Katherine Willow N.D.
How to Rejuvenate at Midlife
It is a common experience to feel depleted by age forty or fifty after decades of working, raising a family and following dubious lifestyle habits. Energy wanes, digestion becomes sluggish, muscle mass decreases in contrast to adipose tissue around the waist, libido diminishes, memory fades and overall quality of life recedes with the hairline.
People with strong constitutions don’t typically notice the change as much as those more sensitive, but the latter have the advantage of getting the message early enough to make changes while their more robust counterparts are able to plough forward until they get sick or drop. Another pattern is overriding the body with one’s mind, enthusiasm and will, thinking one has lots of energy which in reality is adrenaline wearing away the body with constant stimulation.
The first and definitely most difficult step towards better health in this harried, pain-driven culture is to SLOW DOWN. For those who manage to get out of the overactive box, much potential opens. It is said in older traditions that investing in three months of deep rejuvenation gives ten extra years of life.
Once time is freed up, the next step is to REST MORE. This is accomplished by early bedtimes between 8:30 and 9:30pm, depending on one’s level of fatigue, and strategic power naps of 10 to 20 minutes during the day. All organs and body systems need rest to recharge. Watching screens, doing puzzles and reading don’t count as rest. Eyes need to be closed and muscles relaxed.
Feeling more rested gives us more control to EAT WELL. This is where the process needs to be individualized by body type and condition. Essential criteria is how much a person is depleted versus being congested/toxic which will determine if the diet needs to be nourishing or cleansing or a mixture of both.
EXERCISE falls into the same category of needing to be individualized. Restorative yoga, however, benefits everyone. Once energy is high enough, interval training (aerobic and with weights) is one of the most effective methods of building muscle and restoring human growth hormone for vigour. It takes literally 20 minutes two to three times a week. Add stretching to this and within weeks to months the body will begin to feel renewed. Science tells us that 9 months of intensive training can reverse aging factors by ten years.
When the body is balanced, one can more easily undertake EMOTIONAL HEALING in order to release negative feelings and their corresponding tensions held since childhood. Much energy can be gained in this way.
When we are able to sit peacefully without climbing the walls, CONTEMPLATION and MEDITATION deepen mental rest and access one’s spiritual source to receive guidance about what to do with our renewed self. PURPOSE keeps us living well.
BASIC PRODUCTS helpful to rebuild health include: digestive enzymes, adrenal support, thyroid support, multivitamins/minerals and cleansing herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, cleavers and psyllium. Then there are more sophisticated products such as homeopathic remedies, Ayurvedic combinations and modern discoveries of cell recharging substances. However, consistent results require lifestyle changes…
Sometimes it takes a specific product to break a pattern of low energy in order to be able to move forward with one’s lifestyle. Other times it requires a person’s support–a friend, family member, coach or healing practitioner who believes in us and helps us take those small realistic steps into the destiny of the second half of our lives.