I’ve recently found out that my adopted Iowa is initiating a program called Blue Zones, which is based on a book by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer who did a survey of places in the world where people live the longest and fullest lives.
The state of Iowa is launching a project to become the #1 state in the US in health and longevity in the next 5 years.
Here’s the concept: Dan found that in certain areas, 9 key practices are found in common with the healthiest seniors.
The Power 9 and how Craniosacral Therapy (CST) integrates and supports:
Just move. Literally keep moving, the more the better. CST helps as we age in keeping fluid forces moving in the body, and lessens resistance to keeping in motion. Less toxic build of chemicals in the body as well.
Purpose Now. A sense of purpose is worth 7 years extra life expectancy. At least some of this emerges from greater mental clarity, which comes from decreased inflammation in the brain and better circulation, which is part of the CST and Geriatrics-reversal of the Aging process approach.
Down Shift. Stress leads to chronic inflammation in the body, which we discuss extensively in our 4-day class on Reversal of the Aging Process. Find a way to shed stress, which of course CST sessions clearly provide.
80% Rule. As in 80% full when you eat. And eat earlier if you can. CST can’t take credit for this, but if the digestive system is calmer, then it may be easier to stop overeating, which ‘down regulation’ of the nervous system will provide. We’ve found many times digestive CST addresses complaints.
Plant Slant. Not to say meat should be avoided, but veggies and nuts do promote heart health and positive brain function.
Wine at 5. In moderation of course, daily a glass or two. Who wouldn’t like this after a soothing CST session?
Belong. Some connection to a community that holds the concept of a higher power adds 4-14 years to life expectancy. In CST we talk about listening to your inner wisdom. Wouldn’t it be great to share this with an entire community?
Loved Ones First. A positive committed relationship can add up to 3 years of life expectancy. Also, keeping your aging parents in or near you at home makes a difference in positivity and outlook on life. As an aside, take a look at Another Country by Mary Pipher who addresses this subject quite extensively. There is a rhythm to what I call the stages of life. And rituals and ceremonies to augment and accompany them. In turns out grandchildren need grandparents, and they each provide something that the ‘in between’ generation may not have the time or accumulated wisdom to provide. This is what I call honor the elders.
Right Tribe. There’s an old saying ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ Another incentive to create positive communities with a positive outlook for the future. Our comment here is an emphasis on prevention rather than disease
Dan’s website is www.BlueZones.com and it’s about the practices that create community wide well-being and longevity. You should also visit www.bluezones.com/2011/08/iowa-launches-blue-zones-project to find out how this project is being implemented in Iowa.