Curious about your REAL age? You can look in the mirror but you will not get your answer there. You need to look deeper than that.
In today's guest post my colleague and a fellow health practitioner Catarina Catarino reveals why the answer about your real age is in your spine. Go ahead and read it and then join our discussion in the comments below...
Over to Catarina:
"Look well to the spine for the cause of disease" Hippocrates, 460 - 377 BC.
And wasn't he ever so right?
Back in the day I used to carry a little plastic spine as a key holder. This way I could always show people the structure of the spine in the middle of a talk or a session.
You see, one of the reasons I work with both Pilates and Nutrition is that they complement each other. A healthy diet can be wondrous, but a flexible spine can shed years off your biology.
It's inspiring to see more people paying attention to their food choices, but how many of us are looking at the age of our spines?
When assessing your levels of vitality and ability to fend off disease your spine is an incredibly accurate marker.
Let me tell you about "Annie". She came to my Pilates classes a few years ago because of her knee injuries and back pain. Within 2 months she was able to resume her normal running and be pain free. But what was really striking were her other improvements. Suddenly, Annie's brain fog cleared up and her memory loss, which she had put down to aging, had but completely reversed.
Of course our bodies transform as we mature, still, aging means we had more time to accumulate habits, many of which are reflected and reinforced by our posture.
It's the chicken or the egg question. In this case, both posture and health track one another in a feedback loop.
Your spine envelops your spinal cord with 31 pairs of nerves extending from it and out into the rest of your body. This is a complex, delicate system that enables your brain to talk with your organs and limbs, and vice versa, all part of your peripheral nervous system.
Every insult to the spine is an insult to your spinal cord. Every insult to your spinal cord is a blow to the communication pathways between your brain and your body. This includes your organs and everything they're meant for: breathing, pumping blood, digesting and eliminating, detoxifying and keeping you free from disease.
In essence, hurt the spine, hurt the rest of your body.
It's no news that today we spend an average of half, or more of our waking time sitting. We lose muscular tone and body awareness.
Body awareness is your inner smoke alarm that goes off when something's not right with you - except for when it becomes desensitized. When the smoke is constant and you stop paying attention, your alarm gets numb and only goes off when the whole kitchen' has already burned down. Then you have to go spend a couple of thousands on a new kitchen, or go get a "new" spine.
But before the kitchen got burned there were signs. A pinched nerve here, a rigid muscle there, a headache that persists.
When a nerve is messed with so are the messages it’s supposed to transmit. To add insult to injury, every compressed nerve and muscle triggers a stress response in your body. This basically means that your body screams "Aaah!!" and changes your inner chemistry in response to what perceives as an attack.
Now, get this: if the nerve is pinched 24/7 you're in stress 24/7. Even when you sleep.
This is a huge drain on your adrenals, energy reserves and immune system. In time, it can negatively affect you through your weakest link, being that digestion, cognition or sexual performance.
Your spine tells a different age from your ID, and you can make it so that it’s younger.
If it's flexible and well supported there is space for your organs to do their jobs. You breathe better, your blood flows easier and your nervous system becomes more resilient.
There are a number of things you can do to turn the clock back on your spine and vitality, I'll tell you all about it on my next article.
For now, what did you think about the connection between your spine, your health and your age? Were you surprised by the information? Aware of it already?
Comment below and share your thoughts: How old do you think you are based on your spine?
Oh, and what happened to my key holder? The staff at London Stansted's airport thought I'd blind someone's eye with it, which brought and end to its happy days.
Note to self: never carry a plastic spine with you when you're flying.
Catarina Catarino is a Pilates, Tai Chi and Qigong teacher, Transformational Nutrition and Eating Psychology practitioner.
Having personally dealt with food disorders and alcohol addictions, she has an in-depth understanding of the effects our mental and emotional state have on health, mood and weight.
She uses an natural methods such as nutrition, movement and psychology to help awaken the body’s own healing mechanism, while helping people transform and empower their relationship with food and their bodies – once and for all.
You can connect with Catarina here: Website/ Facebook/Twitter