Vail Daily letter: Aging well | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Aging well

To really age well we must understand two things about the human body that are not well understood. One is its fluid nature. The body is about 70 percent water, more or less. To realize the implications of that can change how we understand the aging process. The body as machine metaphor that has held sway for so long has contributed to a progressive decline in our mobility and vitality prematurely.

The other thing to understand is the somatic nature of the body. But this, I mean the experience of the body from the inside. By the time most people are 40, they have accumulated an enormous amount of what I call sensory-motor amnesia — the loss of the ability to voluntarily fully contract and fully relax all 600-plus of the skeletal muscles of our body. Another name for this is chronic tension, and it has enormous implications to the process of aging.

If these concepts are taken into account in all programs that involve aging well, we will have come light years in the direction of reaching our full human potential. We will see getting older as a process of continuing to unfold the richness of self, rather than a process of deterioration and decline.

Don St. John,

Author, "Healing the Wounds of Childhood"