Staying Young

I turned 49 just a couple months back. I know I won’t get much sympathy from a lot of my patients who are older than that. But I must confess it hit me harder than I thought it would.  If you have a mathematical tendency like I do, you look at 49 as essentially 50. I can no longer tell myself I’m not middle-aged. And to quote Jean-Luc Picard “Recently I’ve become very much aware that there are fewer days ahead than there are behind”.

I do take comfort in the difference between chronological age versus biological age. You can’t change how old you are according to the calendar.  However, you can do quite a bit to change the apparent age of your body and its various systems. To use the analogy of a ‘59 Studebaker:  you can have two different Studebakers – both are 53 years old but depending on how they’ve been cared for one of them may be a rusting hulk in a field while another one is bright and shiny and looks like it did when it was first in the dealer showroom.

I have the disadvantage of having a long tall body which makes for a bit more instability and stress on the joints. To use our car analogy, it’s as if my wheels go out of alignment more easily. Fortunately, I’ve compensated for this through chiropractic. By keeping my skeletal frame aligned, I plan to let my joints last longer than they otherwise would. And here’s where our analogy breaks down, unlike a car, the alignment of the human body can affect every other system in the body through the nervous system.

When a car goes out of alignment, the tires wear out more quickly. Big deal. Just replace the tires. When the human frame goes out of alignment, replacing the joints, if it can be done, it is an expensive and involved process. Plus, the replacement is never as good as the original. Either that or one has to live with the worn-out joints. Beyond that, the misalignments, or subluxations in chiropractic terminology, affect the muscles around those joints and particularly in the case of the spine can have significant effects on the nervous system. The nervous system controls all the functions of the body down to a cellular level. As a result, the misalignment, which only affects one part of a car, affects how well the entire human body functions and ultimately ages.

It’s ironic that people correctly take their car in for wheel alignments and oil changes so that the car lasts longer. Yet, they tend to wait for the last minute, if at all, to keep their bodies in shape. You can always buy new car. You only get one body per lifetime. Let’s keep it running as well as possible for as long as possible.