ijjjji anti aging & longevity

Guide for gaining and preserving a youthful body.

fredag 7. september 2012

Improve Good Posture

POSTURE - prior to improving posture, few realize the amazing benefits of doing so:
-Eliminate back and joint pains
-Improved breathing and energy
-Improved presence/vibe
-Looking younger, taller, slimmer, more athletic, healthier.. sexier

Beware though, like all greatly beneficial things in life, good posture comes at the price of dedication, effort and time. Depending on starting point, it may involve:
-breaking a variety of bad habits, through diligent self checking/correction
-deep stretching of muscles/tendons that have become too short
-strengthening of musculature, especially in the back
-improvement of joint flexibility
-replacing furniture that invite bad posture
-reducing activities that put you in bad posture

But the first challenge is understanding what 'good posture' actually is, both logically and on a body/sensation level. Traditional advice like 'chin up, chest out' is not very helpful. Getting instruction by taking a ballet or yoga class, is without doubt the fastest way to develop such understanding. In 1-3 sessions, you could probably acquire understandings that could take months when trying on your own.

If determined to try on your own, hopefully my illustrations bellow can give you some idea.

You may want to read my guide to understanding the human spine.

There are also some good video resources on the net. Examples:
Esther Gokhale
Yoga posture correction
Alexander Technique

After acquiring this understanding, and learning how to position your body, and what degree of tension or relaxedness is required in various areas, you are ready for the next challenge; Finding time to practice regularly. Without extended practicing several times pr week, improvement is not very likely.

Finally, if you don't take a class, checking your progress becomes vitally important, since you have no instructor to correct and provide feedback. A mirror simply won't do. You have to look at yourself from all angels without needing to twist around. Possible solutions:
-Video recorder on camera, phone, laptop web-cam etc.
-Have someone take pictures of you.
-Looking at a wall mirror through a hand held mirror.

Illustrations as promised:


Green: Push forward. Red: Pull back.


Examples of stretches for enabling better posture

fredag 27. august 2010

Posture Defeating Back Pain and Aging of the Spine

It becomes obvious even at first glance, that spines were originally developed as HORIZONTAL bone structures, rather than being raised up vertically like a tower. (Hint: they are flexible!)

(Figure 1 & 2)

My point is this; the human 'spine-design' is probably not the most rugged, and CERTAINLY fragile when put to MISuse. And objective of this article is how to avoid these misuses and the quite HORRIBLE long term effects they produce.

If you look at modern picture representations of the human spine, they tend to look as curved as the one depicted above. However, if you look at any YOUNG spine, it looks so much straighter. In fact, no matter what babies are doing, they tend to keep their backs extremely straight. This is the nature of the human spine BEFORE bad habits and gravity is allowed to influence it.

(Figure 3)

Also, the moment someone uses their body strength, the spine automatically straightens. You can explore this effect yourself by varying between a relaxed straight position and tilting your torso forward holding it up with your back strength. Obviously, the body KNOWS that the curved position is only useful for resting the muscles.

(Figure 4)

Based on all this, I'd like to postulate that the human spine is actually NEARLY straight. That the big curves are introduced when we stand/sit straight up to relax the back muscles. That doing so extensively, as part of a modern lifestyle (desk work, watching TV, driving car), is why our spines get stuck like that, making back pain the most common chronic disease, and allowing gravity to increase the crookedness of those curves as we get older.

(Figure 5)

Next, look at the gorilla. Notice how it retains its 'baby-spine-straightness' into adulthood. If we used our backs SLIGHTLY more like the gorilla does, could we possibly avoid ending up with deformed spine and posture?? Lets explore this!

(Figure 6)

Take a look at the bones that stick out from the spine. In function, these are very similar to the towers of a bridge.

(Figure 7)

The wires from the towers are the MUSCLES that run along the spine. As long as the spine a has a MINIMUM of tilt, this system will work similarly to how the towers and wires hold a bridge up. But try to imagine putting that bridge 100% vertical like a TOWER.. notice how it DISABLES the stabilizing effect of the wires.

(Figure 8)

This is what happens when we put the torso straight up to relax the back muscles, and doing so on a regular basis is what allows the increase of the curves mentioned previously.

