NowUknow

Seventh Day Adventists Live Longer Than Most Americans

Want Great Longevity and Health? It Takes a Village

The secrets of the world’s longest-lived people include community, family, exercise and plenty of beans.

In Sardinia, there are 21 centenarians in a population of 10,000. Only about four in 10,000 Americans reach the 100-year mark. ( Photo: Claudine Doury/Agence VUIn Sardinia, there are 21 centenarians in a population of 10,000. Only about four in 10,000 Americans reach the 100-year mark.   * In a string of whitewashed villages in the mountains of the Italian island of Sardinia, there are 21 centenarians in a population of 10,000. Only about four in 10,000 Americans reach the 100-year mark. So what do the Sardinians know that our own diet-and-health obsessed country doesn’t?   * In April, I visited this epicenter of longevity along with Michel Poulain, a Belgian demographer; Paulo Francalacci, an Italian evolutionary geneticist; and Gianni Pes, an Italian physician and medical researcher. For the past 11 years, we have been studying what we call “blue zones” around the world—places where people live the longest with the lowest rates of chronic disease.    *When I first reported on this area a decade ago, scientists theorized that genes played a role in the extraordinary longevity of Sardinians. This enclave of 14 villages is home to one of the world’s most genetically homogenous populations, second only to that of Iceland.  Since then, the notion of a genetic advantage has been called into question. According to Dr. Pes, several studies have shown that the genetic markers of the centenarians—including markers associated with cardiovascular mortality, cancer and inflammation—don’t diverge significantly from those of the general population.  Based on the work we did in Sardinia and four other blue zones, a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota helped us to reverse-engineer a diet of the world’s healthiest populations. We gathered 155 dietary surveys from all five areas, covering the eating habits of the past century, and came up with a global average.   More than 65% of what people in the blue zones ate came from complex carbohydrates: sweet potatoes in Okinawa, Japan; wild greens in Ikaria, Greece; squash and corn in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Their diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other carbohydrates. They eat meat but only small amounts, about five times a month, usually on celebratory occasions.

The cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world was the humble bean. One five-country study showed that beans were the only food that predicted a longer life—for each 20-gram serving (about two tablespoons) eaten a day, the chance of dying dropped by 8%. Fava beans in Sardinia, black beans in Costa Rica, lentils in Ikaria, soybeans in Okinawa. 

 Seventh-Day Adventists, America’s longest-lived subculture, eat all kinds of beans, taking their cue from God’s injunction, in the book of Genesis, to eat the fruits of “seed-bearing plants.”

Dollar for dollar, most beans deliver more protein than beef. More important, beans’ high fiber content serves as a gut compost of sorts, enabling healthy bacteria to thrive.

The centenarians and others we met in Sardinia showed us, though, that even the healthiest diet isn’t enough by itself to promote long life. The true longevity recipe transcends food to encompass a web of social and cultural factors.

On my recent visit to Sardinia, I spent an afternoon in the village of Villagrande with a baking circle of sorts: five women, including a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter, who get together every few weeks to bake traditional sourdough bread, leavened with lactobacillus cultures and yeast.

I was first drawn to them because of the bread. Dr. Pes had published a study showing that Sardinian sourdough bread actually lowers a meal’s glycemic load. (Most bread metabolizes almost immediately into sugar, spiking insulin levels.)

After spending a couple of hours with these women, I realized that the bread was only one ingredient in a larger group of benefits that the bread-making occasioned. The women also had to chop wood and stoke the oven. They had to knead the dough for 45 minutes (more exercise than going to the gym).

Life in these villages is very social. People meet on the street daily and savor each other’s company. They count on one another. If someone gets sick, a neighbor is right there. If a shepherd loses his flock, other shepherds rally round with donated sheep to rebuild the flock.

In the nearby hamlet of Mores, I met 94-year old Salvatore Pinna and three of his friends, whose ages ranged from 88 to 90. They wore woolen newsboy caps and the kind of rugged tweed jacket fashionable in both sheep pastures and the village square. They get together every morning for coffee, again in the afternoon to play dominoes and at night to drink homemade Cannonau wine. Two of them were living alone, but as one told me, “We’re never alone.”

When it comes to longevity, the long-standing support of a community is significant. In the U.S., you’re likely to die eight years earlier if you’re lonely, compared with people who have strong social networks. In Sardinia, “One hand washes the other, and they both wash the face,” as Mr. Pinna told me, summing up the social symbiosis.

He and his friends serve as repositories of agricultural wisdom, which they routinely share by advising local vintners how to cope with temperamental weather and various insect pests. They are pillars of the local economy and are prized for it.

