The Fine Art of Aging Gracefully in a Youth-Oriented Culture

Many baby boomers spend much time and money trying to reverse the imminent signs of aging and rid themselves of pain, in a bid to stay healthy.
Those in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s pay the biggest price, admitting to a self-inflicted abusive lifestyle in their teens and 20’s.

A reckless youth, eating carelessly, sleeping as little or as much as possible, drinking and smoking whatever one could find, plus the enduring stress of college, making ends meet and then raising a family directly impact quality of life in your 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond.

As millions of baby boomers say, “blink once, you’re in your 40s; blink twice, you’re pushing 60 and your debilitating health issues appear out of nowhere!”
Many clients say, “Had I known about the longterm effects of my misspent youth, I would have done it differently. Why didn’t anyone warn me!”
First off, a youth intent on having risky fun, likely would not have listened to any well-meaning advice as they consider themselves invincible, much like the action figures they worshipped from kindergarten on.

How to Ease the Inevitable Consequences of Aging.

  • Poor Sleep Habits. Teens and young adults commonly get to bed late and wake up late. But this staying up late is a huge body stressor.
  • Cortisol, the body’s major stress hormone, naturally declines in the early evening in an attempt to prepare the body for sleep. Late nights force the cortisol to surge and, according to one study, cortisol will reactively surge the next night as well.
  • The most common cause of insomnia is cortisol levels staying high in the evening. With each successive late night, cortisol levels rise and make it tougher to get to bed early. The body then becomes conditioned to staying up late. But the risks are real!

Risks of Imbalanced Sleep.  With each late night, cortisol rises, making it harder to get to sleep on time the next night.In a recent study reported in the journal Sleep, the sleeping patterns of more than 10,000 people aged 35-55 were measured over a 5-year period. Both the quality and amount of hours of sleep per day were measured against cognitive function.

Accordingly, when people get between 6 – 8 hours of sleep per night, they maintain good cognitive function and age normally.

When you get less than 6 or more than 8 hours of sleep per night, an accelerated decline in cognitive function occurs. The cognitive decline in this study due to either too little or too much sleep was the equivalent of 4 to 7 years of aging beyond the norm.

Moreover, studies show that either too much sleep (>8 hours) or too little (<6 hours) cause the following:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of premature death and aging
  • Cognitive decline
  • Weight Gain
  • Excess snacking
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Increased risk of psychiatric disorders

Cortisol Surge…Poor sleep habits alter the natural rhythms of cortisol. If you awaken exhausted due to a poor night sleep, the body has to produce extra cortisol to endure the day, converting the day’s usual tasks (school, work, finances, family) into stressors.

Excess Cortisol  Causes

  • Suppressed immunity
  • Hypertension
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  • Fat deposits on the face, neck, and belly
  • Reduced libido
  • Bone loss

The world’s oldest Super Model Daphne Selfe has a thick mane of silver hair, an etiolated neck, high cheekbones, bright, lively eyes and 87 well-lived years etched upon her face.

Develop Healthy Sleeping Patterns.  Practicing healthy sleep habits is not just about the amount you sleep, but also when you get that sleep. Staying in sync with nature’s cycles is vital when establishing healthy habits. Going to sleep within a few hours of sundown, and waking up at dawn or shortly before, rejuvenates body and mind far more han getting the same amount of sleep later at night, and thus out of sync with the natural cycles.
Make sleeping the right amount at the right time a non-negotiable, healthy habit.

Alcohol is a Carcinogen…Alcohol-related heavy partying is not worth the health risks.

In 2002, the World Health Organization said,  “Alcohol was estimated to cause, worldwide, 20–30% of esophageal cancer, liver disease, epilepsy, motor vehicle accidents, and homicide and other intentional injuries.”

Alcohol is also linked with other types of cancer.  In its 2000 Report on carcinogens, the US Department of Health and Human Services listed alcohol as a known human carcinogen that causes cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus.

Alcohol can also have extensive effects on the brain, including contributing to memory lapses and cognitive impairment.

In addition, untreated alcoholism is estimated to reduce life expectancy by as much as 15 years.

Some evidence suggests moderate drinking confers modest cardiovascular benefits but alcohol is generally toxic to living cells.

Casual attitudes towards alcohol consumption are all too common in our modern era but its merits do not override the serious health implications.

Junk Food.  Most processed foods are made to last on the shelf for many months or years. so they are packed chock full of additives and preservatives. This renders them challenging to digest. Ultimately, your liver is cannot decipher how to break down these indigestible fats.

