The Myth of Aging

One of the oldest and most famous riddles - Riddle of the Sphinx is: what kind of creature, which has only one vote, but who moves first on four legs, then two, and even later - at three? Greek myth says that only Oedipus gave the correct answer: "This man, who crawls on all fours as a child, walks on two legs as an adult, and, finally, relies on a cane in old age." 
This - the correct answer to the riddle the Sphinx. But there is no answer to the second puzzle, which is hidden in the first - why are people learned to walk upright, can lose this ability and often at the end of life are forced to walk, leaning on a stick? We can assume that age - that means losing the ability to walk normally. 
This view was generally accepted even in the V century BC, when Sophocles wrote about Sphinx. Strangely, however, that it is still widely accepted and now, at the end of XX century. "It's obvious - we say it. - Ageing in itself leads to stiffness and pain in the joints. It was in the V century BC, it remains today. Otherwise, it can not be. " 
But there is another point of view. There is no doubt that when we age, our joints become inactive. But who can explain convincingly why this is happening. Questions remain: what exactly is the cause of these changes associated with aging? Why evidence-based medicine, which so successfully protects us from infections and organic diseases, which increased the duration of our lives. 80 years or more, can not prevent stiffness, pain in muscles and joints? Why do we tolerate the fact that after a certain age, for example, after 30 years, our ability to walking and physical activity generally decreases? After all this time we do not yet even reached middle age. 
Over the centuries, from ancient Greece to the present day, the mystery remained unsolved. And now, at the end of XX century, we are still fascinated by the myth that aging - is sure to fade. Now we can live longer, but we do not live better. It is time to change the situation. Now there are new ideas relating to this issue. We begin to understand why we lose the ability to move, had already reached middle age. If we reveal why this is so, then we'll learn how to prevent it.
Science of the twentieth century is gradually approaching a better understanding of the processes underlying the deterioration of our state. Hans Selye discovered that the disease causing violations of the physiological mechanisms that may arise under the influence of psychological factors such as stress. This - the so-called somatic theory according to which everything that we experience throughout our lives, puts an indelible imprint on our physical nature, that is our body. Moshe Feldenkrais had translated this theory into action by developing a method of "bodily retraining, or the method of functional integration. I am proud that my recommended treatment is based on the works, as Selye, and Feldenkrais. I managed to achieve great successes in combating the aging process. People who are under the age of crawl or walk on all fours, and then acquire the ability to walk on two legs, does not necessarily have to partially or completely lost this ability in old age. In other words, the myth of aging, which leads to a violation of the normal ability to move, not an absolute truth. 
These processes have mobility impairments can be prevented, and sometimes achieve the restoration of lost functions. 
I know that this is true, because I could see thousands of similar cases. Patients with whom I worked in the past 12 years, initially doubted that the results of treatment of genuine and durable. However, a few years later they were convinced of it. 
I confess that 20 years ago, I did not believe in the authenticity of what was happening with my patients, and what I saw with my own eyes every day. Many of them (the majority at the age of 30 years and older) have heard good things about my treatment. And yet they treated me with mixed feelings of hope and skepticism. This feeling is felt at the time I did. But when we completed our general training, my patients are usually told: "We can not even imagine that this is indeed possible. We could not get rid of their problems for years, no one could help us. We thought that we should just learn to live, all the while feeling pain and gait disturbance. " Sometimes, they added, intriguingly: "You know, although I do not think that healing is possible, somewhere deep down I believed that it should happen." 
The same idea was expressed by experts from Australia (doctors and specialists in various kinds of manual therapy), who trained me: "You showed us what we have always had to learn. But no one has taught us that. " This is - just a missing link in health care. One of my students was a prominent expert on heart disease that runs in Sydney. Later in his article, he wrote something, what he learned from me, just as important for understanding the relationship of the spiritual and the corporal began as Einstein's relativity theory in physics. 
I hear expressions of gratitude for the past 12 years, and I'm sure that everyone can avoid the loss of physical abilities, which arises during aging. We all know people who seem to have avoided the problems associated with aging. We envy them. I believe that there is no reason why we should feel bodily pain for the remainder of life. 
In every generation there are many people who remain active until his death. This fact has been finally recognized by gerontologists. They have given this phenomenon the title of "successful aging." Many of the most famous people have lived long, active work, think and create the rest of his days. Even Sophocles, who told us about the Riddle of the Sphinx, he wrote his last play at the age of 90 years. 
Our sensory-motor (sensitive-motor) systems react to everyday stresses and traumas with the help of special muscle reflexes. These reflections cause familiar muscle contraction. We can not relax these muscles at will. These muscle contractions are involuntary and unconscious. In the end, we just do not remember how to move freely. This results in stiffness, pain and limitation of movement. 
This loss of memory, which has become habitual, is called "sensory-motor amnesia, or loss of sensation and motor memory. As these changes occur deep in the central nervous system, we do not even suspect about them, even though they violate the core of our existence. Sensory-motor amnesia reduces our understanding of who we are, what we feel and what we do. It is this loss of memory for movement and feeling leads to the fact that we are experiencing a false sense that we are "aged". 
However, sensory-motor amnesia has no relation to aging. It can occur at any age, even in childhood. Children who grow up in families with an abnormal attitude, or get in distress, for example, during the war, can also become a victim of sensory-motor amnesia. They have thus developed typical changes in shape: a hollow chest, constantly raised shoulder girdle, a pronounced bend your neck. Sometimes trauma or major surgery can cause the same chronic muscle contraction, which in old age mistakenly believe that the result of aging. Examples of this are the curvature of the spine in scoliosis, lameness and chronic pain throughout their lives. 
Reflexes that cause sensory-motor amnesia is very characteristic. There are only three. I gave them the following names: the reflex of the "red light" reflex "green light" and reflection "trauma." They are an important part of sensory-motor amnesia, and can be justified by theories and discoveries of Hans Selye and Moshe Feldenkrais. Before we describe in detail the three reflex, it is important to note the following facts: 

