I recently watched a program about a place in Greece called Ikaria. Most of the inhabitants live to be over a 100 years old while retaining their fitness and mobility.
It appears that they all had a purpose and a reason to get up each day. They all had small holdings of sorts which allowed them to grow their own food and rear live stock. Everything they ate was locally grown produce, and their own live stock.
A big part of their reasons for being healthy and happy was attributed to being actively involved in the community. They never feel ostracised they always feel included. While elsewhere the elderly are lonely and are discarded.
Another interesting statistic of Ikaria, is that there is nearly zero incidences of Alzheimer's or dementia amongst it residents. 90 plus year olds are fit and healthy, both mentally and physically.
In start contrast to the rest of the world it seems astonishing that they can thrive and live so well. The rest of the western world have more tendency towards being overweight, experiencing diabetes, struggling with arthritis and increased instances of cancer and dementia being what we have to look forward to.
It seems that feeling connected to people, having a purpose and sense of something to achieve increases the likelihood that you will age better. Watching a 95 year old in Ikaria herding his goats as if he was in his 30’s is something to behold. While most other 90 year olds struggle to get out of their chairs.
In a study, which has come to be known as ‘The Nun Study’, research was carried out on Sister Mary to measure brain functioning. During the study she mused about Jesus keeping her alive, but the doctor said it’s your attitude that is keeping you alive.
She functioned well on cognition tests and showed no signs of dementia or Alzheimers while she was alive, however an autopsy of her brain showed that she did in fact have full blown Alzheimers disease.
As human beings we are quite amazing and continue to astound medical science by doing things which ‘are not possible’ to achieve. The power of the mind and the brains ability to adapt can create what most of us would see as miracles. It is not uncommon for people to heal from cancers and other diseases through sheer will power. I remember hearing a speaker on The Secret saying something along the lines of; incurable means that it is curable from within. Perhaps we have more power than we think.