A fanatic zeal for family has also survived here. Neither work, hobbies, friends nor a sports team would ever divert serious attention away from a spouse or children. In turn, parents and grandparents move serenely into old age, secure in the knowledge that their children will care for them. There are no retirement homes here.

What we found in Sardinia is similar in other blue zones. None of the spry centenarians I’ve met over the years said to themselves at age 50, “I’m going get on that longevity diet and live another 50 years!” None of them bought a treadmill, joined a gym or answered a late-night ad for a supplement.

Instead, they lived in cultures that made the right decisions for them. They lived in places where fresh vegetables were cheap and accessible. Their kitchens were set up so that making healthy food was quick and easy. Almost every trip to the store, a friend’s house, work or school occasioned a walk. Their houses didn’t have mechanized conveniences to do house work, kitchen work or yard work; they did it by hand.

People in the blue zones were nudged into physical activity every 20 minutes, my team estimated. This activity not only burned 500 to 1,000 calories a day; it also kept their metabolisms humming at a higher rate.

Americans spend about $110 billion a year on diets, exercise programs and supplements, but self-discipline is a muscle that fatigues. Research shows that such short-term efforts fail for almost everyone in less than three years. By contrast, successful strategies to avoid disease and yield longevity require decades of adherence—or entire lifetimes

For enduring gains in health in the U.S., we should shift our tactics away from trying to change individual behavior to optimizing our surroundings. We should make healthy choices not only easy, but also sometimes unavoidable—so that longevity “just happens” to Americans.

(By Dan Buettner, WSJ)

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Live Long And Prosper

Honor your Father and your Mother so that you may live a long time on the land that God has given you. (Exodus 20:12)

Li Ching-Yuen or Li Ching-Yun  who died May 6, 1933, was a Chinese herbalist who supposedly lived to be over 256 years old. He claimed to have been born in 1736, but disputed records suggest 1677. Both alleged lifespans of 197 and 256 years far exceed the longest confirmed lifespan of 122 years and 164 days of the French woman Jeanne Calment. His true date of birth was never determined. He was reported to be a martial artist, herbalist and tactical advisor.

 

 

Whereas Li Ching-Yuen himself claimed to have been born in 1736, Wu Chung-chieh, a professor of the Chengdu University, asserts that Li was born in 1677 in Qijiang County, Sichuan province. According to a 1930 New York Times article, Wu discovered Imperial Chinese government records from 1827 congratulating Li on his 150th birthday, and further documents later congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877. In 1928, a New York Times correspondent wrote that many of the old men in Li’s neighborhood asserted that their grandfathers knew him when they were boys, and that he at that time was a grown man.

One of Li Ching-Yuen disciples, the Taijiquan Master Da Liu told of his master’s story: when 130 years-old Master Li would have encountered in the mountains an older hermit, over 500 years old, who taught him Baguazhang and a set of Qigong with breathing instructions, movements training coordinated with specific sounds, and dietary recommendations. Da Liu reports that his master said that his longevity “is due to the fact that he performed the exercises every day – regularly, correctly, and with sincerity – for 120 years.” Returning home, he died a year later, some say of natural causes; others claim that he said to friends: “I have done all I have to do in this world. I will now go home.” After Li’s death, General Yang Sen investigated the truth about his claimed background and age and wrote a report about his findings that was later published.

He worked as a herbalist, selling lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with other Chinese herbs, and lived off a diet of these herbs and rice wine. Li had also supposedly produced over 200 descendants during his life span, surviving 23 wives.

 

The article “Tortoise-Pigeon-Dog”, from the May 15, 1933 issue of Time reports on his history, and includes Li Ching-Yuen’s answer to the secret of a long life:

  • Tranquil mind
  • Sit like a tortoise
  • Walk sprightly like a pigeon
  • Sleep like a dog

Yang Jwing-Ming, in his book Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, says that Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese herbalist skilled in Qigong who spent most of his life in the mountains. In 1927, the National Revolutionary Army General Yang Sen (揚森), invited him to his residence in Wann Hsien, Szechuan province, where the picture shown in this article was taken.

Chinese General Yang Sen wrote a report about him, A Factual Account of the 250 Year-Old Good-Luck Man (一个250岁长寿老人的真实记载), in which he described Li Ching Yuen’s appearance: “He has good eyesight and a brisk stride; Li stands seven feet tall, has very long fingernails, and a ruddy complexion.”

Stuart Alve Olson’s 2002 book “Qigong Teachings of a Taoist Immortal: The Eight Essential Exercises of Master Li Ching Yuen” teaches the practice of the “Eight Brocade Qigong” learned with the Taijiquan Master T. T. Liang (Liang Tung Tsai), who learned it from the General Yang Sen.

