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What Happens When We All Live to 100? – The Atlantic

Posted: September 29, 2016 at 7:46 pm

For millennia, if not for eonsanthropology continuously pushes backward the time of human originlife expectancy was short. The few people who grew old were assumed, because of their years, to have won the favor of the gods. The typical person was fortunate to reach 40.

Beginning in the 19th century, that slowly changed. Since 1840, life expectancy at birth has risen about three months with each passing year. In 1840, life expectancy at birth in Sweden, a much-studied nation owing to its record-keeping, was 45 years for women; today its 83 years. The United States displays roughly the same trend. When the 20th century began, life expectancy at birth in America was 47 years; now newborns are expected to live 79 years. If about three months continue to be added with each passing year, by the middle of this century, American life expectancy at birth will be 88 years. By the end of the century, it will be 100 years.

Viewed globally, the lengthening of life spans seems independent of any single, specific event. It didnt accelerate much as antibiotics and vaccines became common. Nor did it retreat much during wars or disease outbreaks. A graph of global life expectancy over time looks like an escalator rising smoothly. The trend holds, in most years, in individual nations rich and poor; the whole world is riding the escalator.

Projections of ever-longer life spans assume no incredible medical discoveriesrather, that the escalator ride simply continues. If anti-aging drugs or genetic therapies are found, the climb could accelerate. Centenarians may become the norm, rather than rarities who generate a headline in the local newspaper.

Pie in the sky? On a verdant hillside in Marin County, Californiahome to hipsters and towering redwoods, the place to which the Golden Gate Bridge leadssits the Buck Institute, the first private, independent research facility dedicated to extending the human life span. Since 1999, scientists and postdocs there have studied ways to make organisms live much longer, and with better health, than they naturally would. Already, the institutes researchers have quintupled the life span of laboratory worms. Most Americans have never heard of the Buck Institute, but someday this place may be very well known.

Buck is not alone in its pursuit. The University of Michigan, the University of Texas, and the University of California at San Francisco are studying ways to slow aging, as is the Mayo Clinic. Late in 2013, Google brought its trove of cash into the game, founding a spin-off called the California Life Company (known as Calico) to specialize in longevity research. Six months after Calicos charter was announced, Craig Venter, the biotech entrepreneur who in the 1990s conducted a dramatic race against government laboratories to sequence the human genome, also founded a start-up that seeks ways to slow aging.

Should research find a life-span breakthrough, the proportion of the U.S. population that is elderlyfated to rise anyway, considering declining fertility rates, the retirement of the Baby Boomers, and the continuing uplift of the escalatormay climb even more. Longer life has obvious appeal, but it entails societal risks. Politics may come to be dominated by the old, who might vote themselves ever more generous benefits for which the young must pay. Social Security and private pensions could be burdened well beyond what current actuarial tables suggest. If longer life expectancy simply leads to more years in which pensioners are disabled and demand expensive services, health-care costs may balloon as never before, while other social needs go unmet.

With each passing year, the newly born live about three months longer than those born the prior year.

But the story might have a happy ending. If medical interventions to slow aging result in added years of reasonable fitness, life might extend in a sanguine manner, with most men and women living longer in good vigor, and also working longer, keeping pension and health-care subsidies under control. Indeed, the most-exciting work being done in longevity science concerns making the later years vibrant, as opposed to simply adding time at the end.

Postwar medical research has focused on specific conditions: there are heart-disease laboratories, cancer institutes, and so on. Traditional research assumes the chronic later-life diseases that are among the nations leading killerscardiovascular blockage, stroke, Alzheimersarise individually and should be treated individually. What if, instead, aging is the root cause of many chronic diseases, and aging can be slowed? Not just life span but health span might increase.

Drugs that lengthen health span are becoming to medical researchers what vaccines and antibiotics were to previous generations in the lab: their grail. If health-span research is successful, pharmaceuticals as remarkable as those earlier generations of drugs may result. In the process, society might learn the answer to an ancient mystery: Given that every cell in a mammals body contains the DNA blueprint of a healthy young version of itself, why do we age at all?

Here in our freezers we have 100 or so compounds that extend life in invertebrates, says Gordon Lithgow, a geneticist at the Buck Institute. He walks with me through labs situated on a campus of modernistic buildings that command a dreamlike view of San Pablo Bay, and encourage dreamlike thoughts. The 100 compounds in the freezer? What we dont know is if they work in people.

