Age reversal is no longer science fiction – aging can be stopped with attitude!

Do you remember The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? It was the 2008 American drama film which starred the very physically appealing, Brad Pitt.

The storyline was that in 1918 a baby boy was born with the appearance and physical maladies of an old man and as the film progresses Benjamin becomes physically younger with each passing scene, until his sad death when he possesses the body of a boy.

It is certainly not attractive to be born a baby-grandpa and miss a real childhood but it is appealing to look and feel more attractive, despite the passing years – what a temptation!

Is age reversal possible? Can we really reset our systems and return to some of those healthy, physical, aesthetically pleasing aspects of our youth?

The answer is “Yes” and we are not talking about science fiction, nor super-technical bioengineering but about our own attitude towards our body, mind, emotions and lifestyle.

Isn’t it a paradox of modern life that despite the longevity index increasing worldwide, we still see more and more signs of premature aging around us? Turning 40 frequently produces small (and not so small!) indications of external aging – and that also means deterioration and degeneration of the body internally. Why?

Well, we may live longer but that doesn’t necessarily mean we look or feel younger, in any way. Firstly, we are paying the bill for the style of life that our modern society demands of us.

I am referring to burning out our inner resources because of chronic stress, deficiency of essential micronutrients due to an unbalanced diet, or digestive problems resulting from insufficient nutritional absorption, overeating, and accumulated levels of chemical and toxic substances inside us from food additives, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol and environmental contamination. All these increase degeneration and aging.

The digestive system plays a crucial role in all of these processes. It is designed to nourish us, purify toxins, eliminate waste, defend our immune system and balance our mind.  Preventing aging depends very much on adequate energy intake – not too much; not too little – yet, in our society generally, we tend to overeat; consume more than we use or burn and the rest of that food (even the good stuff) ferments and decays inside us, turning into toxic bi-products which poison us.

We’ve heard a lot about food being medicine, so why are we still desperately searching for that super diet and magic pill that will save us from aging, obesity, diabetes, depression and the like?

Now is the moment to start learning about foods, combining of nutrients, different ways of cooking, enjoying healthy eating and, more importantly, listening to our innards. Monitor the body to see if it accepts and takes advantage of this new way, for it’s surely better than hearing the protests of digestive upsets and suffering general health troubles.

We have to arrange a peaceful and diplomatic relationship with our gut. Better that it assimilates nutrients and gives us regular boosts of energy and happiness than it rebels and becomes irritated.

We can control that relationship in order to dominate our health and aging and learn how to take care of ourselves. It takes patience, step-by-step but I assure you the results are worth it.

The first step is to detoxify, which has always been the first step recommendation in medicinal philosophies worldwide for thousands of years, from Tibetan to Native American, Chinese to Ayurvedic. It’s the only way to get rid of internal waste, like cleaning out a house, or a temple – as I should refer to your body – and then, re-create, remodel and reconstruct it.

Our digestive system is almost 12 metres long and 300 square metres wide (if we were to unfold it) and during the human lifetime it processes more than 70 tons of food and 100 tons of liquids, without any tool replacements to its mechanism. So, if you start by detoxifying, the rest is easy because it allows vital energy meridians to flow and balances the body, physically and mentally; benefits oxygenation of body tissues; activates blood cells and lymphatic circulation and stimulates cell regeneration and the complete absorption of all essential nutrients.

You should do this, as a ritual, every six months; or at least once a year. It’s not easy, it will take you out of your comfort zone but, to focus on what you eat, have a special diet for a few days, take some herbal and mineral supplements and focus on your own body – surely you could afford to take the time to do that, can’t you?

Even if you don’t enjoy it, the beneficial effect is guaranteed and you’ll feel the physical and emotional improvements in a couple of weeks. What are you losing: just waste and toxins!

Your skin will be clearer, better nourished and hydrated; your quality of sleep will improve and so will the appearance of your nails and hair and you will look younger! To boot, your digestion will give you pleasure, not pain; you’ll have less joint pain and, if you suffer from migraine, you’ll experience it less.

“Welcome to the club,” I always say to my patients who’ve done a detox and noticed its benefits. I can see that it’s been like an “initiation” for them and the effect of purification has awoken a curiosity in them towards their own bodies and how they function and from there on they become interested in being healthy, taking care, preventing disease and wanting to know more about natural medicines and a balanced diet…splendid, I say!

You can start with just small steps. For example better to choose a weekend and semi-fast with juices and herbal extracts, than attempt a whole week of a detoxification diet and active inner cleansing of the gut, liver and kidneys. After your “test-run” you could then add a month of a more “conscious” cleansing diet, rich in nutrients, which avoids gassy drinks, coffee, animal proteins (meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products), all grains that contain gluten, sugar – and yes, I’m afraid to add: alcohol and tobacco too!

During this conscious period, eat lots of vegetables, fruits, herbal infusions, dry fruits and nuts, vegetable broths and soups, healthy shakes with a mixture of fruit and vegetables, rice or oat drinks and you’re also allowed to eat small amounts of rice or quinoa.

Take small quantities every four hours eat slowly and drinks lots of liquids. It’s also helpful to add natural herbal supplements, such as, for example: dandelion, birch and artichoke extracts.

Let me repeat that it is important to remain gluten and lactose free, in order that your digestive system can reset itself and take as much advantage as possible of this new restricted diet stage. With respect to fruit: three-four pieces a day is sufficient (either at breakfast or as a snack); if you’re hungry it’s better to eat more vegetables or pulses than up your fructose intake with too much fruit.

Nor is fruit a great choice as a dessert after lunch and even worse after dinner, particularly if eaten late at night because it can greatly influence the quality of your digestion and badly affect your sleep pattern. Better to enjoy it during the day but remember it doesn’t substitute for vegetables or have all the nutrients you need; although sugar it does have for sure!

Another vital ingredient in combatting aging and helping to purify your body is to rest well. Only in a night of truly deep sleep can the body relax and repair all the damage that has happened to it and regenerate its energy resources.

Sleep deprivation brings about chronic metabolic stress, which, in turn, leads to weight gain, mood swings, immune and digestive malfunctioning, to name only a few problems.

When you decide to take the first steps of this new “conscious” diet, try to ensure you organize the best possible conditions to obtain improved rest. Sometimes, a 30-minute nap a day works wonders and can top up on the energy we often miss out on after a bad night’s sleep.

Finally, there are some other things you could try, to keep age at bay, like learning the correct techniques of relaxation, meditation, stretching and breathing. All are very helpful and immensely useful tools that can be slotted into your routine; however busy that may be.

Learn more about them; perhaps take some classes and then apply those skills into your new, more youthful day-to-day lifestyle and if you want to study further, then there are more tips and information in my book Digestive Intelligence!

Published at OM Times Magazine