The life expectancy for Malaysians is now about 72 years for men and 75 years for women. But even those who make it to these lifespans are usually unfit, and saddled with a host of health problems, the most likely being arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and if they smoke, also lung disease. Many may already be bed-ridden, suffering or recuperating from heart attack, stroke, various cancers, or diabetic complications. Some may already have Alzheimer’s disease, and many of the women would have already been debilitated by fractures.
Thus it is remarkable that a man who had to undergo heart bypass surgery at age 63 is able to recover fully and become so fit that his endurance when at work, even at age 77, is legendary. Those who followed him ( all of them were younger than him ) had all complained that they could not keep up with his punishing pace, especially when on overseas trips. We know all about this in the voluminous reports and tributes about him in recent weeks.
This is another example which he had set that we should all follow. To achieve excellent health and energy after being a heart patient meant that he had to be very disciplined about his diet and lifestyle. We know that he does not take big meals and he was never known to be fat. By his own admission, we know he takes health supplements. He enjoys much physical activities, including horse-riding. He does not smoke, and as a good Muslim, does not drink.
I am sure Dr M will continue to live a healthy lifestyle and will continue to live life to the fullest, for many more years.
HEALTH, LONGEVITY & PRODUCTIVITY
Many are now resorting to various anti-aging and longevity therapies hoping to look young and remain healthy in their senior years, and perhaps live longer. If we can all be as healthy, active and productive as Dr M, imagine the additional good we can bring to ourselves, our families, our communities, and our nation. With good health, we should be able to continue working and contribute economically and socially to the good of the nation.
On the other hand, if we just let things happen and “age gracefully” without any effort to preserve and promote the healthy state that we took for granted as youngsters, we are more likely to end up as burdens to our families and society. And the financial, social and emotional strains on everyone are tremendous.
Our Health Ministry has been very pro-active in educating Malaysians on wellness and healthcare, including healthy aging. Much emphasis has been given to senior citizens, encouraging them to remain as healthy as possible.
Malaysians are also becoming more health conscious as evidenced by the proliferation of health publications, fitness centres, health-related seminars and activities. In the last 2 years, at least 3 societies promoting anti-aging or healthy aging were formed.
Unfortunately, the country’s progress also means that we do more sedentary work, watch TV or sit in front of the computer a lot, and eat more Western-style diets. All these have resulted in the rise in obesity, hypertension, diabetes and a whole gamut of health problems.
The cultural onslaught, especially through satellite TV, also brings more unhealthy habits, like drinking, smoking, and late nights – especially among the youths and women.
The poor diet and lifestyle translate to higher incidences of heart attacks, strokes, cancers, lung diseases, kidney diseases, etc. We see younger people getting these diseases too. Fortunately, medical advances have made sophisticated treatments available and still improve the overall life expectancy, but at enormous costs to our economy, as well as to ourselves and our families. The money could otherwise be utilized for other beneficial purposes.
LIFE FORCE & LONGEVITY
While western medicine and modern science is making tremendous strides in the research into aging, and anti-aging treatments, the eastern philosophies and wisdom have also enjoyed a revival, especially in the west. People are taking to eastern health arts by the droves. This has led to scientific studies being conducted on these arts to see if the claimed benefits were real. As a result, meditation, yoga and Tai Chi are now scientifically proven ways to improve health. I am sure when more studies are done, Qigong and other eastern health arts will join the ranks.
But we cannot wait for the researchers to decide to embark the studies before we benefit from practicing Qigong. For me and other Qigong practitioners, personally knowing dozens of once-terminal cancer patients who defied their doctors’ predictions that they would die soon is enough evidence, but we still need the formal scientific studies to convince others. Even complementary medicine has to be evidence-based.
Knowledge of life force ( Qi, or its many other names ) is ancient. It is known to be the originator of life ( sexual Qi, and the essential Qi of the ova and spermatozoa ); the sustainer of life; and the preserver of life. Without Qi, life cannot exist. And once Qi is depleted, life will cease to exist. If we understand this, then we will have understood one major key to longevity.
Qi is your battery power while physical energy is your fuel power. Qi can be charged while you move about and breathe in an orderly manner, just as the battery can be charged while your car engine runs. But the physical energy must be obtained from an external source ( food ), just as the car needs petrol all the time. When the battery is flat, no amount of petrol will start the engine. But with the car, you can jumpstart or change the battery. Well, human beings also get jumpstarted when doctors use the defibrillator/electric shock to restart their hearts!
If you don’t want to end up hoping for the electric shock to work to restart your heart, start practising Qigong now and store plenty of Qi to nourish all your cells and organs, including your heart.
LIFE FORCE & LIVE CELLS
One of the most popular though controversial anti-aging therapies is live cell therapy. It began in 1912 with Prof Pfizer who proposed that live cells injections will have anti-aging effects, and Dr Kuettner who showed that live cells can be transplanted by cutting organs into small pieces and dissolving them in saline, and then injecting the solution.
In 1931 Dr. Paul Niehans, using this method, saved the life of a patient whose parathyroid had been erroneously removed by another doctor. Transplant was not possible, as the patient was in a terminal condition. He injected live cells from the parathyroid of an embryonic ox as a life-saving treatment. The patient recovered completely and lived for an additional 24 years. Dr. Niehans was also influenced by the earlier work of Dr. Alexis Carrel, who demonstrated the benefits of adding healthy cells on those about to die. He found that by adding healthy fresh cells to a dying cell colony, the moribund cells acquired new life. In 1954, Dr. Paul Niehans’ classic work, Dei Zellulartherapie (Cellular Therapy) was published.
However, there were many disastrous complications following such therapies attempted by other doctors, either to save lives, or for anti-aging purposes. These were due to severe reactions similar to organ-transplant rejection. Many countries then banned this therapy.
Modern advances, however, have made it possible for extracts ( from embryonic sheep cells, prepared in special ways to maintain the vitality ) of the live cells to be used, instead of the whole live cells. Thus adverse reactions are now rare, and many anti-aging centres in Europe and South America are drawing clients from all over the world for live cell therapy at their centres. It is common knowledge that many of the rich-and-famous from here go there too. Unfortunately, the stigma of whole-cell live cell therapy has remained and many countries still maintain the ban.
I have often stressed the importance of live foods for health and longevity. It is therefore not surprising that live cells are so effective in rejuvenating. Live cells also retain the life-force, and hence the invigorating effects. But the best way is to do the natural way – eat live foods and practise Qigong!
The advent of stemcell therapy in reversing many incurable diseases bears testimony to the power of live cell therapy. I predict that within ten years, the main use of stemcells will be for rejuvenation therapy, just as 99% of Botox use is now for cosmetic rather than its original medical indications.