The Buck Institute bustles with young researchers. Jeans and San Francisco 49ers caps are common sightsthis could be a Silicon Valley software start-up were not microscopes, cages, and biological-isolation chambers ubiquitous. The institute is named for Leonard and Beryl Buck, a Marin County couple who left oil stocks to a foundation charged with studying why people age, among other issues. When the institute opened, medical research aimed at slowing aging was viewed as quixoticthe sort of thing washed-up hippies talk about while sipping wine and watching the sunset. A mere 15 years into its existence, the Buck Institute is at the bow wave of biology.

In one lab, researchers laboriously tamper with yeast chromosomes. Yeast is expedient as a research subject because it lives out a lifetime before an analysts eyes, and because a third of yeast genes are similar to human genes. Deleting some genes kills yeast; deleting others causes yeast to live longer. Why deleting some genes extends life isnt knownBuck researchers are trying to figure this out, in the hope that they might then carry the effect over to mammals. The work is painstaking, with four microscopes in use at least 50 hours a week.

Buck employs Lilliputian electrocardiogram machines and toy-size CT scanners to examine the internal organs of mice, since the goal is not just to make them live longer but to keep them healthy longer, with less cancer or heart disease. Researchers curious about aging mainly work with mice, worms, flies, and yeast, because they are small and easily housed, and because they dont live long, so improvements to life expectancy are quickly observable. Twenty years ago it was a really big deal to extend the life span of worms. Now any postdoc can do that, says Simon Melov, a Buck geneticist. Experiments funded by the National Institute on Aging have shown that drugs can extend a mouses life span by about a quarter, and Buck researchers have been able to reverse age-related heart dysfunction in the same animal. Think how the world would be upended if human longevity quickly jumped another 25 percent.

The rubber will meet the road with human trials. We hope to find five to 10 small molecules that extend healthy life span in mice, then stage a human trial, says Brian Kennedy, the Buck Institutes CEO. A drug called rapamycinbeing tested at the institute and elsewhereseems closest to trial stage and has revolutionary potential. But in addition to being ethically fraught, human trials of a life-extension substance will be costly, and might take decades. The entry of Googles billions into the field makes human trials more likely. Calico is tight-lipped about its plansthe company agreed to let me visit, then backed out.

Anti-aging research is not without antecedents, some of which offer notes of caution. A generation ago, Linus Pauling, a winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, proposed that megadoses of vitamin C would retard aging. It turned out that at megadoses, vitamins can become toxic. If you take vitamins, swallow the amounts recommended by the Food and Drug Administration.

A decade ago, a biotech start-up called Sirtris sought to devise drugs that mimic the supposed health-giving properties of red wine. GlaxoSmithKline bought Sirtris for $790 million in todays dollars, money the company may wish it had back: Sirtris experiments have yet to lead to any practical product.

About 15 years ago, Bruce Ames, an accomplished scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, proposed that acetylcarnitine, which regulates the mitochondria of cells, combined with an antioxidant, might retard aging while treating mild Alzheimers. Antioxidant has become a buzzword of supplement marketing and Dr. Ozstyle quackery. Too much antioxidant would be unhealthy, since oxidation is essential to the bodys respiration. Ames thought he had found a compound that safely moderates the pace at which cells use themselves up. He began dosing himself with acetylcarnitine, and continues to work at Berkeley, at age 85; whether he would have enjoyed such longevity anyway is unknowable. Pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in Amess ideabecause it occurs naturally, acetylcarnitine cannot be patented, and, worse from Big Pharmas standpoint, the substance is inexpensive.

Today, lab results show a clear relationship between a restricted-calorie diet and longevity in mice. That eating less extends the life spans of small mammals is the strongest finding of anti-aging research to this point. A restrictive diet seems to put mouse cells into a state vaguely similar to hibernation; whether caloric restriction would work in people isnt known. A campaign against calories might seem to possess broad practical appeal, since whats recommendedeating lesscosts nothing. But if the mice are any indication, one would need to eat a lot less, dropping caloric intake to the level at which a person feels hunger pangs throughout the day. Caloric restriction is a fad diet in Northern California, Melov told me. We had a caloric-restriction group come in to visit the institute. They did not look at all healthy.

