that's needed for beneficial results. Remember, 1 drop of an essential oil is equal to 1-4 cups of plant matter. Aromatherapy is an inexpensive alternative or complement to any healthy lifestyle routine.