By Sensei Domi
As a long time martial artist who now trains Taijiquan and Qigong every day, I’ve definitely enjoyed some of the neat benefits, one of them is appearing youthful, years younger than what my nearly 60 years on this earth presents. Everyone who I meet with ask me what my secret is, I tell them that I eat right, avoid stress, enjoy life and most importantly, exercise daily, more specifically qigong and taijiguan, you may know it more as Tai Chi.
So this led me to some research and what I’ve found is that one of the health benefits of these specific exercises is the production of the anti-aging hormones called Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the adrenal glands. Believe me, this was the first time I’ve heard of this. Let me explain, this part of our system is responsible for the body’s ability to heal and regenerate itself. Research indicates that DHEA has anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-tumor and anti-aging properties. What age does through its natural process is produce less of this hormone, as much as 90 percent. That’s why we age, get wrinkles, look older and can’t catch grand kids when they run off.
So what else does DHEA do for us? It’s responsible for the level of cognitive ability with the greatest concentration of DHEA found in brain tissue. On the other side of the spectrum, low levels of DHEA appear to cause age-related degeneration, resulting in diseases such as Alzheimer, the loss and/or damage of neuronal cells, and the loss of long-term memory. So there you have it, answers to some of your age related memory problems!
The big question is what can we do about this? How about buying some magic juice or take a daily pill. Makes sense. Since the discovery of DHEA’s anti-aging properties, health food stores stock their shelves with DHEA supplements and for the wrong reasons, it promotes eternal youth in a bottle! The big problems is that what I’ve found is that these supplements contain a small portion of the needed anti-aging properties otherwise found in naturally occurring DHEA not to mention potential serious side effects such as irritability, depression, and breast growth in men (yeah, not good).
Qigong which means energy cultivation is an exercise introduced in China about two or three thousand years ago that utilizes a slow moving calisthenics movements that boosts the natural production of DHEA. Different than other exercises, it combines movement with concentrated breathing and meditation and/or guided imagery. With that said this form of ancient exercise promotes increased cognitive abilities and reduces aging in practitioners and regenerates DHEA!
I’m not sure how long I’ll live. My goal is to live as long as my mind and body will allow. I’ve got family I want to be with as long as possible especially grandkids who I have a hard time keeping up with. I need youth to match theirs and any anti-aging help I’ll take. Fortunate to me, I’m a long time qigong and taijiquan practitioner and I’ve got an advantage over some of you who wants to (as Spock would say) “live long and prosper.” But does that mean you’re out of luck? Not really. For those of you who want to learn more, Youtube has zillions of videos where you can turn on your computers and follow along. You can even follow along with my version of what I do each day (scan to the left column of this blog. It has me performing some of these exercises). Secondly, you can find a school near you. I recommend checking classes out first before dishing out any cash. Third and finally, if you are not doing any form of exercise, at least get out and take nice long walks and really enjoy the event, and best to remove all negative thoughts. Can’t get any easier than that. The only thing I highly recommend is for you that have physical challenges to discuss this and any form of exercise first with your doctor.
With that final note, let’s boost our DHEA levels!!! What do you say?