When it comes to understanding aging processes and tissue injury and repair requirements there are key issues that need to be understood and addressed.
- Nutrient and Micronutrient Depletion/Dysfunction
- Hormonal Depletion/Dysfunction
- Mitochondrial Depletion/Dysfunction
- Accumulation of Waste Products – from your internal cellular metabolism and microbiome – and from external environmental factors
- Accumulation of Rigid Beliefs/Programming issues within your Brain and networking communication systems.
Nutrient Micronutrient Depletion:
One of the most common yet overlooked problems with regard to poor body tissue repair or functioning is simple depletion of micro-nutrients – such as vitamin, mineral, protein, or essential fatty acids.
In my clinical practice – I have developed as set of functional tests and challenges to specifically look for for vitamin, mineral, neurotransmitter, and hormone deficiencies/dysfunctions.
These functional nutrient endocrine tests are done routinely on every patient who is being treated. Over the years the most common thing found no matter what the patient’s presenting complaint – is an underlying nutrient deficiency state. Yet most patients are unaware of the implications of these underlying deficiency states- that must be addressed if clinical results are going to be forthcoming and/or last long term.
Vitamins are labeled as co-enzymes and minerals as co-factors simply because they are both needed in order for enzymes to do the work of breaking down and building energy pathways and tissues in the body.
Amino acids (which make up our proteins) and fatty acids (which make up our cell membranes and energy stores are given the label – ‘essential’ – for the reason that they are essential to the chemistry of having our bodies run in an optimal functioning state.
In addition to regular issues of daily life – when we are faced with increased levels of stress, injury, or illness – our bodies need for increased levels of energy and nutrients can increase by as much as 500% – in order to cope and then repair cellular networks.
Impaired nutrient uptake or dietary deficiencies can thus lead to depletion of either daily requirements or reserve/storage levels of these nutrient requirements which are vital to maintenance and repair of our cellular functioning.
In addition to these factors – as we age there is a natural decline of enzymes and repair processes in the body – so there is less efficient breakdown and assimilation of nutrients needed for maintenance and up-regulation of body function.
With these factors in mind – it should be self evident that stress, injury, and illness lead to premature breakdown and aging of body functions – and the obvious solution would be to address the deficiency by supplying the appropriate blend and the right level of micronutrients to restore optimal cellular functioning. However the issue is not always so simple – as there are other factors at play in the process.
The biggest know factors of premature aging are – insulin resistance/diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. Diet, lifestyle, and inflammatory processes within the body are all at the base of these conditions which are the major cause of death and dysfunction in our society.
One of the key issues that needs to be addressed is the over-consumption of carbohydrates and man-made nutrient deficient foods in our everyday diet. The scientific evidence is pointing to the fact that ideally a good set of dietary and nutrient habits should be fostered in the womb from maternal nutrition, and then secondly in our early years of childhood- but this is becoming increasing not the norm – and declining health is now seen as a generational issue.
But more significantly – After the age of 40 – adult diet changes such as reducing carbohydrates – sugars and starches – and saturated and cooked fats is not really an option but a necessity if one is to start making healthy changes toward optimal aging.
Hormones are established from birth onwards – but secondary hormones that drive our systems for reproduction and give us our adult body characteristics – arrive at puberty and diminish with middle age and meno/andropause. Typically the levels of these hormones peak in our mid-20’s and early thirties and start to decline slowly from around the decade of the 40’s.
Depletion of certain hormones with meno/andropause results in weight gain and fat accumulation- diminished energy and drive- and all the signs of premature aging that we are aware of.
The laboratory practice of comparing hormone levels across the total age spectrum is erroneous – as your levels should be compared to your age group within the relative decade. Thus testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA etc levels of a 20 year old, a 40 year old, or a 60 year old person, should be assessed relative to the norms for their decade. At a minimum – after 40 years old – one should be striving to be at average or optimal levels – about 10 years younger than their chronological age for measured hormone production.
Furthermore – due to the well-known and documented side effects – one should not take hormones for replacement to try to unnaturally affect their system- ie trying to reach 20 year old levels when one is at 40 or 50 years of age. Levels should try to be achieved that are commensurate with your optimal decade levels.
At Ocean Park Natural Therapies – I have developed testing methods incorporating autonomic response testing for hormone pathways to help determine if a person’s hormones are within normal functioning for metabolism and breakdown/utilization of individual and groups of hormones. If imbalances are detected then testing for appropriate correction utilizing nutraceuticals, drainage remedies, or bio-identical hormones are incorporated.
Mitochondrial function is a very important aspect of cellular health and your body’s energy production. Mitochondria are small organelle structures in your cells – that produce energy by burning medium chain triglycerides/fats. They are highly concentrated in the cells of high energy tissues such as muscles, heart, liver and kidneys.
