By Ian Chow, CERTIFIED Massage Therapist
One fine day, when I was looking at my watch, I realise that I can’t see the “second” arm that clearly anymore. It appear as blurry. Gosh, I thought my short sightedness has gone worse. Then later, it hits me that this change of vision is called presbyopia (loss of ability to focus on near object) and this is among the first few signs of aging. Sigh.
Nobody wants to grow old (including myself). It can be a frightening experience, a painful one or it can also be a joyful and carefree one. Some of us are aging alone, some with our love one and some with friends or at a seniors care centre. Well, regardless of our outlook on aging and its process, it does still have an impact on our physical and mental health.
Most says biologically, we will start to age once we hit 40s. We will then notice changes happening to our body. But, psychologically and socially, it also do have influence on our aging process. Practicing self care, having a healthy perspective of life, enriching our days with positive activities, surrounding ourselves with youthful energy will certainly help us to age much better (or perhaps even slower).
Physically, our five senses are definitely affected as we aged. As I have mentioned, with vision, presbyopia will set in and we will also be needing brighter light to read. With hearing, we will hear lesser of the higher frequency so don’t be surprised if one fine day, you can’t hear certain higher pitch instrument while watching your favourite classical concert.
Bad news for foodies cos our taste bud will lose its sensitivity and do not regenerate as we age. Then our gum will recede leading to our tooth having higher risk of decay and loss. Our sense of smell will also deteriorate and our skin become drier, less elastic, thinner with wrinkles as well (anti-aging cream, anyone?)
Then, some other systems that may be affected with prominent effects include:
– Skeletal system : lesser mobility on our joints and setting in of osteoporosis
– Nervous system : the decreasing and diminishing of nerve and brain cell which can lead to short term memory and lesser ability to learn new skill
– Muscular system : loss and decrease of muscle mass and strength which makes it harder to enjoy vigorous physical activity
– Digestive system : lesser tolerance towards lactose and slowing down of digestion process which make more water being absorbed through the colon, leading to constipation.
– Urinary system : shrinking of bladder that causes more frequent urination
– Circulatory system : stiffening of blood vessels, higher blood pressure and surfacing of various heart issues
– Respiratory system : decrease of lung capacity and weakening of diaphragm which make inhalation and exhalation process much harder
– Immune system : the immune cell act much slower and easier for us to fall sick
Well, aging is a process that one can’t avoid and the sooner we come to term, the better it is I suppose. It is not the end of everything or even anything. Perhaps, it is the start of something beautiful. Look at so many famous personality who are enjoying life as they age. In fact, you may know of someone or maybe even live with someone who are doing so. Possibly the bigger question is how do we age better, slower or even gracefully. That is in our hand.