Dear Longevity Readers,
Longtime followers of this column recognize that our focus is NOT on looking young, staying young, being youthful. The overriding consensus is that any age can be glorious, just maybe in different ways.
Our longevity aims here are diffuse: To celebrate the years, embrace well-being, recognize one’s significance, keep learning or unlearning, acknowledge the importance of being kind to oneself and others, and accept and foster those all-important community connections. Some say having friends can increase one’s lifespan by 7 to 14 years.
On the horizon
For sure, already calendared is an upcoming longevity feature on aromatherapy with expert Dorene Petersen, president, American College of Healthcare Sciences, Portland, Oregon. And we haven’t lost our summer touch with healing gardens: there’s a new kid on the block—the Min Zidell Healing Garden at the National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon. We’ll be profiling that one soon. Besides forays into a Taoist Tai Chi studio and the Muddy Boot Festival (September 9-11, 2011), look for our dancers and the River City Ball (7/16/11).
Upcoming book reviews currently include:
“Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again!” by Wes “Scoop” Nisker (A Cody’s Book; Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California; 2008). Its famous author is appearing at PIMC July 30, 2011. Title says it all.
“How to Train a Wild Elephant” by Jan Chozen Bays, MD and Buddhist teacher (Shambhala Publications, Boston, Massachusetts; 2011). Title comes from a story attributed to the Buddha. Book centers on bringing mindfulness practice into one’s life.
“Incognito” by David Eagleman (Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, New York; 2011). This is the other brain book presenting amazing news from neuroscience frontiers.
“The Longevity Project” by Howard S. Friedman, PhD, and Leslie R. Martin, PhD (Hudson Street Press, Penguin Group, New York; 2011). How could we not look into this baby?
“Understanding Garden Design” by Vanessa Gardner Nagel, APLD (Timber Press, Portland and London; 2010). Written by the Min Zidell Garden designer, Vanessa Gardner; aims to empower non-pros with the tools to create the landscape of their vision.
Meanwhile, if you’d be so kind, please weigh in on potential topics. Note as many or as few as you like. They’re presented in no particular order, except by how they’re filed in longevity news backup. Use the comment area below or email your thoughts directly.
Another option for weighing in on future articles is to just assign a number from 1 to 10 for any items of interest or disinterest. Ten being “Yes, I really, really want to know more! Please investigate soon!” and fading down to number 1, “Less than thrilling. Don’t waste our time.” For example, some might give #8 a 7 maybe.
Rank topics: pending file (PF)
1. Sodium and potassium; how they influence one’s mortality.
2. Ototoxity: medications and hearing loss; symptoms also may include dizziness, vision or focusing difficulties, ringing in the ears.
3. What you need to know about dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids). This could be a really long series.
4. How to spot health scams, inspired by a brochure from the FDA Office of Women’s Health. Great info.
5. What is critical thinking and why do I need to think about it? (It’s possibly vital to one’s sanity and appropriate fearlessness.)
6. How animals are being used to detect illness. For example, some dogs in Japan are used for early detection of bowel cancer.
7. How stomach bacteria affects brain development and behavior (at least in mice, so far as we know).
8. What it means to smile and how that might affect longevity.
9. How music shapes the brain with an emphasis on Sacred Harp music (local).
10. A feature on Stephen S. Hall, an award-winning science writer who writes about “the intersection of science and society.” Latest book is about wisdom.
11. What you may need to know about “agonistic pleiotropy,” how some things beneficial earlier in life are later detrimental.
12. How rules about using human research subjects need adjusting and what’s being done in that realm.
13. Improving access to dental care and why people need to take care of their teeth.
Rank topics: to do file (TDF)
14. Want to live forever? Science suggests maybe there’s a cure for aging.
15. Serotonin. What’s it about? What does it do? Do I need a lot of it?
16. The frontiers beyond happiness.
17. Optogenetics may change the way the brain works. (This relates to #15 somehow.)
18. CAM Basics; inspired by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services description and definition of complementary and alternative medicine brochure.
19. Do we need to be more candid when people are dying?
20. A leading force investigating “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science,” Dr. John Ioannidis.
21. Fish oil. Is supplemental consumption robbing our oceans?
22. Mercury, the element. How it can affect one’s health.
23. Another book review: “Buddha’s Brain / the practical neuroscience of happiness, love & wisdom” by Rick Hanson, PhD with Richard Mendius, MD (New Harbinger Publications, Inc., Oakland; 2009).
24. Just to break up any impending monotony: a quote from Author Unknown,
“And what is as important as knowledge?” asked the mind. “Caring and seeing with the heart, answered the soul.”
25. Visit with Linda Brice, Transformational Voice Training Institute, Portland, Oregon. Also find out how “The voice is the perfect mirror of the soul of the singer.”
26. Do brain exercises work?
27. Why the Dalai Lama is interested in the work of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin/Madison Waisman’s Center and why you may be interested too.
28. Strength training.
29. Calcium supplements and heart attacks. Yikes!
30. Actual health benefits from volunteer work.
31. A history of classical Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
32. Drugs in our water. Free high or downer?
33. Ecofriendly burials. Dying green.
34. How early life stresses change one’s genes.
35.—? Whatever else you want: _____________________________________________________.
Profound thanks dear Readers.