top of page

How to age well: sort out the imbalances now, not later

There is lots of advice out there on aging well. Since the pandemic I have personally seen an increase in interest from people of a "certain age" who want to be the best they can be as they age. I am seeing this shift partly because of my role as a nutritionist and homeopath, and partly because I’m a teacher of the Alexander Technique. Hurray! This is great news.

 

A quick aside – if you are reading this blog / email you are probably doing so because you are interested in the Alexander Technique. You may not know about my other roles – if you are interested in the other half of my professional life as a nutritionist and homeopath, have a look here, www.marieperezwellness.com.

 

There is a lot of information out there on how to age well, and many people seem to at least know the basics these days – eat well but not too much, prioritise sleep, keep moving, look after your brain, keep a lid on inflammation, etc. There’s a little book I quite like by 2 authors – Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro called “The New Rules of Aging Well”. I think most of the information in this little book is sound…there are one or two bits of advice which I would argue cannot be applied blanket-fashion but in general it’s pretty good.

 

One particular thing I like about this book is it picks out a point not generally highlighted in the how-to-age-well advice out there. He doesn’t just say “you’ve got to keep moving”, he drills down into some of the things that might stop you moving well and how to overcome them. He says, “We can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining muscle mass. Losing too much muscle leads to frailty, and this is what you’re trying to avoid”.

 


Frank Lipman also stresses how important it is to try to avoid getting hurt: “Recovery becomes harder and slower with age. That’s why it’s so important to focus on preventing injury”. On this topic, he goes on to say: “Notice what hurts and why. It’s easy to become used to aches and pains. Your body adjusts to protect itself. You turn your foot sideways on the stairs so the Achilles tendon doesn’t have to stretch so much or the knee takes less impact. You favour one arm when lifting something heavy. Investigate what you’re accommodating and possibly missing, so you can fix the problem instead of working around it. Because workarounds often end up hurting something else. It starts in your foot, then gets to your hip and your back and then your shoulder – eventually you end up with a pile of imbalances and discomforts that are harder to untangle and address”. He recommends physio and the Alexander Technique to help you figure out why you are accommodating and protecting certain bits of your body in this way. I would whole heartedly agree – don’t wait for that heel niggle to become a whole body thing, sort it out now, it might make the difference so that you really can keep moving and retain your muscle mass as you age.

 

There is lots and lots of documented evidence on how the Technique can help as we age – for example, it can help with osteoarthritis[1], Parkinson’s[2], and balance[3], for starters.

 

So if you find yourself constantly “protecting” a knee, a hip, an ankle as you move about your daily business, ask yourself why. Is it because of an old injury? Is protecting it in the way you are currently doing a good idea, or are you creating further imbalances for yourself? These things can be really hard to see in ourselves – habit is insidious – so maybe have a few Alexander lessons in order to set yourself up well going forward.

 

Here's to healthy aging

Marie 

 


[1] Reductions in co-contraction following neuromuscular re-education in people with knee osteoarthritis (https://bmcmusculoskeletdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12891-016-1209-2)

 
[2] Randomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson's disease (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1191/0269215502cr544oa)
 

[3] Feasibility of Group Delivery of the Alexander Technique on Balance in the Community-Dwelling Elderly: Preliminary Findings(https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01924780802073005?tab=permissions )

 

Comentarios


Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page