Boomer Health Tips
Here at BOOMERNET, we first began researching ways to improve health and longevity following our son's 1/2/97 auto accident and the traumatic brain injury (TBI) that he suffered because of it. His recovery is progressing well and we have begun a TBI Alternatives web site, in hopes of helping others along that "Road to Recovery". Many of the alternative concepts that we included there can also apply to Baby Boomers, as we grow older. Thus, we feature them here, as the foundation of our Boomer Health Tips page.
IMPORTANT "FINE PRINT": We are not qualified to dispense medical advice -- and
would not even attempt to do so. Obviously, you will want to discuss alternatives with
your physicians or other health advisors, before attempting them. These are simply
ideasfor you to consider -- but it must be added that they ARE ideas that we or others
have found to be successful. Some of these ideas might be useful for you, too.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: There are many who believe that the phrase "hospital food" is an oxymoron. Whether you believe that or not, you may well discover that many dietitians and other alleged nutritional experts limit themselves to calorie counting and "Recommended Daily Allowances." Such outdated thinking can be downright unhealthy!
Luckily, as the older members of the "Baby Boom" generation have started to reach their 50th birthdays, there is now a great deal of work being done in this area, especially as it relates to brain functioning and memory. See the 2 excellent sites below about the work of Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and his ideas on "brain longevity."
There are many types of supplements available today, as shown below in the Nutritional Supplements, Herbs, Homeopathy, and Smart Drugs sections which follow. Special mention must be made, though, of "super blue green algae." This is one that can provide a wide variety of benefits, both for general health and for brain health. As detailed at the sites below, algae is a very healthy food, in general, and one which is extremely easy to digest.
There are many fine companies marketing algae today. The one with which we are most familiar is Simplexity (previously called Cell Tech). Along with the general benefits to be gained from eating algae, it is believed by some that Simplexity's "Omega Sun" product, in particular, is very helpful in enhancing brain function.
NOTE: Just for the record, we have been Cell Tech distributors
in the past, although we are not currently active with them.
We DO, however, still highly recommend their products.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: It was believed 50 years ago that if you ate a balanced diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables, then you would receive all of the vitamins and minerals needed by your body. It is possible that may have been true back then -- but it is NOT true today. Unfortunately, our soils, our growing methods, our food packaging, and even our cooking styles have all contributed to robbing us of the important ingredients we need to survive.
Because of this, an entire industry has developed to provide us with the nutritional supplements we need. There are those who would argue that Americans take so many supplements and spend so much on them that the only result is "expensive urine." We believe, however, that a great deal of scientific research in recent years has solidly proven the benefits of using supplements. In particular, a balanced combination of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals is generally recommended.
As above, there are many fine companies marketing these products today. We are most familiar with USANA, since we have used their products for several years. Indeed, even when our son was still in the early recovery stages, being fed through a G-tube, we crushed USANA supplements and mixed them with the hospital's liquid diet. We firmly believe that this aided in his recovery. Whether you choose USANA or one of their competitors, though, we highly recommend nutritional supplements taken on a regular basis.
NOTE: Just for the record, we ARE distributors of
USANA products and we highly recommend them.
HERBS: Herbs and herbal remedies have been significant in healthcare since the dawn of recorded time. Their use in "modern medicine", however, diminished as pharmaceutical companies and others found that they could patent stronger concoctions, sell them at notable profit, and then fund the medical schools to train people to recommend their products. Okay, all cynicism aside, modern "wonder" drugs are certainly wonderful and are often true lifesavers. That does NOT mean, however, that the traditional use of herbs should not also be continued. Indeed, it should!
There are many sources available on the benefits of using herbs in "natural" healing, a few of which are highlighted below. And the St. John's Wort reference identifies the single most popular herb in use today. For people who have suffered a TBI, as for others, this can be an effective mood elevator. Some have called it a "natural high", with no apparent side effects.
- About.com: Herbs and Supplements
- Herb Research Foundation
- The Herbal Encyclopedia
- Herbs & Their Uses
- St. John's Wort (Hypericum)
HOMEOPATHY: Another "old fashioned" school of thought is homeopathy. As detailed in the sites below, it is believed that small doses of homeopathic remedies can have a very positive impact. Hypericum, for example, is the active ingredient in St. John's Wort (see the Herbs section for details) and is thought to act in much the same way, to improve mental well-being.
- What Is Homeopathy?
- About Homeopathy
- Homeopathy - An introduction
- Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions on Homeopathic Medicine
- Frequently Asked Questions About Homeopathy
SMART DRUGS: As described in the introductory article below, "smart" drugs are ones which are thought to enhance cognitive or intellectual ability. In-depth scientific research studies are only now being developed, but anecdotal evidence is readily available. In our own son's case, we saw significant qualitative improvements after starting to take Piracetam on a regular basis. And when combined with Hydergine, we again saw noticeable improvement. Many believe that such "smart" drugs can help us all to remain sharper mentally.
Many of these items are available over-the-counter in other countries (or they can be imported through mail-order). They are also available by prescription here in the US. In any case, we strongly recommend consulting with your physician before using any of them.
- Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute
- Nootropics - reviewing piracetam and analogues
- Piracetam and smart drug information
- Vinpocetine - European Smart Drug
ACUPUNCTURE: Acupuncture is an ancient medical treatment (over 5,000 years old) that involves the insertion of very fine needles on the body's surface in order to influence physiological functioning of the body. It encourages the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning.
Many people also believe that a more recent variation, known as "scalp acupuncture", can be effective in improving memory. There are at least 2 different versions of this micro acupuncture system, Chinese and Yamamoto (Japanese).
- General Acupuncture Information
- "Doctor, What's This Acupuncture All About?"
- Scalp Acupuncture
CHIROPRACTIC: As defined at ChiroWeb.com, "Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
Obviously, TBI is not a musculoskeletal issue, but many such issues often do occur at the same time as or subsequent to suffering a traumatic brain injury. In particular, working with a "Specific Chiropractor" or brain-stem specialist could prove to be worthwhile.
- What is Chiropractic?
- What a Rational Chiropractor Can Do for You
- What is "Specific Chiropractic"?
- "Houston Control"...Brain Stem
MASSAGE: Other forms of "hands-on" therapy include therapeutic massage, reflexology, and acupressure (sort of like acupuncture without the needles). Each of these in its own way focuses on how to assist the body in returning to a healthy state of functioning.