(Figure 9)

Now, try sticking your ASS out a little, tilting your whole torso and head slightly forward. Notice how this ACTIVATES the wires (muscles) in the BRIDGE construction in your back. Notice how the spine starts to straighten all the way up to the top of your neck when you do this. If you could get chairs that promote this position, and be a bit like this when out walking, this would build TREMENDOUS strength along your spine, and probably ELIMINATE any standard neck or lower back pains and REVERSE the development of curvedness in your spine. Your posture would improve tremendously. Your breathing and even your VOICE would improve. The health and functioning of your internal ORGANS would even improve.

Ok there you have it. Now, lets find the best way to incorporate this into our lifestyle so we can have zero back pain and a strong youthful posture during our entire life. I believe the biggest issue is how we sit. Makers of ergonomic office chairs have known this for some years, and they have also found that the perfect sitting position is that of a HORSE RIDER. I strongly advice that you START by tilting the seat of your office/work chair forward and remove the back support entirely (or put it as straight as possible if unremovable).

(Figure 10)

Eventually, you want to get a saddle chair, or similar ergonomic chair. These are expensive, so try getting one through the company you work for.

(Figure 11)

You should get one for your home as well, and quit all forms of 'bad' sitting. 'Resting' sitting positions are simply not good for you. Lie down instead when tired.

(Figure 12)

Finally, you should start walking and standing with a posture similar to the standing baby depicted above. Just stick your ass out and tilt forward until you start feeling the BRIDGE effect working in your back.

All this may seem a bit daunting. I incorporated these changes in my own life nearly one year ago, and let me assure you; you will experience that your back quickly gains the strength required to support forward tilted sitting throughout the day. You will experience that your posture starts to improve. You will experience that lover back and neck pains start to go away, that you can now do things that used to result in back pain (like standing for longer periods of time).

lørdag 20. februar 2010

Food is Everything

Food, is both the building material and fuel of living bodies. Picture a car. If built from impure irons, it will rust fast. Fuel that is unclean or wrong octane, will quickly wreck the engine.

Research suggests food is almost entirely responsible for how soon a body ages and dies.
- Carbohydrate abundance leads to glycation (carbohydrate crystals 'sedimenting' that makes tissue brittle).
- Calorie abundance makes the body prioritize growth and reproduction at the cost of general health & maintainance.
- Low vitamin & mineral content, compared to calorie content, leads to faster oxidizing ('corroding') of the body.

If you want to live long, you basically have to:
a) transition to a low carb, high fat diet.
b) increase consumption of mineral/vitamin dense foods.
Total calorie intake tends to go down naturally when adopting a and b.

- - - - -

About skin

How aged a person looks, depends mostly on diet. External skin treatments do very little to prevent or hide the aging effects in skin and supportive tissue from a pro-aging diet.

Only true exception is sunlight, which really should be seen as part of nutrition, since it is the main source of vitamin D, a nutrient that is hard to obtain sufficiently through food alone.

Rumor has it that oily skin gets less lines and wrinkles compared to drier skin types. I have not looked for science on this yet, but logic suggests there is some truth in this. Think of a pair of leather shoes that never sees shoe shine (grease). They wear down and start cracking much faster than shoes that are shined weekly.

Research has shown a link between lack of vitamin C in the tissue directly under the skin, and a deflation of the same tissue. Experiments of applying vitamin C as skin cream, has resulted in some inflation of skin itself. I have tested this personally and the change is small yet visible, where skin between pores seem to 'puff up' slightly.

So although I dont believe skin care to be the key, I do a few things:
-No soap or other man-made chemicals on skin.
-Olive oil or similar when skin is wet from shower.
-Vitamin C rub once a week, followed by oil.
-European strength* tanning bed ca 20min pr week.

It seems that the oil on moist skin really promotes a more youthful look temporarily. I base this on my own observation and spontaneous feedback from others. Also, a long winter with no sun seems to render skin less firm. 2-3 short tannings seem to remedy this, while increasing energy and feeling of inner well being at the same time.

*: Most skin cancer that has been tied to tanning bed use, has come from US, where they allow much stronger light tubes than in Europe. Bottom line, the human body is designed for sunlight and will age much faster if it doesnt get it. But overdoing it will cause skin damage with possible increase of wrinkles. So always control/limit the exposure and try not to get too much of it in one place. It might be an idea to cover face and neck while in tanning bed since those areas get exposure naturally.


I cured my awful mouse sickness (RSI) through stretching. We probably under estimate its importance and how unhealthy it is when we forget to do it due to modern fast pace lifestyle.