Getting older – how to stay happy and motivated at old age

«Like fable, life is valued not for length, but for its content ». Seneca

Old age – the time when it is not so important «to add years to life», but more importantly «add life to years».

Practicing gerontologists constantly confronted with the facts when complaints about loneliness come from old people living together with relatives or children, more often than from the elderly who live alone. One of the most serious causes of the violation of relationships with others is in violation of their relationships with young people. Not a humanist position establishes: the lack of real-life projection for the future is clear as to the very old man, and for his young entourage. Moreover, often one can come across such a relic phenomenon, like Gerontophobia or hostile feelings towards the old people.

Many of the stressors of the elderly and old age are preventable or relatively easily overcome due to a change in attitudes towards the elderly and the aging process in general. A famous American physician and founder of the Institute of Somatic Studies Thomas Hannah said: Glorification of youth – is the back side of hate getting older … To despise the fact of aging is the same as to despise life. This is the same as a complete misunderstanding of the very essence of life.

Youth is not the state, which must be preserved. This is the state that must be developed and continued. The youth has the power, but it has no skills. But skill and experience – this is the greatest strength. Young is quick, but it has no efficacy. But in the end only efficiency helps to achieve goals. Youth do not have enough perseverance. But only perseverance helps meet the challenges and take the right decisions. Young people have energy and intellect, but it does not have the ability to make the right decisions, to judge how to use these qualities. Youth is full of genetically programmed desires, but it does not know how to make them happen and feel the beauty of achievements.

Youth is full of hopes and promises, but it does not have the ability to assess their achievement, and fulfilment. Youth is the time to sow and manage crops, but this is not the time to harvest. Youth is time of innocence and ignorance, but it is not a time of wisdom and knowledge. Youth is the time of emptiness, which is waiting to be filled; this is the time of opportunities that await implementation; this is the beginning, which is waiting for its development … If we do not understand that life and aging is a process of growth and progress, we do not understand the basic principles of life….

The author of this speech has a view that age by itself can not cause health or disease. Age may be irrelevant to the thousands of problems that are referred to it. Here is a fairly typical question: Doctor, why can you not help me? And just as a typical response: Because you are not getting younger. You should feel this way. And then no less than the typical advice: Now that you’re older, you need to slow down a little.

T. Hanna believes that such an advice is deadly. It opens a path leading directly to defeat. As a researcher and practitioner, having saved hundreds of people from the physical suffering caused by neuralgia, scoliosis, kyphosis, osteoporosis, compressed disks, etc., he found that many problems associated with the sensory-motor amnesia and problems in the sensitive-motor system , which is the foundation of human experience and behavior.

Undisputed is the fact that once a person ceases to perform certain physical actions, it will lose the very ability to function. (This invites comparison with the abundance and variety of movements and actions in childhood and a minimum of such in an adult.) Man loses one or another function, because the brain, being a very sensitive organ, as it adapts to the loss of this activity.

If any movement or actions cease to be a part of human behaviour, the brain simply obliterates them. In other words, the daily awareness of the occurrence of these movements and actions are lost, forgotten. This is a sensory – motor amnesia, which may not necessarily occur in old age, but may be in 40 years, and 30 and even 20 years. Such a disease as aging, according to the author, does not exist. The enormous possibilities of human brain allow to master the art of managing the internal processes in the body. It needs only to learn.

Based on the works of G. Selie (theory of stress) and M. Feldenkrais (a method of bodily recuperation), T. Hanna has developed and proven in practice, high efficiency and accessibility to everyone of the program of the somatic exercises to cope with the effects of sensory-motor amnesia, i.e. memory loss in sensation and movement, flexibility and restore health, to master the art of not getting old.

getting-older-stay-happyPosition of Academician N.M. Amosov is a living verification of the above understanding. He proved with his own life and works its unquestionable value. In his 83 years he still amazes and surprises as to what extend his body copes with the enormous physical strain.
In the book “Overcoming old age”, author writes that he wanted by physically demanding exercises to enhance the training ability.

The fall of motivation, due to lack of needs to compensate by reasons of belief and ideas. Use the unique quality of the human mind: to create the idea and train it to such extend, that it can partially replace the biological needs, which deteriorates with aging. The scientist describes the contents of the experiment to overcome old age, its results and summarizes his book as follows: The nature of human is solid – you need to trust it, do not fuss about minor illnesses and do not drink medications unnecessary. Signs of serious illness need to be checked by a doctor, but in this case one should not become totally dependent on the medicine.

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