Recently, separate teams at Harvard, Stanford, and UC San Francisco reported that transferring the blood of adolescent mice into old, declining mice had a rejuvenating effect on the latter. The thought of the old rich purchasing blood from the young poor is ghoulish on numerous levels. The research goal is to determine what chemical aspect of youthful blood benefits mature tissue. Perhaps compounds in adolescent blood excite dormant stem cells, and a drug could be developed that triggers the effect without transfusion.

The Buck Institute and other labs have been looking for health-span DNA that may exist in other mammals. Whales are a lot less likely than people are to get cancer. Polar bears consume an extremely high-fat diet yet dont develop arterial plaque. If the biological pathways for such qualities were understood, a drug might be designed to trigger the effect in people. Mimicking what nature has already developed seems more promising than trying to devise novel DNA.

In worms, genes called daf-2 and daf-16 can change in a way that causes the invertebrates to live twice as long as is natural, and in good vigor. A molecular biologist named Cynthia Kenyon, among the first hires at Calico, made that discovery more than two decades ago, when she was a researcher at UC San Francisco. By manipulating the same genes in mice, Kenyon has been able to cause them to live longer, with less cancer than mice in a control group: that is, with a better health span. The daf-16 gene is similar to a human gene called foxo3, a variant of which is linked to exceptional longevity. A drug that mimics this foxo3 variant is rumored to be among Calicos initial projects.

A long time has passed since Kenyons eureka moment about worm genes, and shes still far from proving that this insight can help people. But the tempo of the kind of work she does is accelerating. Twenty years ago, genetic sequencing and similar forms of DNA research were excruciatingly time-consuming. New techniques and equipment have altered that: for instance, one Silicon Valley lab-services firm, Sequetech, advertises, Go from [cell] colony to sequence in a day. The accelerating pace of genetic-information gathering may come in handy for health-span research.

The Buck Institute became cautiously optimistic about rapamycin when its life-extension properties were noticed in yeast. Lab mice dosed with rapamycin are dying off more slowly than they would naturally, and many of the old mice appear energetic and youthful. Devised to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, rapamycin seems to alter some chemistry associated with cellular senescence. (More on that later.) If the drug turns out to delay aging in people, it would be the greatest off-label pharmaceutical use ever. But dont ask your doctor for a prescriptionhealth-span therapy based on rapamycin is years away, if it ever happens. Kennedy, the Buck Institute CEO, does not dose himself with rapamycin, whose side effects are not understood.

Researchers at the Buck Institute are lean: societys obesity problems are not in evidence there. Everyone takes the stairs; elevators are viewed as strictly for visitors. If there is a candy machine on the 488-acre grounds, it is well hidden. I met some researchers for lunch in a glass-and-chrome conference room (Bucks buildings were designed by I. M. Pei and fairly shout Give me an architecture award!). Lunch was an ascetic affair: water and a small sandwich with greens; no sides, soda, or cookies. Kennedy says he seldom eats lunch, and runs up to 20 miles weekly. Yet, even doing everything right by the lights of current assumptions about how to stave off aging, at age 47, Kennedy has wrinkle lines around his eyes.

Except with regard to infectious diseases, medical cause and effect is notoriously hard to pin down. Coffee, salt, butter: good, bad, or neither? Studies are inconclusive. Why do some people develop heart disease while others with the same habits dont? The Framingham Heart Study, in its 66th year and following a third generation of subjects, still struggles with such questions. You should watch your weight, eat more greens and less sugar, exercise regularly, and get ample sleep. But you should do these things because they are common sensenot because there is any definitive proof that they will help you live longer.

The uncertainty inherent in the practice of medicine is amplified when the subject is longevity, because decades might pass before anyone knows whether a particular drug or lifestyle modification does any good. Scrutinizing the very old has not been the gold mine some researchers hoped it would be. Lifestyle studies of centenarians can be really puzzling, Kennedy says. They smoke more and drink less than we might guess. Few are vegetarians. Nothing jumps out as a definitive cause of their long lives.

Among the first wide-scale efforts to understand gerontology was the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, begun by federal researchers in 1958 and ongoing. Its current director, Luigi Ferrucci, says, The study has determined that disabilities among the elderly often have warning signs that can be detected in youth, and this insight might lead to early-life interventions that decrease late-life chronic disease. But on some of the big questions, such as whether longevity is caused mainly by genes or mainly by lifestyle and environment, we just have no idea at all.

