Friday, July 29, 2011

The Unsustainable Future of the Aging Paradigm

Actually, they're missing a critical first step that is key to the aging paradigm (problem).

They need to teach everybody to take better care of themselves first -- before training the caregivers (health care system) to take better care of the elderly (disabled) -- who may not have learned these skills very well (as young people), and especially did not have access to all the (health) information that many still resist learning. That's no longer optional; it has to be mandatory -- and then a safety net(work) can help -- but if people are caring for those who "don't care," then all the caring and caregiving in the world will be futile and exasperating.

That is the problem of a culture (society) of dependency and codependency any place is built upon. The organizations and institutions did all the thinking and talking for everybody else, so when they retire and are on their own, they are at a loss -- because they've only known to be dependent on others, and not to be independent, self-sufficient and self-reliant.

There has to be more people who can care for themselves -- all their lives, and not accept a fate in which nobody can care for themselves -- and so it falls disproportionately on the able until they give up and become the disabled -- because that is the only way to survive in that kind of society.

Then the dysfunctional (homeless) take over the parks, sidewalks, bus stops, etc., and the people (society) are powerless to stop them.

And so the educational assets should be shifted from the young to the aging -- to re-educate themselves -- in light of today's possibilities of the incredible potential a few are groundbreaking. That is the side of the story that is not being told -- in order to lobby for more money for the problematical dysfunctional. The solution doesn't get any money; only the problem does, and so the lobbying interests want the situation to become as dire as possible -- knowing that's where the money is. And government has become only about the money now.

Private enterprises and individuals are expected to pay their own way with viable solutions -- of the people who at age 60, 70, 80, 90 -- and a few are redefining life never seen before. It is far more than simply plastic surgery, cosmetics and the latest health fads. That is a growing reality also; that is the alternative we need to know about -- and not just the despair of solutions without hope, and endless worsening of the problem -- for all the money, that too, in not an unlimited resource.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Is There a Cure for Alzheimer's (Aging)?

Back in the late '80s when I first got involved with the problems of the aging, disabled and terminally ill, I noticed that those with dementias (diminishing brain function) also characteristically did not move their heads as well -- and tended to sit and lie like rigid, unresponsive, immobile statues -- even lacking the muscular development that would support such movements anymore.

The atrophying of the muscles understandably indicate a lack of blood flow, while optimizing that flow, produces that robustness and dynamism in development (hypertrophy), whether one seeks to achieve that development or not -- and so it was clear to me, that unless one specifically designed exercises (movement) to that area, the blood flow would be diverted to areas that are actually in movement -- and one should not presume, that just because the heart is beating faster and harder, that flow is going throughout the body equally well.

Bodybuilders are acutely aware of that phenomenon -- and thus know, that if they want to develop their biceps, they have to perform exercises that are specifically effected by the biceps, deltoids, pectorals, etc. However beyond these conspicuous muscles -- they ignore the much more important and critical muscles where the human body distinctly has the poorest circulation (blood flow) at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- where the human body ages most visibly and obviously as well -- as well known conditions of arthritis, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and most unnoticeably, diminishing brain/cognitive function in all its various manifestations.

And so I determined that if exercise was indeed effective in producing and maintaining optimal development and functioning, the major "muscles" that should be developed as highest priorities for these effects, were the head, hands and feet more importantly than the currently popular preference for the "core" muscles -- including the heart, which should be obvious to even the least informed, always gets all the blood, and therefore, is least likely to suffer from that lack of circulation.

Obviously then, the lack (effectiveness) of circulation, should be measured at the extremities (head, hands, feet) -- and not the heart, which is the conventional/popular focus of that function, because it is simply the easiest thing to measure. However, it should be obvious to any researcher or thinking person, that the easiest thing to measure, is not necessarily the most important thing to measure.

But there are always a few people who make that important distinction -- and differentiate (discriminate) what is most important to consider. That is real science -- and not what most people think it is because someone has told them that is the truth -- because they are the "authorities" on such matters, as though that was the "scientific method," and the end of all knowing. The scientific method is discovering the truth of any matter for oneself -- independent but not ignorant of such "knowledge," which is never all that can be known -- however much any self-proclaimed expert may insist is so -- usually because they have been told by others as well -- or at least biased in that direction.

