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Turning Back The Hands Of Time February 25, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
53 comments

Even if we can’t literally turn back the hands of time, might we erase the ravages of age by the thoughts we think?

In Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra summarizes a growing body of evidence which supports the conclusion that we can reverse certain signs of aging through application of mindful awareness.

One experiment involved “inner time travel” with elderly participants invited to a retreat where nothing published after 1959 would be admitted . . .

In 1979, Ellen Langer and colleagues at Harvard effectively reversed the biological age of a group of old men by a simple but ingenious shift in awareness.

The subjects, all 75 or older and in good health, were invited to a country resort for a week-long retreat.  They were not allowed to bring any newspapers, magazines, books, or family photos dated later than 1959.

The resort, set up to duplicate life twenty years earlier, included issues of Life and the Saturday Evening Post from 1959.  In keeping with the flashback, the only music played was 20 years old.

Subjects used 1959 as their “present tense” ~ “I wonder if President Eisenhower will go with Nixon next election?”

The research team made extensive measurements of the subjects’ biological age before and after the study, including markers such as physical strength, posture, perception, cognition, and short-term memory.

The premise of the experiment was that seeing oneself as old or young directly influences the aging process.

The results of this play-acting were remarkable.   Compared to a control group that went on the retreat but continued to live in the world of 1979:

* The subjects improved in memory and manual dexterity.  They became more active and self-sufficient.

* Impartial judges asked to study before-and-after pictures detected that the men’s faces looked visibly younger . . . by an average of three years.

* Measurements of finger length, which tends to shorten with age, indicated that their fingers had lengthened.

* Stiffened joints were more flexible.  Posture started to straighten as it had in younger years.  Muscle strength, measured by hand grip, improved, as did hearing and vision.

Professor Langer’s landmark study established that so-called irreversible signs of aging could be reversed using psychological intervention.

Source: Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, pp. 92-94 

In another “anti-aging” experiment, geriatric nursing home patients started a weight-lifting program with remarkable results . . . to learn more, tune in tomorrow!

In the meantime, enjoy some inner time travel and turn back the hands of time.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Suzicate has pressed PUBLISH on her book ~ Stepping Into The Wilderness.  It’s available from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle.

Or you can take your chances and enter to WIN a FREE copy!

Leave a comment on her most recent post, Here’s A Piece For Inquiring Minds, and you’ll be entered into Wednesday’s drawing.

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Col is running a Caption Competition!   Think of a winning caption for his FUN and FUNNY photo and post it in the comment thread on his Blog.