Aging: Slowing Down the Process (cont.)
A study at Harvard compared TM to other approaches in the elderly showed improve cognitive flexibility, improved memory, less depression, improved mental health, as well as lower blood pressure and less heart disease and death from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer, for many years. This is compared to controls, and there are other modalities like proper diet and nutritional supplements which seem to supplement that technology to age successfully, if you will.
Mature_Years_Mod Today's guest is Dr. Robert Schneider, Professor of Physiology ad Maharishi Ayur-Veda and Director of the Center for Health and Aging Studies. Today we're discussing slowing down the aging process. If you would like to submit a question please type in /ask skip a space and then enter your question followed by hitting the return key
Mature_Years_Mod Tell us more about your NIH sponsored Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention...
Speaker_Schneider This center was awarded this past Oct and is the culmination of 10 years of research, much sponsored by NIH. AT our university in collaboration with major medical centers around the country, on approaches of natural med that could be useful in prevention of diseases in the aging population. Based on that preliminary work, the NIH's National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine funded us as 1 of 9 centers of excellence in the country, with an 8 million dollar grant, to do several things in this center. One is to evaluate with scientific methods the most promising natural medicine technologies for this age group and second, to train future researchers in the field of natural medicine, because there is a shortage of well trained scientists who can evaluate the unique approaches of natural medicine. Third, the mission is to develop new domains which have not been previously explored in terms of innovative methodologies for effectiveness, as well as safety, and cost effectiveness. The latter is important because the Medicare budget may be bankrupt in the not to distant future, so we really need cost effective methods or preventing ill health in the aging population, both from a societal perspective as well as individual, because everyone wants to live longer, of course, but also with sustained high quality off life.
Mature_Years_Mod What are some of the most promising naturals medicines out there?
Speaker_Schneider One approach that's very interesting is anti-oxidants. Of course, there have been many studies on individual ones like Vitamin C or E, and many are taking them for their effects hopefully on preventing cancer or heart disease, and even slowing down the aging process. But I think the best info to emerge is that combinations of antioxidants found naturally such as in the diet or in plants like herbal products seem to be more effective than the isolated active ingredient alone, like isolated such as Vit C or E. For that reason, our center is following up research done at Ohio State U and others on herbal preparations from this ancient system of vedic medicine, which so far seems highly promising for their effects in preventing free radical related disorders such as heart disease, perhaps cancer, and other disorders associated with advancing age.
These studies are currently beginning in our center in clinical trials, in follow-up lab and animal studies which suggests these effects. Other approaches of Maharishi Vedic Med which are under study and appear useful for clinical use include vedic sound therapy which uses particular sounds from the vedic literature which have been proposed to correspond or effect different parts of the body. Example, sound therapy, or a newer one with vibration which can -- which appears can effect balance in corresponding parts of the body such as the digestive system or the joints, skin, or even mental health, and this seems to be a useful complimentary approach for many chronic disorders which are difficult to treat. ... by modern medicine, which is why they're called chronic in the first place.
Finally, another one is techniques for physiological purification which seems to remove toxins from the body which research suggests has an effect on improving health with aging. Another new area is -- or rediscovered -- is the effects of the environment on health, such as architecture, the building, or even design of one's home, etc., has an effect on mood and other aspects of well being. There's a system of natural architecture which is part of this which actually recommends appropriate home and office designs to maximize the health of inhabitants. Finally, even there's knowledge from this natural medical system of how even the cycles of the sun and the moon and other stars and planets relate to our cycles of health, etc., and this is very new but very exciting knowledge that contributes to a holistic understanding of health and the aging process and even provides methodologies for minimizing the negative impact of those effects of the environment and maximizing the positive potential.
Mature_Years_Mod How can I learn more about these programs for myself?
Speaker_Schneider Well, in every city -- just about all-major ones, there are trained teachers of TM. Any senior or anyone can learn the technique in a short course -- 1-1/2 hours per day for 5 or 6 days, and it is easily practiced for 15 or 20 minutes twice a day. It does not require a change in personal beliefs, philosophy, religion or lifestyle. It's a scientific technique, and then one has it long term for reducing stress related disorders and promoting more ideal mind/body health and as we mentioned earlier, for promoting successful vs. usual aging. Many of the cities where the TM centers are also have associated natural medicine clinics where you can find other modalities that have been studied in a scientific framework. If anyone wants to become an expert consultant practitioner, that's the specialty of our school here, training future professionals who will be expert consultants in this comprehensive system of prevention and natural medicine.
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