1) manifestations of sensory-motor amnesia can occur anytime, but usually they occur over the age of 30 or 40 years;

2) sensory-motor amnesia - a reaction of adaptation of the nervous system;

3) as the sensory-motor amnesia - it acquired a kind of "memorized" reactive process, then we can get rid of it, that is "unlearning".

It is worth reiterating that the sensory-motor amnesia can be avoided and it can be cured. You can prevent it by using two unique properties of sensory-motor system of humans: the ability to unlearn what you have previously learned, and the ability to remember what was forgotten. In Part III of this book you will find a description of eight physical exercises (exercises for the muscles). They provide numerous opportunities for retraining the sensory-motor system under the new program. The development of these exercises is a major discovery. First of all, these exercises eliminate the harmful effects of the process that is often erroneously considered the result of aging. They are especially important for those who are over 30 years and who have already felt the negative impact of the reflections of the "red light", "green light" and "injury".
Older people can use these exercises to eliminate stiffness and pain caused by these reflexes. 
Finally, somatic exercises can be used in a program of physical education of youth. I am convinced that the program of early learning, aimed at improving perceptions and conscious control of movements, may lead to a radical change in control processes such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental illness. Achieving this goal will be of great social importance. In addition, the development of one direction will help to eliminate misconceptions, developing in the course of many centuries. Somatic exercises can change our way of life. They will help us to understand how interconnected our mind and body. You'll see how well you can control many aspects of your life, and what responsibility you have for this exercise. 
Outlined in this book material to help you better understand the meaning of existence. Therefore, they have great philosophical significance. 
I argue that sensory-motor amnesia covers a whole category of medical problems that have not yet been recognized. I believe that this category is more than half of known diseases. Sensory-motor amnesia can not be cured by either surgery or using any other traditional medical methods. 
It is also impossible to detect using conventional medical research. This is - a special type of pathological conditions, requiring no treatment, and special education. This book, which includes a description of the many observations and studies, is a practical introduction to a new area of medicine, which can be called somatic. It includes the knowledge that both scientific and practical importance. 
Somatic teaches us how to live in a modern industrialized society, including in large cities, experiencing multiple stresses, and thus maintain their mental and physical well-being. No need to blindly accept the supposedly inevitable consequences of aging. We must learn to meet them face to face and conquer them. 
The essence of this book consists partly in the fact that Oedipus' answer to the riddle of the Sphinx was false. However, a deeper meaning will you when you learn more about the sensory-motor amnesia about its causes. 
While we grow older, the state of our body and, accordingly, our lives should be improved. I know that deep down we all think so.

Thomas Hanna. Art does not grow old How to return FLEXIBILITY AND HEALTH