As Seen in "Natural Awakening" Magazine.

New Model for Aging: Living Longer, Simply
Cameron Bishop DAOM, L.Ac. 

We are living beyond the medical literature for aging. Everyone is guessing at what it means to be a healthy ninety year old. The World War II generation lived longer than it thought it would. Many of them remarked "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!" Our generation is asking "How do I not end up on medications for medications, a rest home and just existing rather than living"?

Many ideas, theories and concepts were put forth to increase aging - mostly with the idea to sell you something. An extensive long term study on the Japanese, who live the longest, tells us that eating better, eating less, exercising moderately, universal healthcare, nutritional education, clean water, frequent handwashing, daily tooth care, and social networks were the most significant reasons. Second and third generational Japanese Americans have developed our diseases and problems; therefore it was not due to a genetic component. Simply some are stronger than others. You can have a weaker constitution person do everything "right" and strong constitution person do everything "wrong" and they live the same. The number is always changing but half to a quarter of what you do to yourself affects your life span.

The oriental characters for healthy is the "even" and "energy" or "flow". The old model of "live fast and leave a beautiful corpse" is moving out with the realization that a generation is passing without quality of life and often taking too many medications. The newer model is to have maintenance and have a medium run and sudden drop off. That is to say run your body on "medium' your whole life and pass quickly, rather "run fast" and burn out too soon, and medicate to exist.

True, our culture teaches us we have to "half kill" ourselves to get ahead, and with many suffering from addictions. Addictions in the East are seen as a lack of wisdom. It includes addictions to food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, people, work, sex or anything stimulating that gains control of us. In time, we trade our essence for the signature of the addiction. We become the "drug". Often we have seen chronic users become similar in appearance, in attitude and in action. They do not see it since it is a subtle shift for them. A series of small decisions leads to their path.

In a wisdom approach to aging, we make a series of choices to cultivate the garden we want to live and recognize in wisdom all gardens have storms, rains, sun, wind and perfect days.