But unfortunately, that's what science (medicine) has become -- the organization and hierarchy of experts each protecting their own specialized knowledge (turf) without a disposition to see the whole, and how the parts relate to one another. And that's why there is the erroneous idea that the greater phenomenon of circulation is just what the heart does -- rather than the whole cardiovascular system, which includes the muscles, as well as every part of the body -- as more than the sum of its parts.

It is this fragmented and compartmentalized way of thinking, that is a great part of the problem in functioning in the later years of our lives when we are forced to live and think outside the box -- that is the particular and unique challenge of our times, and lives.

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Health Care (Obesity) Problem

The flaw is the thinking that fitness is merely "quantity" of activity rather than "quality" of activity.

This is expressed as the moronic notion that simply burning more calories is all that is required to be fit -- rather than the insight that random, mindless activity will not result in a world-class fit population.

People's fitness has to be organized around a desire to improve -- and not just be active and busy -- wasting energy, time and money.

World class athletes are the opposite of the fitness profiles promoted by the fitness (sports medicine) industry in that they are notable for their efficiency and economy of movement -- rather than movement for movement's sake -- just to burn as many calories as they can with no real organizing principle or purpose in doing so. You can't be fit just for fitness's sake -- you have to want to improve at a specific activity (purpose), and not just go through the motions thinking that is enough.

That's true of any learning and activity -- it has to be meaningful, sustainable and orients the whole psyche for improvement -- rather than just treadmilling, and the innumerable activities and movements with no real world usefulness. Then activity and every other thing in life becomes arbitrary, random and meaningless -- a politically correct person's paradise in which outcomes are merely averaged.

Lost in these studies, is that some people are actually improving spectacularly -- often with little time, energy and effort to do so -- devoted to such activities in that conventional mode of thought. Obviously the old "progress through the miracle of brute force" approach taught by the physical educators and fitness professionals are an obvious and spectacular failure -- of which, like bad education, more is not the solution but the essence of the problem. Nor is throwing more money at the problem -- which is usually what these studies are all about.

There needs to be a fundamental rethinking of this process for success -- rather than the customary and predictable failures.

They mistake "health care" for "health," which are the inverse.

So we spend more on health care, and that health care (system) makes everybody worse -- just as we spend more on "education," and the students need -- more education.

Obviously that is not the right kind of education or health program(s) but institutionalizing the problems -- which predictably gets worse, until eventually there is some kind of epiphany that wakes people up that the present solution is the problem. But usually by then, there is an entrenched monopoly who wants nobody to offer any alternatives -- but their certain death spiral.

And that is the kind of society we've become, and the people manifest -- these obese people who don't care, can't tell any difference, and have been instructed to believe that nothing makes a difference, and they have no alternatives but to accept their fates as the next 911 victims.

And so we only see in the media these stories of people overwhelmed with their multiple difficulties of life -- and never any examples of people succeeding at anything. It's just become a dysfunctional bloodbath supporting more money and jobs for increasing dysfunctions, dependencies and codependencies as the American way of life.

And then we can look forward to 30 years of "life" on extraordinary support systems -- that ensure that our hearts keep on pumping even though nothing else works, and there are no further signs of consciousness -- as the "health care" ideal.

We need everybody to become "experts" (masters) of their own lives.

In the Age of Information, that becomes entirely possible.

What is the failure of these times, is the old way in which there are a few people who do all the thinking (and talking) for everybody else, which keeps the people uninformed and ignorant -- for the vested interests (experts).

That's the model that fails modern society -- when the trade associations serve their own self-interests above the interest of the general well-being -- which is to have an independent thinking, egalitarian society -- instead of the rule by the self-chosen experts (technocracy). That is the fulfillment of the democratic ideal -- and not that a few tell everybody else what they need to do.

Everybody can own their own lives -- as their ultimate expression of who they are, and what they know. Thinking for themselves should be the highest attainment and fulfillment of citizenship.