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Looking back a year ago, what might be a year ahead

Thursday, October 31, 2013

One year anniversary of my miscarriage. I remember you with love, little one.
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And where will I be one year from now. Watched the documentary 'escape fire' to pass the time. What a movie. Scariest part is how much control I as a health consumer have over my own health, but wait for some future moment to act or fairy tale high tech solution to save me. Daily exercise of 30 mins, meditation, yoga, stress reduction & management, cultivating loving relationships, and low fat vegetarian diet were combined to be a silver bullet. These are old ideas but a MD in the film, Dr. Ornish, subjected it to study as a therapy for heart disease (you can look up the Ornish Spectrum if you're interested). They even claimed that following that lifestyle could lengthen the telomeres that bookend my chromosomes, reversing genetic predispositions to cancers and disease while likely lengthening my life. Whoa. That's some big stuff. In college I studied some of that as part of my molecular biology degree. At that time, it was thought that nothing could halt the deterioration of telomeres, and, by extension, the degradation of our genetic material. We would always be genetically wearing away, making aging an irreversible process. This is crazy. I could lengthen my telomeres, that's like... healthcare alchemy or something. That my daily practices could influence my genetic expression? Not just decreasing exposure to hazards, but actually reversing the cycle by which my body is made weak and vulnerable to the basic vectors of disease... the beginnings of cancer, heart disease, stroke.
Reminds me of a book I read as a teenager. The author was gung-ho about his lifestyle of low fat diet and daily exercise.
"Imagine," he wrote "that you have a pill that will solve your health problems. It's free, you have it already. But it takes 30 minutes to take. And you have to take it everyday."
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