Written by Lora Woods
The above picture was taken in the Museum of Terror in Budapest. Hungary has had more than its share of invasions, wars and revolutions which justified a hospital built inside a mountain in its capital. The second picture is me wearing a WWII wool nurses’ cape which I treasure wearing both for the underground cold and the heroic women who’ve worn that cape to work.
Many “Goldeners” seem to have angst about activities relatively easy for them at younger ages. This might include figuring taxes, balancing checkbooks, climbing ladders, to name a few. For me, the most terrifying is the possibility of organic brain disease. Not having the ability to speak words that I’ve used for decades can leave me speechless. I’ve found five things which seem to help, and I’m hoping you readers will send in additional ideas to deal with this occasional problem.
1. Alzheimers Association recommends the Kirtan Kriya for memory help, and it seems to be helping me. Look up Kirtan Kriya or the Alzheimers Association on Google. And since we know that movement helps a lot, external speech moves our larynx, mouth, lips, chest and abs. Look up Kirtan Kriya online for exact instructions and the helpful musical accompaniment.
2. At times I have to say “Are you up for playing 20 questions?” This is my segue into descriptive speech when I find I’ve no choice other than describing what I’m trying to say. Fortunately, I seem to relax a little after acknowledging my handicap and my conversational ability may improve somewhat.
3. Listing on one foot is not only good for balance but is an ability studied in Japan and shown to significantly decrease strokes. And since even little strokes affect speech, this brain/balance phenomenon gives me hope. *
4. Our brains are 2 per cent of total body weight and brains consume 20 per cent of the body’s energy demand. Drink water, green tea, coffee and even some fats, according to book-writing neurologists. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that researchers at Rush University Medical Center and Tufts University in Boston studied 960 people with an average age of 81. People who reported eating at least one daily serving of kale, spinach or other leafy green vegetable had the brain function of someone 11 years younger.
5. When in my 40’s I met Linus Pauling and his wife who I’m guessing were in their 70’s. Linus was keynote speaker at a weekend symposium. Not only did the Paulings remember about 100 new names for two days, but Linus ROCKED from heel to toes whenever he stood (which was most of the time).
It was quite a dramatic movement and I found myself ROCKING along with him just to check it out. With his high energy and seeming joy of movement, he consistently emanated joy. And lest we forget, 25 per cent of our muscles are below our ankles.
Rock on, sisters and brothers! **
Notes by Joan
* [See instructions for the Pelvic List at pp. 85-87 in our book, Dynamic Aging: Simple Exercises for Whole-Body Mobility. And, click on this link for a YouTube video of Katy Bowman teaching the Pelvic List.
** [For more on heel/toe/calf movement from Katy Bowman, see her book, Whole Body Barefoot pp. 84-86 for Calf Elevators and her SquatAdvent 2017 Day 3 for Incline Ankle Elevators at https://nutritiousmovement.com/?s=squatadvent+2017&post_type=post&x=0&y=0.]
Here is Lora working on Calf Elevators: