Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: Aging,Mind-Body,Expectancy,Placebos and Costal Trail Runs
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aging,Mind-Body,Expectancy,Placebos and Costal Trail Runs

Part four
A powerful concept to consider, in the aging process, is the Mind-Body connection.  The power of our mind or how we think influences our mental and physical health, performance and our body. Physical health and performance can also affect our mind or influence our thinking as well. To illustrate, in my dissertation I studied the motivational concepts level of aspiration or expectancy. To simplify, these terms referred to a frame of reference or attitude to goals or self-esteem in which an individual experiences a feeling of either success or failure.  When a successful goal has been accomplished, self-esteem, expectation and level of aspiration tend to rise.  Success leads to success and an increase in self-esteem, expectation and level of aspiration.  By the same token, a series of failures can lead and result in decreases in self-esteem, expectation and level of aspiration.
In part of my research, I hypothesized those children who had high expectations or level of aspirations of success on an arithmetic assignment, would perform better than children who had low expectations or low level of aspirations on an arithmetic test. Sure enough, children, who expected to do well, did well.  Children who expected to do poorly did poorly. This was an important finding that could apply to other facets in our life.
Pay attention to expectations.  Are your expectations, centered on reality or are they centered on fantasy? Success experiences are important.  Also important, is not to set the success bar too low.  If the bar is set too low, one cannot experience success.  If the success bar is set too high, failure can easily happen.  Make sure that goals and expectations are realistic and centered on reality.
Likely, most of you have heard of research, incorporating placebos.  Typically, when testing the efficiency of a drug to combat symptoms, the patient or guinea pig was put into one of two trials.  In one trial, a real drug was used with a group of patients, while the other group of patients was given a placebo or an inert sugar pill. The researchers then evaluated the efficiency of the real drug.  Often, is the case, researchers find that the placebo also reduced symptoms?   Of course, the drug manufacturers prayed that the real drug worked better than the non-drug or placebo.
In one study, patients with irritable bowel syndrome were given a placebo. They were told that the pill was inert but they were part of a mind- body process study. Guess what?  Even these patients reported feelings of relief, a reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life. How was that for mind power?
In another study, hotel room attendants were told, by the experimenters, that their jobs provided a good workout.  These subjects not only reduced their weight, but reduced their blood pressure and body fat as well.
The power of the mind was further exemplified in the study that measured gut peptide (ghrelin). Ghrelin levels fall, in proportion to calories consumed.  It is this chemical process that essentially communicates with your brain and gives you the signal that you are no longer hungry and you do not need to search out food. Some patients were told that a milkshake had 620 calories and that was enough calories meaning your gut peptide level would fall.  Therefore, you were full, and wouldn’t need to search out more food.  The other patients were told that their milkshake at 120 calories.   What do you think happened to their peptide levels?  Their gut peptide levels rose.  They thought they needed more calories or food. They searched for more food.
In a   study with Parkinson’s disease patients, the experimenters used real medication and a placebo.  The researchers found that the placebo actually improved the patients Parkinson disease symptoms, just like the real medication did.   The placebo actually induced the brain to produce greater amounts of dopamine-the neurotransmitter known to be useful in treating the disease.
Make sure you that your mind is communicating with your body, effectively.  Do not allow self-defeating notions or self-fulfilling prophecies to impact your body as well as your health.  Guard against your body impacting your thinking process.  Recently, I told Randall, who is dealing with a hamstring issue, that he required patience and not to hurry back before he healed.  I told him not to let his thinking get impacted and distorted by his condition (thinking he would lose too much muscle mass).  He said he understood. Hopefully, he will practice patience and allow himself to recover before hitting the trail again. Good luck and good fortune, Randall.  Heal so we can run again.
Part five to be continued tomorrow. On another note, Secretariat, and I are tapering for Saturday’s Stinson Beach half marathon.  Join us.  Also, tomorrow I am lecturing on Aging and a book signing at Sunrise Natural Foods located 2160 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn, CA.  Phone number is 530 – 888 – 8973.  I hope to meet you there.


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