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Healthy Ageing: Are You Comfortable in Your Body?

When you are young you are mostly unaware of how your body feels; you can sit  and stand with comfort, bend down to pick something up and generally use your body as you please.

It is only when you have injury, discomfort or range limitation that you become aware of how your body truly feels and how much you rely on it to function - even an injured finger or toe can limit you.

It is often at that point that we forget how our body used to feel, so we adjust to greater levels of discomfort and limitation. As this becomes the new norm, we further forget how good we used to feel.

As I approach 60, I think more and more about this, so many people my age accept that this is a normal part of ageing where it should not be. There is a great deal that can be done to make you more comfortable in your body.

As you age this becomes more critical but the earlier you start to think about it the better.

Strategies for ageing well 

Acupuncture and herbal therapy are of great benefit. Acupuncture and natural therapies concentrate on improving health, western medicine concentrates on fighting disease; both models are important and complementary.

If one of your desires is to be healthy and comfortable in your body then regular maintenance is essential, this may take the form of exercise (combining yoga with aerobic is best combination), diet changes, periodic fasts, as well as therapy such as acupuncture or herbal medicine.

Management should consist of looking after the physical body with good nutrition, exercise, and pain management using acupuncture and herbs.

Optimisation of organ function

All body systems eg. the digestive, nervous, circulatory, and hormonal systems, require optimal function for well being. These body system functions can be helped with lifestyle advice, optimal nutrition through diet, and exercise (there are specific yoga and tai chi exercises for different organs).

There are also specific herbs and acupuncture treatments for different body organs and systems.

Care of the mind

We should exercise the mind as we do the body. This can take the form of study or mental challenges such as chess, sudako, Mahjong, crosswords etc. If the memory is not what it once was then there are also herbs that are very useful for improving poor memory and concentration.

Regardless of the limitations that we have or are born with, we can do a great deal  to make ourselves more comfortable. The key to this is to be proactive about your health and to make being healthy a priority, treating problems as they arise and not letting acute and recent problems become chronic health conditions.

David McLeod


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