According to legend, Li Ching Yuen was the creator of Jiulong Baguazhang (or Nine Dragons Baguazhang).

The Taoist Master Liu Pai Lin (劉百齡), who lived in São Paulo, Brazil from 1975 until 2000, had in his classroom another photograph of Master Li Ching Yuen unknown to the West. In this photo his face is clearly visible, as are his long and curled fingernails. Master Liu had met him personally in China, and considered him as one of his Masters. He used to say that Master Li answered to him that the fundamental taoist practice is to learn to keep the “Emptiness” (Wuji). Master Liu’s son, Master Liu Chih Ming, teaches the 12 Silks Qigong in CEMETRAC, as transmitted by Master Li.

There are additional photos of Master Li Ching Yuen in a 1986 article in a Qigong specialist publication.

Many cultures around the world, particularly in India, Tibet and China, tell of remarkable longevity achieved by spiritual (yogic and taoist) adepts. Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi with Immortal sage, Babaji and Peter Kelder’s The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth being examples.

(Source: Wikipedia)

256 Year Old Chinese Herbalist Li Ching-Yuen, Holistic Medicine, and 15 Character Traits That Cause Diseases

Photo by kevinpoh

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The herbalist had 23 wives and raised more than 200 children

According to the official records, herbalist Li Ching-Yuen was born in China in 1677 (although he himself claimed that he was born in 1736). Throughout his long life, he constantly practiced herbalism and martial arts. In 1930, the New York Times newspaper printed an article in which they published official Chinese government documents that were uncovered. These documents, dating back to 1827, contained official congratulations on Li Ching-Yuen’s 150th birthday. Later documents, dating back to 1877, contained official congratulations on his 200th birthday.

How did he do that?

Li Ching-Yuen expressed his longevity formula in one sentence: “Retain a calm heart, sit like a turtle, walk swiftly like a pigeon, and sleep like a dog”.

Let’s add a few more interesting historical facts to this story. Chinese army general Yang Sen invited Li to visit him, and offered him an opportunity to teach Chinese soldiers martial arts. The general could not believe how youthful his guest was, even though he had reached an age of 250 years old.

Li Ching-Yuen died on the 6th of May in 1933. He told his students that he had completed all his tasks in this lifetime, and he was now ready to come home.

Is this a true story? No one knows the truth, but if you read this story using your heart and not a limited rational mind, then you can understand the subtle meaning of it and learn a lot more.

It is possible to find other interesting stories about Western health prodigies and Eastern Yogis who lived for over 100 years. Not only did they survive for this long, they also thrived—youthful, active, and full of enthusiasm. What could we learn from them?

Holistic medicine is all that we need

These days, even modern medicine agrees: 70% of all illnesses materialise because of negative thoughts or emotional stress. Illnesses attributed to this cause are called “psychosomatic,” and they are the biggest headache of the whole mainstream healthcare system.

Sometimes several days of elevated stress is all that is needed to open up a gastric ulcer. Sometimes several years of it is all it takes to develop diabetes or heart disease, not to mention poor general health, lowered productivity, and lack of happiness. Doctors and scientists unanimously agree that our thoughts directly affect the activity of our organs and the state of our bodies in general. Ancient medicine is classified as holistic, because it takes care not only of the physical body, but also of the psyche, as well as one’s personal lifestyle. This method allows one to remove the cause of the illness, rather than merely treating the symptoms, therefore stopping it from reappearing. Modern medicine, on the other hand, deals with the consequences of the illness—bodily ailments. This is why the illness often comes back, since the cause of the illness is not actually being treated.

This is where one of the biggest secrets to health reveals itself—our thoughts can heal us. There are multiple recorded stories that discuss people who were severely ill and healed themselves with the power of thought, despite doctors losing all hope. One of such impressive story tells us about Morris Goodman, who, in 1981, was involved in a plane crash and was supposed to die due to irreversible spine damage and a punctured diaphragm. The man’s life was supported by a breathing ventilator, and the only movement he could do was blinking. However, this man was aware of the power of thought, and in just a few days successfully regenerated his own diaphragm and could breathe independently. He also consciously regenerated his damaged spinal cord and started to move all of his limbs. Doctors could not understand the situation at all because this just “could not be happening.” After a few months, however, Morris Goodman began to walk again, and eventually fully recovered. This is only one of many cases that are happening all around us. Thoughts cannot only make the body ill, but can also help it recover from incurable diseases.

