I have been observing many healthy and happy people who live up to 90 years old and still are able to enjoy their life. I found that they all have the following common characteristics:
1. They are very disciplined and have a routine every day.
2. They go to bed earlier and get up earlier.
3. They have a very positive attitude and hardly complain.
4. They are very social and tend to accept other people’s ideas if they think it will benefit them.
5. Most of them are in a religion.
6. They do not always have good genes to protect them.
7. When they are young, they took care of their sick parents and learn that if they do not take care of themselves, nobody else can take care of them.
8. They eat homemade food most of the time and never overeat.
Linda Yamamoto is an 88-year old American lady, who has had acupuncture with me for the past 6 years. She does have good genes from her mother, who lived up to 98 years old without any health insurance. But this good gene does not protect her from being sick. She developed a hypothyroid condition when she turned to 40 years old after she delivered her third child. She started taking the Synthroid since then. She stayed at home until her youngest child went to high school, then she started working for the government as an accountant. After few years of thyroid medication, she developed atrial fibrilization. She then started taking ß-blocker and other two medications for her heart condition. Her heartbeats slowed down with medications, but never become regular. She has been a very social and happy lady. She donated her money to a foundation to help the poor Asian students to study in the college. She does not travel a lot but does join all kinds of social activities in Boston area.
Her husband drives her around. She gets upset when her husband forgot to pick her up, but never complain non-stop. The HRT treatment brought dreams for many post-menopause women, thinking they can regain their youth by this magic pill. Linda tried at the age of 68 years old. After one year of taking this magic pill, she started having period at the age of 69 years old. She logically thought this is not natural and quit the hormone pill right away. But her mother’s good gene did not protect her in the modern society, she developed breast cancer after taking hormone supplement for a year at the age of 70. She had surgery, radiation therapy, but no Tamoxifen to block all her estrogen receptors, thus she did not lose her muscle and strength. At the age of 80 years old, she decided to quit working for the government because she realized that the stress was too much for her. She spent more time to take care of her health and the social event. Linda has a unique personality; she always sleeps 8 hours no matter when she goes to bed. But I found out if she goes to bed after 12 pm, her irregular heartbeat get worse and her digestion was not good. For a period of time, she joined many social events very late and had dinner after 7 pm. Every Saturday when I feel her pulse, her heart beats became more irregular even she was taking 3 medications for her condition. I recommend her stop her one cup of coffee every day, have dinner before 7 pm and go to bed before 12 pm. She gradually changed her habit. The heart condition and digestion have been improving for the past couple of years. Then she went to her cardiologist for a routine checkup and stopped all her heart medications at the age of 87, the next week she came for acupuncture facial rejuvenation, her heart beats were slow and regular without any heart medication. As her heart condition is improved, she started personal training in the gym to tone her muscle at the age of 86. Initially, she lifted weight 3 times a week, she developed knee and hip pain. Because she eats healthy, she does not have any systematic inflammation, her muscle pain was healed with only one to two acupuncture treatment. Combing acupuncture and her exercises, her joint pain and Raynaud’s syndrome does not bother her anymore. Her face looks like 50 years old, she still has a sharp memory and never forgets to pay her bill on time. She is still cooking and cleaning in her own house. On the other hand, her two brothers, who had much more freedom and played golf for hours every day, suddenly developed liver and blood cancer at the age of 84 and 85 years old last year, they refused to accept any treatment and died peacefully 3 months later. I guess their routine exercises made them strong and happy, but playing golf for hours every day might make them dehydrated chronically. Gradually the dehydration led to some kind of inflammation and mutated their genes even though their mother gave them some of her good genes. In conclusion, moderation is the key to the happy and healthy life. Even if you do not have so much money or travel all over the world, you still can be healthy and happy.