We typically start off with highest levels of mitochondrial in our early childhood and there is a natural and progressive depletion of mitochondrial function with aging – that follows the decade diminishing progression similar to hormone functioning. However mitochondria can also be adversely affected in our early life by environmental and lifestyle factors such as infections, drug interactions, pollution with chemicals, heavy metals, and radiation exposure, poor diet, and stress. This has a strong correlation with early aging and poor energy function at any stage of life.
The use of vitamin-mineral supplementation, bio-identical hormone therapy, oxygen/ozone therapies, and exercise/fat burning/proper weight loss regimes are important methods of restoring and resolving mitochondrial dysfunction and lowered energy issues.
In order to determine the need for and the correct levels and application of these therapies – I have incorporated these therapies and assessments into the protocols I use at Ocean Park Natural Therapies.
Accumulation of Waste Products
No matter where or how we live it is an obvious fact that waste products accumulate in our inner and outer environment over time.
Our bodies have natural detoxification pathways and processes to address two types of waste matter – externally derived products and internally derived products. Much has been written about external – environmental pollution and toxicity – but less attention has been paid to internal pollution and toxicity.
Internal waste products that must be dealt with are derived from not only- our own cellular metabolism – but also the metabolism and accumulation of micro-organisms living within us – generally referred to as our microbiome.
There are trillions of these microbes within your system – potentially more than the total number of your own cells. These microbial cells all have metabolisms that use nutrients, make nutrients, and excrete these nutrients and waste products into our internal cellular environment.
Ours systems are generally adapted and designed to react – metabolize (use), catabolize (break down), excrete, defend against or store these products in our tissues. The simple fact is that over time there is an accumulation or excess of stored products that either need to be metabolized (ie fat stores), catabolized, or excreted from our body systems. If your body is lacking enzymes, co-factors, or co-enzymes (minerals and vitamins), or is compromised in other ways – with injury, infection, trauma, low energy – it is compromised in moving these accumulations from your system.
The net effect is the build up in your blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases – atherosclerosis, hypertension, stroke), liver, kidneys, brain, or soft tissues and joints – (fibromyalgia, arthritis). All common conditions that affect our general population and us increasingly as we age.
Thus the often overlooked or ignored process to restoring proper function and improving the anti-aging aspects of our health system – is to simply begin a sustained program of drainage and detoxification of the metabolic wastes from our own metabolism – in order to break down the accumulated community of undesirable or over developing microbiome factors.
These factors are vital components to be assessed and addressed within the programs and treatment aspects of Ocean Park Natural Therapies.
Rigidity of Operating and Belief Systems
Operating systems in our body have functions similar to operating systems in computers we use – to co-ordinate functioning of multiple and complex programs needed for ongoing feedback and survival in a complex world.
It is apparent from ongoing research on brain development and functioning – that we learn and develop in stages – each developmental stage having memories, imprints, and experiences that translate as values, beliefs, self-images, and virtual images of the world around and within us. These are the images, beliefs, values, and codes that we operate from at both conscious and unconscious levels of functioning.
Some of the most important of these imprinted programs have to do with survival issues – trauma (physical and emotional), abandonment, food, clothing, shelter, bonding/nurturing/intimacy – and anything that resembles or threatens these aspects of our survival.
When these imprints are acted upon in either a real or perceived manner – they quickly fire before we can consciously think – and we act reflexively without being exactly aware of why or how we did that. This can manifest as milder issues – called neuroses, or stronger issues such as phobias, or post-traumatic stress breakdowns.
We also have the ability to process and re-process the content of an imprinted experience – generally so we can modify, change, or augment their impact. However if the imprint is a very strong survival based emotionally charged incident it can store and re-process as a post-traumatic stress event that keeps playing in an activated manner like a looped recording through our nervous system.
There are a number of established and developing methods that are very effective at changing these imprints – and they follow certain principles that lead to their successful implementation/outcome.
These principles are generally the following – a relaxed then altered state of awareness to access the memory or imprint – locating it at the life or timeframe it was created, then bringing various elements into awareness to restructure , defrag, or up-grade the memory to a more adaptable/useful/flexible belief and behavior. Then forward projecting of the changed functioning into our future perception and behavioral processes. Using these methods we are able to develop a better ability to survive, thrive, and connect socially within our inner and outer realities/worlds.
In order to properly address these issues, a comprehensive consultation and assessment is needed to establish the degree to which each of these 5 aspects are causative agents within your personal health system. This is done with an initial consultation – then assessments involving autonomic response testing and appropriate lab or other tests to screen and verify therapeutic lines to follow. Reassessment is done on an ongoing basis in order to track improvements and chart course of action for successful resolution and enhanced functioning. By following this process – we are able to assist you to significantly alter and up-regulate your functioning with regards to tissue injury and aging.