Aging, Illness &
& Body Electronics
© Written by John Robert
As the primary carer for my mother Elizabeth during her last two years of life, I experienced a different perspective of in-home care.
I am exceedingly grateful for the support we received from other residents and staff of Pineview Retirement Village, SA Department of Veteran Affairs, involved Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and home care agencies and staff, especially ACH.
In this article I question the status quo regarding aging and illness, re-examine quality of life and, using a testimonial of my mother's healing journey, highlight simple ideas to avert the often feared health related trauma of aging.
Although I am concentrating on aging here, the following may also be relevant to other age groups.
Why Illness in Aging?
I think there is a difference between aging and illness in aging.
Illness in aging is still illness.
Just because we age, doesn't mean we have to suffer more from illness than at any other age.
Any illness whether given a medical diagnosis or not, still subtracts a level of quality of living, no matter at what stage in life it is experienced. I believe we can age gracefully without illness.
The line between aging and illness is however, difficult to place.
Perhaps collectively, we don't know what aging without illness would be like. Some may believe that we 'have to die of something'. This belief seems to invite the acceptance of illness as a necessary part of aging.
How are we going to find out what aging gracefully is, if we plan for, are plagued by and fully accept chronic illness as normal?
Quality of Life
A lot has been written about quality of life! It is measured for research and decision-making.
The majority of people have longevity, thanks to modern sanitation and medical management of illness. To balance this, there is need now to value and extend the quality of our lives.
I have found that people vary in how they define quality of life in aging or declining health: most seem to expect quality to mean 'remaining comfortable without pain', and having the ability to enjoy the normal habits one is accustomed to.
This is a palliative option and involves symptom management and adaptive technology. It definitely has a place. It is the path taken however, when no other path is understood.
With Body Electronics in particular (other forms of natural living and therapy help also), people have the option to rehabilitate their health to previous levels of activity and involvement in life. However small or large a step in rehabilitation is taken, is determined by individual circumstances and choice.
Quality of life to me, is more than physical ability. Quality of emotional outlook is raised with Body Electronics. Emotional 'tone' becomes higher, producing more optimism and sharing of activity and enjoyment.
With Body Electronics, people can raise themselves emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well as physically.. so much so that if the body still lags behind, it doesn't have to matter so much - a joyful spirit is infectious!
In March 2010, my mother at the age of 89, was medically diagnosed with vascular dementia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Knowing that I was offering Body Electronics and as much support as I could, she decided that she was "going to fight it".
From that day onwards, the nutritional program that my mother was on included the basic Body Electronics food supplements at saturation level, 1/2cup wheatgrass juice, chlorella and a large glass of vegetable juice (carrot, celery & beetroot mainly) daily. Her diet was traditionally fairly healthy for her generation, and included a salad every day at lunch and a cooked dinner. I endeavoured to substitute organically produced foods where possible. Rainwater was used for drinking and cooking.
There were a couple of other so-called "aging problems" she had including an inherited peripheral neuropathy which rendered her mobility limited to a wheely-walker, with weakness in her hands and feet; balancing had been a safety issue for her for some years.
Glaucoma (left eye) was another bothersome condition my mother had managed for around ten years with the aid of regular ophthalmologist checkups and twice daily eye-drops.
During May 2010, she re-developed a painful problem with her right knee that had troubled her the year before for some time. It began hurting her severely whenever she tried to stand up, such that her leg would completely fail to support her. Moving and turning in bed produced the same severe pain, so her sleep was severely affected also. Physiotherapy helped very well but it still became an ongoing and excruciatingly painful problem for her. I began to wonder if I would be able to care for her at home any more. Nursing home accommodation might have relieved me of my role and inability to help such a problem, but would not have been any answer to my mother's pain, nor mobility or quality of life!
A new diuretic tablet for high blood pressure, upset her at one point and she was hospitalised for a couple of weeks to stabilize that. This was not without worries of exacerbation of confusion etc.
During all this I managed to give her a nominal level of supplements (including home-grown wheat-grass juice) each day in the hospital, gradually increasing them to "nutrient saturation" again after she was home.