Studies of twins suggest that about 30 percent of longevity is inherited. This is one of the factors that make researchers optimisticif 30 percent of longevity is inherited, perhaps laboratories can design a compound that causes anyones blood chemistry to mimic what happens in the bodies of those who were born with the DNA for long life. But when we sequence the genome, only 1 percent seems linked to longevity, Ferrucci told me. The other 99 percent of the presumed genetic effect is unexplained.

At medical conferences, Ferrucci likes to show physicians and researchers an elaborate medical profile of an anonymous patient, then ask them to guess her age. Guesses are off by as much as 20 years too high or low, he says. This is because medically, we do not know what age is. The sole means to determine age is by asking for date of birth. Thats what a basic level this research still is at.

Aging brings with it, of course, senescence. Cellular senescence, a subset of the overall phenomenon, is a subject of fascination in longevity research.

The tissues and organs that make up our bodies are prone to injury, and the cells are prone to malfunctions, cancer being the most prominent. When an injury must be healed, or cancerous tissue that is dividing must be stopped, nearby cells transmit chemical signals that trigger the repair of injured cells or the death of malignant ones. (Obviously this is a simplification.) In the young, the system works pretty well. But as cells turn senescent, they begin to send out false positives. The bodys healing ability falters as excess production of the repair signal leads to persistent inflammation, which is the foundation of heart disease, Alzheimers, arthritis, and other chronic maladies associated with the passage of time. Cars wear out because they cannot repair themselves; our bodies wear out because they lose the ability to repair themselves. If the loss of our ability to self-repair were slowed down, health during our later years would improve: a longer warranty, in the auto analogy.

If we can figure out how to eliminate senescent cells or switch off their secretions, says Judith Campisi, who runs the Buck Institutes research on this topic, then we could prevent or lessen the impact of many chronic diseases of aging. Its not a coincidence that incidence of these chronic diseases increases sharply after the age of 50, a time when senescent cells also increase in number. If you believe, as many scientists do, that aging is a prime cause of many chronic diseases, it is essential that we understand the accumulation of senescent cells. Rapamycin excites longevity researchers because it seems to switch off the repair signal mistakenly sent by senescent cells. Mayo Clinic researchers are studying other substances that dampen the effects of cellular senescence; some have proved to keep mice fit longer than normal, extending their health span. Many elderly people decline into years of progressive disability, then become invalids. If instead most people enjoyed reasonable vigor right up to the end, that would be just as exciting for society as adding years to life expectancy.

Big medical efforts tend to be structured as assaults on specific conditionsthe war on cancer and so on. One reason is psychological: a wealthy person who survived a heart attack, or lost a parent to one, endows a foundation to study the problem. Another reason is symbolic: we tend to view diseases as challenges thrown at us by nature, to be overcome one by one. If the passage of time itself turns out to be the challenge, interdisciplinary study of aging might overtake the disease-by-disease approach. As recently as a generation ago, it would have seemed totally crazy to suppose that aging could be cured. Now curing aging seems, well, only somewhat crazy.

The life-expectancy escalator has for nearly two centuries risen about three months a year, despite two world wars, the 1918 influenza pandemic, the AIDS epidemic, and the global populations growing sevenfoldthe latter deceptively important, because crowded conditions are assumed to more readily communicate disease. Will life-span increases continue regardless of what may happen in biotech? The yea position is represented by James Vaupel, the founder of Germanys Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; the nay by Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 2002, Vaupel published an influential article in Science documenting the eerily linear rise in life expectancy since 1840. Controversially, Vaupel concluded that reductions in mortality should not be seen as a disconnected sequence of unrepeatable revolutions but rather as a regular stream of continuing progress. No specific development or discovery has caused the rise: improvements in nutrition, public health, sanitation, and medical knowledge all have helped, but the operative impetus has been the stream of continuing progress.

Vaupel called it a reasonable scenario that increases will continue at least until life expectancy at birth surpasses 100. His views havent changed. The data still support the conclusions of the 2002 paper. Linear rise in life expectancy has continued, Vaupel told me earlier this year. In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the age-adjusted U.S. death rate declined to a record low in 2011. Today the first four causes of death in the United States are chronic, age-related conditions: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower-respiratory diseases, and stroke. As long as living standards continue to improve, Vaupel thinks, life expectancy will continue to increase.