  • Cow’s milk straight from the cow go bad after 7 days in the fridge.
  • Bread straight out of the oven goes bad in a day or two.

Today, milk lasts a month in the fridge and breads can last weeks on the counter without any refrigeration!

All packaged foods have cooked and processed oils which are impossible for the body to digest. These oils build up in your liver slowly year after year. Over time, your natural detox pathways, digestive and liver function start to break down.

The liver, in charge of breaking down fats, just cannot keep up with the digestion of these processed oils, and gets congested.

Early Stages of Aging Due to Liver congestion.  Fat-soluble toxins that should be broken down in the liver are re-directed into the blood, where they can store in the body’s fat, skin, joints and brain.The buildup of thick congested bile and indigestible fats causes the build-up of bad cholesterol in the blood stream, where it damages the arteries.

Poor liver function causes insufficient bile production, needed to neutralize acids from the stomach. No bile means no digestion of hard-to-digest foods like wheat and dairy. Soon, gas, bloating, belly fat, indigestion, heart burn, food intolerances and allergies ensue. Surprisingly, the liver may play the most crucial role in regulating blood sugar.

Hidden Sugars.  Look for hidden sugars! A recent CDC report stated that 1/3 of Americans are pre-diabetic and 90% of them do not know it.  Pre-diabetes is the precursor to diabetes, and studies show that high blood sugar, even within the normal range, boost your risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke by 40%, as well as chronic diseases; i.e., cancer  cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease and neuropathy

Consider the amount of sugar-laden foods you ingest daily: 

  • Sodas, juices, sports drinks, beer, wine, store bought milk.
  • Breads, pastas, potato chips, popcorn.
  • All sweeteners—even honey, agave.
  • Dried fruit, fruits, energy bars, yogurt.

Why you do not want your Sugars to be High

  • Excess sugar in the blood causes the muscles to resist the uptake of sugar and you get tired and stiff.
  • Excess sugar in the blood converts directly into belly, hip and body fat.
  • Excess sugar quickly converts to bad cholesterol, linked to heart disease.
  • Excess sugar surges to the brain and is linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • >Excess sugar glycates (sugars that stick to proteins in the blood) cause heart disease, poor circulation, cancers, diabetes, cognitive issues, inflammation, chronic disease.

Experts believe this will happen to all North American adults in the next 10 years.

Frequent Recreational Marijuana. Medical marijuana, and now recreational marijuana, is now a reality in more states. While some sound scientific evidence backs up the medicinal use of marijuana for pain, anxiety and increasing appetite in those with chronic disease, frequent recreational use is still a concern. Perhaps the major concern is the decline in cognitive function for adolescent-onset cannabis users, as scientifically demonstrated by The National Institute of Health and National Institute of Drug Abuse.

According to one such study, persistent cannabis use is linked to neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Findings suggest a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain and highlight the importance of prevention and policy efforts targeting adolescents

Bottom line: The North American diet is poor combined with too much stress and lack of exercise. When piled on top of a fatigued body that played, drank and pushed too hard through the teens and early adulthood, chances are these health issues will pack a powerful, irreversible punch!
Good News: Assume full responsibility for your own health without pushing the limits too far while young, so these issues can be reversible and preventable. Truly, your health and future lies in your own capable hands! If you are a middle-aged adult who played hard in your youth, visit your MD, do your on-line research and visit the library to learn how to restore health and vitality. Then, work on staying fit and healthy for as long as you possibly. In this way, you can milk the magic of all life’s glorious moments throughout your lifespan.

I am Dakini Devi Bliss, a Certified Tantric Educator, Sacred Intimate and Blissful Bodyworker.

A lifelong spiritual seeker, I have been formally trained in energetic aura manipulation, Kundalini awakening, Tantric healing, healing bodywork therapy, Reiki and Dark Tantra. In my multi-disciplined approach, I manipulate sexual energy for the highest good. With a background in tantra, kundalini yoga, meditation, qi gong, energy work, sexual psychology and relationship coaching, I employ a unique, rich healing blend for each client.
My tantra training initiation was a lengthy process extending over several years, including studies in India, to gain the requisite experience to instruct others. My spiritually-based practice is ideal for those who wish to embrace a higher, enlightened state and use tantra to create kundalini awakening and a deeper connection to their partner(s).

I possess a nurturing, joyful nature with a peaceful warrior mindset.
Contact me through my here.