May 5, 2014
I've been lowering my aim when it comes to aging gracefully. I'm not shooting for "grace" any longer. I'm settling for a good night's sleep, less pain, and more mental clarity since grace may be overrated.
I just celebrated my 70th birthday last month. Occasionally I think back longingly on my younger days when I could sleep anywhere, felt no pain, and less depression and anxiety.
Feeling sorry for myself seems to exaggerate the problems and only makes thing worse.
So I sat myself down for a pep talk.
The first question I asked myself was this: “What contributions can I make during my remaining years and how can I take care of myself in ways that will allow me to be the most productive?”
The first question I asked myself was this: "What contributions can I make during my remaining years and how can I take care of myself in ways that will allow me to be the most productive?"
What came up for me was really quite inspiring. I realized that at this point in my life I know more than I've known at any other juncture.
I am more grounded spiritually and intellectually than I have ever been.
I don't have a lot of financial pressures to deal with and I have support from friends and family.
The only thing getting in way are the physical aggravations rated to aging, namely, not sleeping well; painful body parts, and lifelong bouts with depression, anxiety.
I started looking for help online and came across a treatment called "neurofeedback."
This is a treatment that trains the brain to correct irregularities and entrenched patterns.
The brain learns about itself, strengthens neural networks, and develops better self-regulation.
This sounded good to me so I checked further.
There is some research that supports the use of neurofeedback to treat symptoms associated with a multitude of psychiatric and medical disorders, including depression and anxiety.
It also helps with sleep and can have a positive impact on reducing pain.
And when no particular medical or psychological problem exists, neurofeedback can still help to optimize health by increasing the brain's ability to self-regulate, focus, relax and become resilient.
I decided to give it a try and I'm happy to say that I'm having positive results. I am sleeping better, have more mental clarity, and a slight reduction in pain.
I found another approach to back pain that is helping, too, called neural therapy which is based on the theory that any kind of trauma can produce "interference fields" which are longstanding imbalances in the electrochemical function throughout the body.
The treatment involves tiny injections of a numbing medicine at specific trigger sites on the body. This is usually done in conjunction with osteopathic medicine.
Between neurofeedback and osteopathy and neural therapy, I'm feeling better and able to get on with the rest of my life.
Both of these treatments are available in the Grass Valley area. Go to http://www.doctornani.com for a more complete description.
Whether you try these approaches or not, I just want to encourage all of us who are older to find ways to strengthen our bodies and spirits so we can continue to contribute and make a difference.
We have never been better prepared for it than we are now.
Lori Ashcraft lives in Nevada City.