Here's this week's weird news. Read it and weep (or cheer, you long-armed luckies!).
Have a hard time reaching the top of your kitchen cabinets? Women with the shortest arm spans were 1 1/2 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with longer reaches, found a recent study. (Find yours by spreading your arms parallel to the floor and having someone measure fingertips to fingertips; the shortest spans were less than 60 inches.) Nutritional or other deficits during the critical growing years, possibly responsible for shorter arms, may also predispose a person to cognitive decline later in life, say Tufts University researchers.
Prevent it: Put your appendages to good use with a hobby such as painting or pottery. A five-year study from the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center found that adults who spent the most time engaged in engaging leisure activities were more than two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who spent less time challenging their brains.Oh, good Lord, I'm in trouble! I'm not even 50 inches across! Fortunately I've got a lot of other good things going for me. I don't drink, I don't smoke and I eat well. I love puzzles. I exercise, and I'm in a musical recorder trio (they say it's possible people who play an instrument in a group setting, i.e. a trio or symphony don't get Alzheimer's). We play Medieval to Modern music and are given to making highbrow jokes during our practice sessions.
OK, read between the lines, people. I'm a nerd. A nerd who practices Energy Medicine and also goes to weekday mass, which makes me a pretty interesting and complex nerd, if you ask me.
Still, the spectre of declining cognitive skills is one that haunts, especially as I watch my mother--a one-time brilliant doctor and watercolor artist--exhibiting signs of confusion, word-finding troubles and short-term memory loss in her late eighties.
Energetically there is plenty you can do to support brain functioning as well. Stress can play havoc with our memory, for instance, because when we are "fightin' it or flightin' it" our brains are robbed of most of the blood and oxygen that helps us to think clearly, problem solve, take in information and remember things. Here's an EZ exercise from Eden Energy Medicine that will help improve your memory while reducing the symptoms of stress.
How to Keep Your Memory Sharp
For your memory to stay intact over the years, it is necessary for energies to flow freely through the suture lines in your skull. While these junctures tend to become less flexible with age, a simple procedure that will take about a minute each day can keep oxygen and cerebral-spinal fluids, as well as subtle energies moving through them:
1. Place your left hand over your heart and your right hand on the right side of your head, palm next to your right ear, fingers extended upward over your head.
2. Breathe deeply four times while holding this position - in through the nose, out through the mouth. Raise your body with the in-breath, relax it with the outbreath.
3. Move your right hand to the back of your head, and repeat the breathing.
4. Now place your right hand over the right side of your chest, your left hand by your left ear, and repeat the breathing.
5. Finally, place the palm of your left hand on your forehead with your fingers going up onto the top of your head and again use the same breathing.
Do this daily, perhaps when you first sit down at your desk, computer or TV, or while you are warming up the car, and you will not only be helping to retain your memory, you will be maximizing its effectiveness.
Well, that's all for today! This is an extract from Energy Medicine by Donna Eden, btw. You can buy the book and learn it for yourself, or check out their website for upcoming classes. If you want to meet me, come on the Caribbean cruise in March. I'll be a teaching assistant to Donna's five day training.