Causes of hard to cure diseases from a different angle

The ancient ayurvedic health sciences not only prove the existence of psychosomatic illnesses, but also present a list of specific illnesses caused by specific character traits. What else could the thoughts be dependent on if not on the character?

Here are a few examples that could explain the causes of disease you or your loved ones may be suffering from:

  1. Jealousy – causes oncological diseases, weakens the immune system.
  2. Vengefulness – causes insomnia and throat diseases.
  3. Inability to find a solution to a situation – causes lung diseases.
  4. Lacking moral principals – causes chronic diseases, infections, and skin diseases.
  5. Being too categorical or unwavering in beliefs – causes diabetes, migraines, and inflammations.
  6. Lying – causes alcoholism, fungal infections, and weakens the immune system.
  7. Aggressiveness – causes gastric ulcers, acid reflux, and warts.
  8. Reticence – causes schizophrenia and kidney diseases.
  9. Cruelty – causes epilepsy, asthma, and anemia.
  10. Seeking conflicts – causes thyroid enlargement.
  11. Apathy – causes diabetes.
  12. Inconsistency or being fickle – causes infertility.
  13. Being rude or insulting – causes diabetes and heart diseases.
  14. Anxiety – causes digestive system disorders, heart, and skin diseases.
  15. Greed – causes oncological diseases, obesity, and heart diseases.

How can we know this is truth? Many great things in this world can only be tested by experience and not by thinking about them. Ayurveda is an ancient science that still works today and is used by many great people.

An interesting fact is that it is enough to cure your character, and the relevant diseases go away permanently. This is especially important to know for those who suffer from diseases such as diabetes and cancer, for which modern medicine does not have a cure yet.

Three ways to live healthfully and truly feel good

It will involve working on yourself—however, this investment will pay off greatly in the long run. Here are three methods, tested throughout three millenniums:

  1. Start monitoring your thoughts. Spend five minutes every evening writing down how you felt that day. Remember the situations you encountered and emotions you felt. What negative character traits does that uncover? What do you plan to do tomorrow to start improving yourself and to change those particular character traits? It is very important to write everything down.
  2. Try to think more about things that make you happy. This is the miracle of positive thinking. When you concentrate on the things that you like, it’s as if you move to a different frequency of vibrations, and the body starts to heal itself. Even better, there will be a greater number of good things in your life, because everything you think about becomes reality, including the problems that bother you. Concentrate on things you enjoy and watch how everything begins to change.
  3. Try out meditation. During meditation, the body and mind rest and heal themselves. You can read more about meditation in the article “How To Own A New Ferrari And Be As Smart As Einstein, Just By Calmly Sitting On Your Couch”.

Illness is simply our body’s signal about an incorrect (or, rather, non-beneficial) lifestyle. Firstly it manifests as anxiety, fear, and negative thoughts. Only then, if no effort is made to work on oneself, the body sends a more powerful signal to get your attention and make you think about what you are doing wrong, in the form of physical symptoms.

Leave only the useful and meaningful things in your life. Because everything that is useful to you is always useful to others.

(By : Read more at www.martynasjocius.com →)

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Driving a Nice Car Can Be a Drag, If You’re Black

There’s No Such Crime As ‘Driving While White’

There’s No Such Crime As ‘Driving While White’

The shooting of Walter L. Scott in South Carolina prompts the question:

When is the last time you heard of a white man in a Mercedes-Benz being pulled over for driving with a broken taillight?

It has probably happened somewhere, sometime, but there’s a better chance of your car being hit by a meteor.

Getting shot dead during a minor traffic stop also isn’t a prevailing fear among white males in America, no matter what type of vehicle they own.

Scott himself didn’t imagine he was going to die when he was pulled over. Unfortunately, he happened to be a Black man driving a Mercedes, which is what got him noticed. He was behind on child-support payments and probably didn’t want to go to jail.

Something happened at the scene, Scott got Tased and then tried to run away. Officer Michael Slager fired eight times, hitting the unarmed 50-year-old in the back. The killing was caught on cellphone video by a bystander.

Slager told the dispatcher that Scott had snatched his Taser, but the video shows the officer dropping an object that looks just like a Taser near Scott’s handcuffed body. Slager has been charged with murder and fired from his job.

The shooting was shocking to watch, as the whole world has, yet the sequence of events leading up to it is sadly familiar to Black men in this country. They can’t afford to drive around as carefree as us white guys.

In September, a South Carolina state trooper shot and wounded another unarmed Black motorist after pulling him over because he allegedly wasn’t wearing his seatbelt.

I’ve got white friends who rarely buckle up, yet I don’t know of one who has been ticketed for it, or even stopped and warned. Maybe they’re just lucky.

