Originally published on Positive Health online, issue 203, February 2013.
Written By: Elena Francesca Barbiero
Wrong or right, it seems to me that Western society has been after the holy grail of eternal youth for a long time: a quick look at the shelves of various outlets and supermarkets shows that there is a huge number of products dedicated to skin repair, hair color to cover grey quick-fix products to conceal signs of strain or ageing. The desire to look youthful and healthy is not wrong in itself, although my impression is that it has become almost compulsive: this of course benefits the finances of the ones who sell such products, rather than the recipients.
Rejuvenation is indeed an issue that goes beyond beauty: it’s in fact central to health. The body creates new cells on a constant basis, therefore regenerating its tissues: it’s a vital task that guarantees the correct functioning of its internal and external organs. Maintaining a youthful appearance has an impact on overall vitality, but of course also on self-esteem and self-concept, as people tend to be influenced by appearances: being ‘youthful’ has physiological and psychological consequences.
It strikes me that the ‘young forever’ industry, with its array of creams and expensive products, refers to rejuvenating as ‘anti-ageing’: already, in my opinion, this very much defeats the ultimate aim. Why? Can wording have an impact on how we think, therefore on the body’s physiology? One may argue that words are a symbol for concepts: ‘meaning’ has a way to sink into our subconscious mind, when repeated again and again. Referring to the issue at hand as ‘anti-ageing’ (rather than rejuvenation) has a negative impact on the subconscious mind: the subconscious only works from a point of affirmation, and will only hear ‘ageing’. If ‘anti-ageing’ is heard by the subconscious as ‘ageing’, the mind will be programmed for the very thing it wants to prevent. It’s not a matter of going against ageing, which is impossible. One cannot stop time, because, even if we look young for a long time, we are in fact perpetually maturing and changing. It’s a matter of rejuvenating the system, e.i. bringing each and every cell back to its pristine state. This of course doesn’t stop time: but it keeps the body in the same condition. If you want to appear young, you shouldn’t fight age: you should rejuvenate. So, can one regenerate the body with merely the power of the mind?
It’s already a process the body does naturally: in seven years, there isn’t a single cell that was there seven years previously. ‘Ageing’ (the gradual deterioration of the organs, which over time lose elasticity and tone, until the final breakdown of the whole system) seems to be controlled by the endocrine system: studies conducted on Werner Syndrome show that individuals affected by this hereditary illness tend to display endocrine and metabolic differences compared to healthy individuals. Werner Syndrome is fortunately extremely rare. Subjects can show signs of the illness as young as six years old: not only the individual visibly and rapidly ages, developing wrinkles, losing skin tone and developing grey hair and hair loss; their internal organs also age rapidly. The life span is rarely beyond forty years, mainly because of heart failure.
Ageing has been studied extensively in the West in relation to life-span, but the preservation of youth doesn’t seem to be a scientific concern. Russian scientists though have been studying the ageing process in reference to rejuvenation for some time, and they have come up with a controversial ‘stem-cell injections’ procedure: these cells can grow in any kind of tissue and keep the skin looking young. They can also be injected in internal organs. Long-term effects are not known, but there is surely a market for this procedure: the Beauty Plaza, a Moscow clinic for the wealthy whose director is Dr Alexander Teplyashin, was set up exploiting loopholes in Russian law to pioneer a treatment outlawed in most countries. The major fear is that it could cause cancer: this hasn’t stopped more than 4,500 wealthy clients paying around £ 21,000 per session at the clinic for this rejuvenating treatment.
In spite of extensive research, science has not yet ‘cracked’ the workings of the ageing process, although it’s clear that the endocrine system is the main culprit. The endocrine system orchestrates in fact most chemical reactions in the body: and if ageing depends on the endocrine system, the possibility of keeping the body ‘young forever’ is indeed there, provided we can access and understand the process from an endocrine/metabolic point of view. Health and ageing are not only issues depending on external factors such as pollution, nutrition, poor environmental conditions, poisons in everyday products, all of which of course accelerate ageing- or so to speak, lessen the body’s ability to regenerate. Injecting stem-cells may be very well: perhaps though there is a way to help the body attain a metabolism where such substances are self-generated, perpetually.
People don’t realize that hormonal balance, for example, is greatly affected by emotional/mental upheaval, or by physiological conditions that may have been created by conditioning: the brain forms neurological pathways of behavior that become ingrained in the individual- they are beyond rational reasoning, they are ‘visceral’. It has been proven in this regard that addiction has neurological roots, so it’s not solely an emotional problem: the individual compulsively repeats certain behaviors because of neurological programming. The emotional/mental ‘climate’ in the individual is crucial to the functioning of hormones: the question is if one could consciously generate, through conditioning, the release of rejuvenating hormones into the blood stream, or prevent the release of ‘ageing’ hormones. After all, there are gurus who after many years of practice are able to influence physiological processes that are usually beyond conscious control: so, experience shows that indeed influencing hormonal release is a possibility, as there are individuals that are able to control physiological processes– how easily attainable this may be is another matter altogether of course, but it’s possible.
Last but not least, there are ‘normal’, ‘average’ people who manage to look and feel much younger than their years: we have all probably met someone like that. Again, the reason may be genetic (down to ‘pot luck’, basically); but I would also argue that people who look and feel young all have in common a single mental attitude – they believe they will stay ‘young’ because of one particular factor, and this factor may vary according to the individual. They also have a lifestyle that helps the body regenerate with ease: they usually avoid natural poisons such as alcohol, or smoking, drugs etc. and they live ‘moderately’ and in balance.
The author Linda Goodman was one of such people: apparently she managed to look much younger than her years for most of her life, until her death for diabetes. She wrote extensively on the subject of rejuvenation, and I would advise anyone who has an interest in energetic matters to read what she has to say in her book ‘Star Signs, the Secret Codes of the Universe’, in ‘Chapter 9, Physical Immortality’. It’s simply fascinating. I quote:
“The difference from one person and another…is what they think about. Whatever thoughts and ideas are in the mind have the power to produce direct results in the body. The body is totally obedient to the ideas and thoughts of the mind.”
Goodman explains in her book how to achieve the process of cell regeneration through the power of the mind, and I have to say, it’s most interesting: it’s a mix of practical lifestyle tips and mind programming techniques. It obviously worked for her, as she managed to look young for a long time.
Another author who also mentions the rejuvenating powers of the mind is Eckhart Tolle in his best-selling book ‘The Power of Now’. Tolle identifies ‘consciousness’ as a tool for slowing down the aging process, and he refers to this as an energetic process that involves the ‘human energy field’: he basically expresses the very same concept as the one in Goodman’s book, but from a different viewpoint. New scientific research is indeed showing how emotions, the endocrine system and brain pathways are a much more complex, interwoven system than we previously thought: I am not suggesting with this article that one can and should attain rejuvenation through mental programming and supporting the body’s regeneration through lifestyle. I am simply saying though that it’s a possibility: it’s also a possibility that there might be not fully understood energetic factors involved in the process of rejuvenating the body. I hope the above will motivate readers to explore this subject further, and perhaps open their minds and spirits to the possibility that we may have a much greater influence on our body-mind processes than we believe: and who knows, you might be young forever.