The Future of Aging


Healing hands Physical Therapy Incorporated and the Healing Hands Hypermarket is dedicated to providing users with the tools to facilitate an increased life span. From reusable face masks to posture correctors, our goal is to help you achieve higher levels of well-being. If you could set your own expiration date, how long would you want to live? 80 years? 90 years? 100? 

"Scientists believe that the capacity of the human body currently reaches its limits at around 115 years old. But most people fall short of that due to the ailments and vulnerabilities that accompany old age, a fact that has been tragically underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. But what if it was possible to reach that outer edge? Just think about that delta for a second: 80 versus 115. "That leaves 35 years to realize," says Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of Age Later (St. Martin's Press)."

What might you do with n extra 35 years added to your life? Travel to unseen destinations? Learn a new skill? Start a farm?

"Extending life span is rooted deep in the human psyche. Over history, people have chased the elusive goal of living longer through pills, potions, and fountains of everlasting youth. Today, the quest is backed by increasingly rigorous science spurred on by labs and biotech companies. Their goal is to understand the mechanics behind aging on a molecular level so they can slow it. "We thought aging was inevitable, but that's not true," Barzilai says. "Aging is quite flexible and can be targeted. We can delay aging, we can stop many manifestations of aging, and in some cases, we'll be able to reverse aging."

"The main objective is to live healthier longer, and the side effect of that is you tend to live longer as well."

How do we 'live healthier longer?' The answer is simple, but yet a fleeting fantasy to some of us. Healthy living is a holistic pursuit. It involves all dynamics of the human being. The mind, body, and spirit of it must be attuned to the elements that promote general wellness. 

In today's hurried world, it is a challenge for us to not be overstressed to varying degrees on any given day. There goes our mental health. Exercise and nutritious food require time and resources that are not accessible economically for many people. There go our physical bodies. And what about our spirit? Violent, oppressive, and otherwise ungodly clergy have rendered many people listless spiritually. And so goes our spirits listing lazily away into the oblivion of 'whatever.'

How can science get us through these and many other obstacles that work to decrease our lifespan? And if we could live longer, would we even want to? With increased life comes increased joy and pain. 

"Stem-cell banking has ballooned into a mostly unregulated $2 billion business. For up to $10,000 a pop, a clinic will take stem cells (from your bone marrow, fat, or amniotic fluid) and reinject them to heal injuries or protect against future ailments. Futuristic-sounding treatments like these are being tested in animals, but today they're little more than hopeful gambles. "We want to cure humans, not mice," says Ferrucci, who believes that identifying the root causes of aging will eventually lead to a revolution in preventative health. Someday, annual checkups could include blood tests that identify specific biological indicators of aging, leading to personalized treatments for slowing down the aging process. For now, he says, there are plenty of things people can do to stay younger longer, including exercise, eating well, maintaining low cholesterol, not smoking, and having regular check-ups with a doctor. Not exactly novel recommendations, but well-proven ones that can buy some time. "And then when these advanced treatments are ready — and I don't think we'll have to wait three generations — we can look at interventions," he says."

50 years ago, this technology was unheard of. Some even considered the thought of it blasphemous. With the passing of time passes intolerance to controversial ideals. If the earth continues, how many more of us might live to be 115+ years old? And what would we do with our time?

- Foster K. Lester, PTA, AAS

 Healing Hands Physical Therapy, Healing Hands Hypermarket, Owner

*Quotes were taken from an Allure article written by Liz Stinson

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