Thursday, September 19, 2013

Interest grows in healthy aging, anti-aging, reverse-aging, maybe transcendent aging

By Steve Hammons

Whether your age is 7, 17, 37 or 77, one thing is certain: your body is changing and aging.

Your bones, muscles, joints, organs, circulatory system, brain and neurological systems, and other parts of your body are going through changes of many kinds.

Maybe you are age 7 and would like to live to be a healthy 77 years old. 

The ways in which we grow and age can be affected by factors like disease, injuries, nutrition, exercise, stress, happiness, family and many other elements we commonly associate with health and wellness. New research shows that our genetic make-up and the DNA within every cell of our body also affect how we grow and age.

Google’s recent announcement that it is starting a company called Calico that will focus on longevity and healthy aging seems to be an important development. This is because of the key roles that information, education and communication play when it comes to healthy aging and aging-management science, behavior, lifestyles, trends, innovations and discoveries of various kinds.

With many of the post-World War II “baby boomers” now in their 60s, and millions of other middle-aged and younger people in the pipeline, there is rapidly-growing interest in the emerging area of healthy aging, anti-aging and reverse-aging.


Some of the work being done in the field of anti-aging or aging-management, such as genetic studies and pharmaceutical research, is high-tech science. Other aspects of overall health and aging, such as smart exercise and healthy eating, are more like common sense.

Preventing disease and avoiding accident injuries when possible are also steps that can be important for healthy aging. We might benefit by using “situation awareness” about disease prevention, health and wellness, as well as accident-injury prevention and safety.

Certain vitamins, minerals, forms of protein, various nutritional supplements and herbs are often discussed in terms of healthy aging. There has been significant research conducted on many of these nutritional support supplements and some are clearly associated with healthy aging and anti-aging.

Most of us have heard about menopause, the change-of-life phase for women that occurs around age 50. But how many of us are familiar with “andropause,” the parallel phase for males?

Andropause reportedly occurs more gradually and does not have some of the same dramatic markers as menopause in females, such as the end of menstrual periods and ability to get pregnant, sudden hormone changes, hot flashes and other challenging symptoms.

Andropause treatment for males is now growing significantly. Not only is public awareness increasing, but medical approaches such as testosterone replacement therapy (which often includes managing estrogen) for middle-aged males are also expanding. Specialty medical practices and clinics focusing on testosterone replacement therapy are now found in many major cities. Testosterone replacement therapy dovetails with other anti-aging research.


Some years ago, a Navy SEAL officer doing graduate-level studies at a defense university coined the term “transcendent warfare” in his research paper to describe recognizing, learning about and using leading-edge discoveries and perspectives that emerged from the program generally known as Project STAR GATE.

He was referring to a research program related to human consciousness, sponsored by various elements of the defense and intelligence communities in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

When it comes to healthy aging, it seems helpful to look at the concept of transcendent warfare as well as the research results from Project STAR GATE. That program explored the abilities of human consciousness and what we can accomplish with human consciousness.

That same path can be followed toward insights about healthy aging, anti-aging, reverse-aging and “transcendent aging.” Human consciousness is undoubtedly a key factor.

Mental attitude, happiness, family and romantic relationships, and stress management are also factors associated with aging. Other psychological and emotional traits that each of us have may contribute to healthy aging and anti-aging.

Our connections to the natural world could also play a role. Stress reduction includes environmental stress. Spending significant time in peaceful open country such as a forest, a lake or farmland just might be very therapeutic in terms of aging.

The same might be true about canoeing down a river or fishing at a lake or stream, enjoying the outdoors and wildlife, trees, sky, sun and clouds drifting overhead, as well as the moon and stars on a pleasant evening.

Transcendent aging may involve many elements that we are just now beginning to understand.