Anti-aging medicine and nutrition is big business these days, as most baby boomers are trying anything and everything to look and feel younger. In my acupuncture practice, many of my patients have asked me if I do cosmetic acupuncture or if I can suggest foods and herbs to take a few years off their appearance. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to look and feel younger. As a 40-something female, I am always looking for quality skin care products, stylish clothing to flatter my middle age body, and I've even been thinking lately I need to color some of these new gray hairs that keep cropping up.... Yet this desire to look young and beautiful can easily block us from the deeper issues that deserve our attention. The questions that I come back to are:
- What is causing you to look or feel older than your years in the first place?
- Is it fundamentally healthy to desire a more youthful appearance or is it a sign that we are denying the very natural process of birth, old age, and death?
- What is the real cause of premature aging? Why are so many people feeling worn out before their years? Why are so many women hitting perimenopause in their late 30’s instead of their late 40’s? Why are degenerative illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis increasing at astonishing rates?
My post on adrenal function addresses this issue. Many people have lost the ability to rest and restore. They are always ‘on’– they can’t quiet their minds and their bodies are in a chronic state of movement and contraction. They have forgotten to breathe deeply. As a result, some of the most fundamental inputs into health and longevity, such as diet, exercise and spirituality often go ignored.
Yes, there are supplements, herbs, and treatments that can help us to look and feel younger and I use them all. The real goal, however, is to actually become fully embodied as a human being. When you begin to awaken all of your senses and know that there is a deeply spiritual presence that is inhabiting your body--this is the basis of health and longevity. In fact, this aspect of who we are is eternal.
As a health practitioner, I believe it’s paramount to keep returning to the question, What really matters? If you think about it, what this world needs more than anything is massive amounts of individuals choosing to wake up, open their hearts, and live with purpose. If it was really helpful to focus on appearances, I would be all for it. But our world needs a much deeper level of treatment than this if it is to sustain itself for much longer.
Your partner in health,