by Dr. Amy Wiesner
Dr. Wiesner is licensed in both Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture in the state of Connecticut. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rochester where she also attended the Eastman School of Music. She obtained her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine (ND) and her Master of Science in Acupuncture from the University of Bridgeport.
She has taught at both the College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Acupuncture Institute at the University of Bridgeport and has a private practice in Norwalk, CT.
Our society is obsessed with looking younger. Some people will do whatever it takes not to look their age, including injecting toxins into their bodies.
So are there nontoxic, more natural ways to look younger and slow down the aging process?
Watch the news and you can see the world we live in is inherently toxic and ages us faster than it did before industrialization. Pesticides, radiation, and smog are elements that are ubiquitous today. They create free radicals in the body that hasten the aging process through oxidation as well as contribute to disease. The high levels of stress that we have in our society also contribute to premature aging. Both prevention and treatment can address the free radicals that contribute to it.
Some ways to prevent premature aging are easy enough. Eating a healthy diet is an important factor. Many vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the body needs for optimal function are found in non-processed foods. Fruits and vegetables contain many free radical quenchers or antioxidants-components that combat the damage a free radical can do in the body. On the other hand, some foods cooked at high temperatures have been found to not only cause free radicals, but cancer as well.
There are also supplements that can be taken to prevent premature aging. Vitamins A, C and E have all been shown to counteract free radicals when taken orally. Bioflavonoids, as found in bright colored fruit and vegetables as well as leafy green vegetables, have also been found to do so. Foods like that have high levels of antioxidants can be compared to using the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which is a system that measures the anti-oxidant capacity of foods with spices, berries, and legumes ranking the highest. Dark chocolate, Goji berries, and green tea are some of the higher rated ORAC foods in the world.
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring component in the body-it is found in the creation of energy and in fighting free radical damage. As we age, less CoQ10 is found in the body. Supplementation can increase the amounts of CoQ10 thereby fighting aging as well as increasing overall health.
Using these products topically has been shown to be helpful as well--but it’s best to make sure those unhealthy chemicals and preservatives aren’t included in the ingredients list! Avoid fillers and emulsifiers like parabens, which have been linked to breast cancer, and anything petroleum-based. They are not good for your body or the environment.
Turmeric, a component of the spice Curcumin, has been shown to have significant anti-aging as well as anticancer effects. In India, where the spice is widely used in cooking, levels of certain cancers are much lower than in the US. Other herbs that are known for their antioxidant properties are Grape Seed Oil, Ginkgo and Bilberry.
Reducing your levels of stress is an important factor too. Stress increases the levels of hormones that your body creates which can cause free radicals. Exercise and meditation have both been shown to decrease the negative effects stress has on the body.
Another way to help your body mentally and physically at the same time is by getting regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture is an ancient medical procedure that has stood the test of time. It is very successful in treating physical disorders as well as being effective in dealing with stress and anxiety. As both of these factors contribute to premature aging, using acupuncture as part of your regular health routine could be very helpful to your long-term health.
Additionally, there is a part of traditional acupuncture that is used specifically to reduce the signs of aging. It is called Facial Rejuvenation or Acupuncture Facelifts. Acupuncturists undergo specialized training in this procedure that has been used in China for a thousand years.
Despite the unhealthy world in which we live, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself, both mentally and physically, by looking to the natural world.
Image courtesy of forum.xcitefun.net.