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Ageless Aging - April 2013
April 02, 2013

April! T.St. Elliot called April 'the cruelest month , breeding Lilacs out of the dead land etc.....'. (The rest of the poem is on the www. Just type "April the cruelest month" into you search engine if you want to read it.)

For us, April is a month with lots of opportunities and encouraging news.

Cognitive issues

Alzheimers, like autism, is one of the fastest growing medical conditions. No one is sure why this is happening. Maybe it is environmental....maybe it is life style...maybe it is neither. But both are a concern and although the pharmaceutical approach has not been very successful for either condition, there are new avenues opening.

A. New research initiative: Alzheimer prevention. If you would like to participate, you can.. Go to the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry and you can sign up to participate in clinical trials or research to help prevent and/or treat Alzheiemrer's. Some of the studies simply ask you to fill out a questionnaire; others are more complex. All are voluntary. This new program shows real promise - especially if those who have a relative with Alzheirmer's sign up. To learn more go to: .

B. Changing your brain by thinking. This year I have read two different works co-written by teams that include at least one neuroscientist showing that we can learn to change the physical structure our brains, through the use of specific meditation techniques. .

In one case this information was used with persons with obsessive compulsive disorder (a condition in which a person NEEDS to repeat an action over and over eg. checking to see if she locked the door, or needing to wipe down a desk etc.) to retrain their brain so as to stop repeating the action over and over. In another, persons at the earliest stages of memory loss reconfigured their brains so as to REPAIR MEMORY! .

I find these things very exciting. I know both from my own practice and from teaching a college level course in meditation, that we can learn to change our bodies through meditation: control pain, reduce blood pressure, heal wounds, kill cancer cells, alleviate depression etc. We have real documentation of these things.

When I taught meditation as a college course, I needed to find some testing methods to produce grades. One thing: ALL the students learned to change the temperature in their hands at will - (this could be measured so it fit 'testing' for a college course.). .

Given the increasing use of meditation in the area of health and wellness, I have decided to start a new web site. I hope to have enough done by next month to make it worth a visit. And yes, I shall include the studies about 'changing your brain'.

2. Did you know that one of the fastest growing groups studying for college degrees are those past age 50? And the costs are coming down rapidly. As you know I have a page on the web site about states that allow those over age 65 to study for a degree for FREE. But now anyone in the world can take on-line college courses from some of the most prestigious universities. Here is a small sampling: Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale and others from the United States; Oxford (England) , Madras (India), University of Glasgow (Scotland), University of Iceland, University of New South Wales (Australia).... The list goes on. AND the good news is that many colleges and universities are now accepting such courses by those wanting a degree (under the rubric of Transfer credits.) .

This is such an exciting development. Some of the courses require that you use a college or university web program....but most are provided in youtube or itunes videos. Right now the web site has some pages about earning a college well as links to some companies that will find scholarship money for you. BUT now I plan to add pages about this new development for taking courses on line - I expect to have the information in place by next month. If you want an introduction to what is available take a look at (The site is not well organized - one reason I want to add a page to the site.) .

Final comment

I want this newsletter to really serve you. If there is some topic you would like me to cover in a future issue, please let me know. Just hit 'reply' and I will get your post.

Be happy.... We have only one life to live, let's make it our best.


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