Aging backwards for patients means maintaining not only appearance but chiropractic health and flexibility, and DCs can treat the patient conditions they see daily
Aging is not just one thing, but a combination of factors that are better understood now than ever before. Needless to say, most holistic practitioners address some issues that patients seek in “aging backwards” but do not make “Anti-Aging/Regeneration” their primary focus. Often DCs are so focused on the neuromuscular system we forget to address the whole-body devastation that comes with aging.
In the age of COVID, most practices are suffering, and now is the time to shift part of your practice into this creative new model.
Aging backwards and a new holistic science
Until recently aging was inevitable; there was no real answer or treatment. Chiropractors and other holistic practitioners have been skirting the issue but not really managing head-on.
This new holistic science is the leading edge, but perhaps we have been too timid or humble to declare it loudly enough to be heard. We have been legislated and pigeonholed so heavily that many of us feel we can’t say anything positive about our progress and success.
However, a great deal of research is readily available; one need only search NIH (National Institutes of Health) for credible, positive, accepted, peer-reviewed research on nearly any holistic natural remedy. We don’t have to make claims of success because volumes of research do it for us. I recommend you simply reference the research conclusions and let the reader/patient draw their own conclusions.
Take cannabis, for example. There was a tipping point about 10 years ago for absolute help for children and seizures, and from there the research exploded to include many health conditions. With all the publicity and research, cannabis has now become legal in most states for medical use.
So what are the basics of the ageing process that we now understand?
Common signs of aging:
- Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin disorders, hormone disorders (menopause, etc.), low testosterone and ED, bowel and urinary problems, etc. — just about any condition you can name.
- Pain and inflammation
- Lethargy, decreased energy and stamina
- Poor memory
- Decreased muscle mass and strength
- Increased fat
- Skin disorders and discolorations
- Slow healing/recovery time
- Decreased sexual activity
- Sagging skin and wrinkles
- Hair loss and graying
The average chiropractor sees most of these conditions daily, so much so that we tend to ignore them and go right to the neuromuscular system.
Addressing aging factors
Basic nutrition helps but is most often not specifically focused and promoted as anti-aging (everything old is new again). Everybody wants to look and feel younger, but no one is focused on making that happen — including DCs treating patients.
An entire new world of treatment options is now available to you and your patients.
The main factors of aging are:
- Increased oxidation
- Decreased stem cell production
- Decreased hormone production
- Increased inflammation and pain
- Increased acidity and pH
- Brain plaquing
- Weakened immune system
- Musculo-skeletal degradation
- Cardiovascular clogging and damage
- Obesity, metabolic syndrome and dysbiosis
- Poor nutrition and digestion: decreased minerals, water and amino acids
If you already deal with some of these, great — the rest are now at your disposal. It’s important to address many of these factors together for optimum “aging backwards” results. Working with any one of the above may work temporarily and partially, but addressing multiple factors simultaneously can make a huge difference in your life and that of your patients.
Eight factors to address for anti-aging
- Increased oxidation is the by-product of normal energy creation (the burning of fuel/food) to run the body. For example, fire is oxidation of fuel, as is rusting of metal. Our bodies use glucose and fat for fuel like a car uses gasoline. Oxidation creates free ions or “free radicals” of oxygen as a by-product. Excess oxidation is a major cause of aging.
- Decreased stem cell production: When a baby is born, there is approximately one stem cell for every 300 regular cells in the body. By the age of 65 it’s estimated the number drops to one stem cell for every 330,000,000 cells. Stem cells are essentially the “3-D printers” that create all other cells: blood, brain, muscles, organs, vessels, etc. Once the body is grown, stem cells are no longer needed for growth, but they become responsible for all tissue and organ repair. Decreased availability of those cells is a major contribution to the aging process.
- Decreased hormone production: The pituitary gland is the master gland of the body and secretes a master hormone called HGH (human growth hormone) which controls the output of all other glands of the body such as thyroid, ovaries, testicles, liver, pancreas, stomach and more. HGH is directly responsible for all tissue growth and reproduction along with stem cells. It is how and why we grow from a baby into a fully-grown adult. We all remember being in our mid-teens with raging hormones; our pituitary gland was putting out 100% HGH. By the age of 60 it can only excrete 4-5%. That reduction results in decreased energy, loss of muscle mass and increased fat accumulation. Therefore, there are insufficient hormones to support adequate regrowth of aging tissue.
- Increased inflammation is a natural precursor to damaged tissue repair. As we age, tissue and joints start wearing out and our body creates inflammation to draw attention to the area that needs repair. When young, the body automatically repairs itself immediately (also through the process of inflammation). Think of sore muscles after a workout, that go away in a day or two. However, when we get older, it takes days, weeks or months to repair. Often the damage becomes long-lasting/chronic. Arthritis is a perfect example. Thankfully, there are many supplements available to reduce chronic inflammation and its damage.
- Increased acidity and low pH. Healthy babies are totally balanced pH-wise. As we grow and eat more acid-producing foods (carbs and red meat), and drink more water and carbonated drinks, our bodies struggle to maintain a normal pH. A perfect blend of foods that includes fruit, vegetables and alkaline water can balance your pH quickly and easily. However, as we become more acidic, our body will steal calcium from our bones in order to maintain a more alkaline state. Hence most seniors suffer from weak and de-mineralized bones (osteoporosis, etc.).
- Waning immune system is caused by many different aging factors such as toxins and especially poor gut flora, allowing for many varied acute and chronic conditions.
- Cardiovascular clogging and damage is a combination of fat accumulation, pH and lack of exercise.
- Obesity, metabolic syndrome, dysbiosis, poor diet and decreased minerals, water and amino acids create situations where the body can function but at a slow decline that inevitably ends in premature aging and death. Amelioration of these factors will make a huge impact on the aging process.
As with all of the above, the goal is aging backwards — to slow down and reverse the aging process. For patients it takes time, energy and money, but an ever-increasing number see the worth in it.
MICHAEL J. KOCH, DC, BS, CTTP, ND, is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. He practiced for over 30 years and opened a dozen practices. He has consulted with hundreds of holistic doctors during his professional life for advanced services and improved outcomes. He is a pioneer in the utilization of legal CBD (hemp oil) for a myriad of neurological and immunological health problems. For more information go to holisticteledoc.com.