01.09.2015 Mindfulness

Staying Young

Naturopath Lyn Craven continues her look at how to ward of the years and stay fit and vital

Learn meditation - this is very important for everyone in this stressed society we live in. Technology can be very useful but I am seeing many people experience too much mental stimulation by using their computer and mobile phone all day long. We are bombarded with technology and this has an impact on our central nervous system (CNS), affecting the brain and gut function. It may appear totally unrelated to you but whatever affects the mind/brain will impact on gut function, interfering with the absorption and assimilation of nutrients from food and any remedies and also bowel function. Many IBS cases now result from too much mental stress contributing to anxiety and extreme tension.

Meditation is a great healing tool that you can incorporate into your daily life. Yes daily! You need to find at least 15-20 minutes a day where you can switch off and chill out. Just sit or lie down and allow the silence to take over. Focus on your breath and allow yourself to breathe with ease yet more deeply in a relaxed way. Basically, we do not breathe properly and, worse still, when we are stressed, we simply pant! Shallow breathing can exacerbate any stress or anxiety you are experiencing.

You need to find what type of meditation suits you best. Some highly stressed clients also require homoeopathics and herbal remedies to support their CNS and adrenal cortex since the endocrine (hormonal) system is equally involved.

As we age we have less tolerance to stress and the body struggles to deal with stressful situations that we may have dealt with easily 20 or 30 years ago. Cortisol levels increase as we age and this can be counterproductive to managing stress since even more is produced during times of stress and trauma. In older people it takes much longer for the levels to reach a balanced state again. This contributes to that extra weight around the girth - it's very hard to shift but not impossible!

Sleep well

Sleep is extremely important. Some statistics claim that as we age we need less sleep, but I'm not so sure if we all fit into that category - I seem to need more! We are all unique with differing needs and I suggest you obtain a minimum of 7-8 hours sleep a night allowing your body to (ideally) wake when you are ready to face the day. Obviously, if you have structured work hours you may have set an alarm but in this case make sure you retire early the night before.

Sleep is a great healer, keeps you looking younger and allows all the body's systems and organs to regenerate and rejuvenate. Sleep deprivation can play enormous havoc on your entire physiology and mental wellbeing. You can actually speed up weight loss when you have more sleep. Being deprived of sleep can make you hungry, affect blood sugar levels, and create adrenal fatigue leading to weight gain.

If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems many natural remedies such as herbal remedies, homoeopathics and relevant supplements can help you. Your body may have been over-stimulated for too long and not able to wind down, thus staying in a state of hyperactivity.

Supporting your endocrine system

This is very important as we age. Adrenals can become depleted quite easily. We have more responsibilities in life as we get older and our physiology naturally begins to change. You must support the hormonal system continually.

The adrenals love Vitamin C, B complex, especially B5 (known as pantothenic acid) and, in highly stressed cases, specific homoeopathics that help nourish and support the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis (known as the HPA axis), along with other glands such as liver, kidney and para thyroids. This is because all the glands involved in the endocrine system work as a team. A bit like a project team in a company, if one slacks off then another has to pick up the slack.

Natural remedies work more efficiently in restoring balance since the focus is on the entire system not just on one or two glands that appear out of balance. If the para thyroids become under or over active this can affect your mineral levels, in particular calcium. So you could be taking a supplement as your calcium intake is not being assimilated properly often going into tissues, organs and muscles not the bones.

Skin protection

Skin needs nourishment. I recommend jojoba oil to many people. Having used it myself for over 35 years I can say it is wrinkle proof! Help balance your natural sebum by applying a light layer morning and night under makeup that ideally has 30+ cover. It is also great for men after shaving. Antioxidant oil or argon oil are nourishing for the rest of the body. Always use 30+ blockout cream while in the sun, preferably a natural cream that's free from chemical activities and also nourishes the skin. And, of course, wear a hat.

Staying youthful is not just about what you put on the skin - more importantly it is what you ingest. If you are taking pharmaceutical medications over a lengthy period be assured they all have side effects to varying degrees and most meds will affect the gastrointestinal tract and liver function. You may need professional advice on how to counteract some of the side effects if you are on long term drug therapy.

Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption ages you. It dries your skin and contributes to wrinkles via dehydration and is more obvious in women than men. Quit smoking now - natural therapies can help here. Cut down on alcohol, you don't need to get drunk every time you socialise and party. Think of the money you save! Recreational drugs and caffeine drinks that pump up your energy are dreadful for your CNS and entire metabolism. Enjoy life without them.


The tests I recommend aside from general blood tests are live blood analysis, stool test, hair mineral analysis testing, hormonal blood/saliva test and possibly food/chemical allergy testing, whatever is applicable to the person and arranged by the practitioner.

To wrap up

You need a healthy diet, the correct natural remedies for you, a balanced endocrine system, daily exercise, plenty of relaxation each day and 7-8 hours sleep. Eliminate unnecessary stresses in your life (delegate tasks if you have to), seek professional help for emotional worries and talk to a trusted friend or family member or your practitioner.

Prevention is better. Deal with any injuries including RSI, back pain and correct posture. Don't wait till you are really overweight, acquire serious health disorders, become chronically fatigued, or have ageing dry wrinkled skin. Take responsibility for your long term health and you will look younger than your biological years for a long time to come!

Anti aging nutrition is not just about your food, assimilation and digestion. It includes the correct remedies outlined above to slow down the natural ageing process. We can't stop it, but we can help the body maintain optimum health and youthful appearance with vital energy. Most of all patience and consistency are the key factors. Follow through and you will be rewarded.

Lyn Craven is a Practitioner of Naturopathy, Bowen Therapy and Energy/Reiki Therapist and Corporate Health Consultant. Lyn has written articles on a variety of topics and runs a private practice located in Bondi, Sydney. Lyn has recently created a Meditation CD for Anxiety, Stress and Self Healing. She can be contacted on 0403 231 804 or lyncraven@bigpond.comwww.lyncravencorporatehealth-naturopath.com

Read Anti Ageing Therapy Part One - http://novamagazine.com.au/article_archive/2015/2015-08-anti-ageing-therapy.html

Lyn Craven

Lyn Craven is a practitioner of Naturopathy, Bowen Therapy, Energy/Reiki therapist, meditation teacher and Corporate Health Consultant. She is also a health researcher/writer and has produced a meditation CD assisting people to manage anxiety and stress. She runs a private practice in Sydney and can be contacted on +61403 231 804