We stuck to the Body Electronics plan as best we could.. but unfortunately, without the greatly needed support for this, it was very difficult to complete much in the way of pointholding.
What we did complete though was very worthwhile: during the month of August, after a couple of sessions on cervical vertebra 1 points, we mangaed to complete the STO's. These are bilateral points at the top of the neck area which are the starting points for regrowing nerve supply to the body.
These took five hours over two sessions of pointholding, two days apart. In between, we attended a physiotherapy appointment which was positive but did not show anything by way of major improvement.
The pain my mother had experienced seemed to vanish after the second session, and I became hopeful that this would be permanent. We attended another physiotherapy appointment a month later. It was evident to the therapist that my mother's right quadricept muscles (just above the knee), having been smaller and weaker than those on the left, were now bigger and stronger than the left! My mother's ability to support herself had improved to the point where she no longer thought about any difficulty with standing up. She had no pain at any time in that knee again. The quality of her life had increased wonderfully from that point on, to everyone's great relief.
During late August 2011, my mother departed this life with all the grace, comfort and joy that she carried and shared with others throughout her very fulfilling life.
Dying need not be seen as a failure of healing. It was never a problem for my mother. To her and myself, it was a process of self-confronting, loving, forgiving and letting go. These are always positive learning experiences and lead to healing emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
What deductions can I draw from this testimonial and my observations of my mother's health improvement? Many, but the main ones are:
Some Simple Ideas
While the financial burden for chronic illnesses in aging increases rapidly as world populations age, wouldn't it make sense to find easy, cheaper and more effective methods for reducing the severity of those illnesses, thus minimising that financial burden?
Any plan for change needs to begin with education at an individual level. In this age of vested interests, an education in natural living and perhaps even Body Electronics, must be separated from promoters of mainstream health. Truth regarding health can easily be corrupted with misinformation.
So what knowledge do we educate people with so they can care for themselves better?
To keep it simple, teaching principles is the way to go:
Below is a list of some bare-bones, general suggestions of how to maximize health and enjoyment for living and healing - a starting point. These are lifestyle changes that may need to become habits. I use arrows to indicate increase (↑) and decrease/reduce (↓).
Goal: to ↑ oxygenation of the body.
Priority: stop smoking, drinking alcohol (mostly) and taking recreational drugs.
An important consideration with the above I think, is to apply in your life what you can cope with at first. Then bit by bit as you learn and start feeling better, take it a little further. There's no use overwhelming yourself.
Alkaline producing foods are mainly fresh vegetables, raw when appropriate - make lots of salads! Acid producing foods are those made from grains and most animal products. It's a matter of proportion: 80% alkaline, 20% acid is considered by many natural therapists, to be ideal.
Remember, you are creating a strong, clean internal environment. It's a gradual process, requiring committment, discipline and persistence.
This is only a foundation based on healthy principles. It is not advice or any sort of treatment for healing any condition at all. I believe this is what a good natural health promotions person would describe.
[If you're keen, more specific Principles of Good Nutrition are here.]
Extending Healing Possibilities
Without understanding Body Electronics, I would not have been able to talk about aging without illness, nor re-examine quality of life.
It might seem to you that I am thinking wishfully.. perhaps I am, but what I have seen from helping my mother with Body Electronics pointholding, and the wonderful regenerative experiences that others have reported to me (and shown me) proves to me that this is possible.
The body is not a fixed thing. It only follows its self-created template on the mental level, which can be altered to perfection by following the laws which govern it.
The above simple ideas, being a starting point, can gradually be expanded to a lifestyle in which Body Electonics is just another step away from. Regeneration of the bodymind can then occur with ease.
One purpose for living the Body Electronics lifestyle at any age - even if this means incorporating just some of the nutritional understanding - is to maintain and improve one's quality and enjoyment of living.
The choice is ours as individuals and as a community, to face facts and abide by natural law, enabling our bodies to heal more effectively and reducing our level of suffering.
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