The Black comedian Chris Rock uses his Twitter account to record his traffic-stop encounters. In a recent seven-week period, he was pulled over three times (once as a passenger).

It’s possible he and his friends aren’t very good drivers. It’s also possible they’ve been targeted merely for “Driving While Black,”(DWB) an unwritten offense that still exists in many regions of the country, not just the Deep South — and not just in high-crime areas.

The odds would be fairly slim for a Black man driving a luxury car not to be pulled over at least once on a road trip between, say, Utah and North Dakota. Even in a ’98 Taurus he’d need to be watching the rear-view mirror for blue lights.

Generalizing about traffic stops can be problematic. The numbers often spike in certain neighborhoods at certain times of day, and a small number of officers can account for many incidents of racial profiling.

Still, the evidence that it exists is more than anecdotal.

Using a “Police-Public Contact Survey,” the U.S. Justice Department analyzed traffic stops of drivers aged 16 or older nationwide during 2011, comparing by race and weighting by population.

To the astonishment of hardly anyone, Black drivers were about 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers, and approximately 23 percent more likely to be pulled over than Hispanic motorists.

A series published by the Washington Post in September reported that minority drivers had their cars searched (and cash seized) at a higher rate than white drivers. That jibed with the Justice Department’s conclusion that vehicle searches occurred substantially more often when the driver wasn’t white.

Another unsurprising fact: Compared to other races, white drivers were most likely to get pulled over for speeding. Black drivers were statistically more likely to be stopped for vehicle defects or record checks.

Which is what happened to Walter L. Scott in North Charleston.

Never in almost five decades of driving have I been pulled over for a busted brake light or a burned-out headlight, even though I’ve had a few.

It didn’t matter whether I was in a Dodge, Oldsmobile, Jeep, Ford, Chevy or even, for a while, a Mercedes SUV.

The only thing I’ve ever been stopped for is, like many impatient white people, driving too fast.

And every time a police officer walked up to my car, I knew exactly why he or she wanted to chat with me. It was no mystery whatsoever.

That’s not always the case for a Black man behind the wheel of a car in this country. This is not just a perception; it’s a depressing reality.

If it had been me or Matt Lauer or even faux Hispanic Jeb Bush driving that Mercedes-Benz in South Carolina, Officer Slager wouldn’t have stopped the car. Not for a busted taillight, no way.

Which prompts another question: How long can this go on?

(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for The Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL, 33132.)

Photo: Redjar via Flickr

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The Third Degree

The third degree has become a euphemism for the “inflicting of pain, physical or mental, to extract confessions or statements”. Many who use it freely assume it has some connection with the criminal law.

The third degree‘ is well-known to all U. S. crime-fiction enthusiasts as ‘an intensive, possibly brutal, interrogation’.

In point of fact, the term has no connection with criminal or brutal treatment or mental torture. It refers to the third and final stage of proficiency demanded of one who seeks to become a Master Mason.

In Masonic lodges there are three degrees of membership; the first is called Entered Apprentice, the second Fellowcraft, and the third is master mason. When a candidate receives the third degree in a Masonic lodge, he is subjected to some activities that involve an interrogation and it is more physically challenging than the first two degrees. It is this interrogation that was the source of the name of the U. S. police force’s interrogation technique, according to Charles Earle Funk, Editor-in-Chief of Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary.

In modern parlance, the expression is directly taken from the Exam for the Master Mason degree of Freemasonry – or the “Third” Degree.

In the three degrees of Freemasonry, there is an oral exam given to ensure the candidate actually understands what happened during the ritual parts of the degree work. These oral exams are given in a question: answer style, with the First Degree being rather simple and short.

The oral exam for the Third Degree, however, can last upwards of half-an-hour or 45-minutes – and the ENTIRE thing is done from memory… so it is QUITE exhausting.

The questioning runs along the lines of “What happened when you went to the Warden,” “Why did he tell you that,” “What did that signify,” and “Where did you go after that?” To be personal about it, the exam is a *****, and made my head hurt – and from the Brothers to which I’ve spoken, all felt the same way.

SO… to give someone the Third Degree is to question them incessantly and never let any silence creep in, just constantly barraging them with questions… like in an interrogation.

(Source: 11 years as a Freemason (F&AM, GL of Ohio), Royal Arch Mason, Knight Templar, National Sojourner.)

In 1931, the Wickersham Commission found that use of the third degree was widespread in the United States. The use of the third degree was technically made illegal after the Wickersham report. However, the interrogation method known as the Reid technique, which is now widely used by law enforcement in the U.S., is seen by many as simply a psychological version of the third degree in that it is equally capable of extracting a false confession through coercion when abused by police.

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