On the opposite side of this coin, Olshansky told me the rise in life expectancy will hit a wall soon, if it hasnt already. He noted, Most of the 20th-century gains in longevity came from reduced infant mortality, and those were onetime gains. Infant mortality in the United States trails some other nations, but has dropped so muchdown to one in 170that little room for improvement remains. Theres tremendous statistical impact on life expectancy when the young are saved, Olshansky says. A reduction in infant mortality saves the entire span of a persons life. Avoiding mortality in a young personsay, by vaccinesaves most of the persons life. Changes in medicine or lifestyle that extend the lives of the old dont add much to the numbers. Olshansky calculates that if cancer were eliminated, American life expectancy would rise by only three years, because a host of other chronic fatal diseases are waiting to take its place. He thinks the 21st century will see the average life span extend another 10 years or so, with a bonus of more health span. Then the increase will slow noticeably, or stop.

Whether human age may have a biological limit does not factor into this debate. A French woman who lived from 1875 to 1997, Jeanne Calment, had the longest confirmed life span, at 122. Shes obviously an outlier, and while outliers dont tell us much, they do hint at whats possible. Her age at death was well beyond the average life span that either Vaupel or Olshansky are contemplating in their analyses. And in any case, various experts, at various times across the past century, have argued that life span was nearing a ceiling, only to be proved wrong.

Diminishing smoking and drunk driving have obviously contributed to declining mortality. Homicide has fallen so muchshootings arent necessarily down, but improved trauma response saves more victimsthat murder is no longer among the top 15 causes of death in the United States. Other health indicators seem positive as well. All forms of harmful air and water emissions except greenhouse gases are in long-term decline. Less smog, acid rain, and airborne soot foster longevitythe old are sensitive to respiratory diseasewhile declining levels of industrial toxins may contribute to declining cancer rates. Life expectancy can be as much as 18 years shorter in low-income U.S. counties than in high-income counties, but Obamacare should correct some of that imbalance: Romneycare, enacted in 2006 and in many ways Obamacares precursor, reduced mortality in low-income Massachusetts counties. These and many other elements of Vaupels stream of continuing progress seem to favor longevity. So does climate change: people live longer in warm climates than cold, and the world is warming.

Popular attention tends to focus on whether what we gulp down determines how long we live: Should people take fish oil and shop for organic probiotic kefir? The way our homes, families, and friendships are organized may matter just as much. Thomas Perls, a professor at Boston Medical Center who analyzes the genomes of centenarians, notes that Seventh-Day Adventists enjoy about a decade more life expectancy than peers of their birth years: They dont drink or smoke, most are vegetarians, they exercise regularly even when old, and take a true weekly day of rest. But what really strikes Perls about Seventh-Day Adventists is that they maintain large social groups. Constant interaction with other people can be annoying, but overall seems to keep us engaged with life.

For years, the American social trend has been away from constant interaction with other peoplefewer two-parent homes, fewer children per home, declining participation in religious and community activities, grandparents living on their own, electronic interaction replacing the face-to-face in everything from work to dating. Prosperity is associated with smaller households, yet the large multigeneration home may be best for long life. There are some indications that the Great Recession increased multigeneration living. This may turn out to boost longevity, at least for a time.

The single best yardstick for measuring a persons likely life span is education. John Rowe, a health-policy professor at Columbia University and a former CEO of Aetna, says, If someone walked into my office and asked me to predict how long he would live, I would ask two things: What is your age, and how many years of education did you receive?

Jay Olshanskys latest research suggests that American women with no high-school diploma have experienced relatively small life-span increases since the 1950s, while the life expectancy of highly educated women has soared since then. Today the best-educated Americans live 10 to 14 years longer than the least educated, on average. Nothing pops out of the data like the link between education and life expectancy, Olshansky says. The good news is that the share of the American population that is less educated is in gradual decline. The bad news is that lack of education seems even more lethal than it was in the past.

Education does not sync with life expectancy because reading Dostoyevsky lowers blood pressure; college is a proxy for other aspects of a persons life. Compared with the less educated, people with a bachelors degree have a higher income, smoke less, are less likely to be overweight, and are more likely to follow doctors instructions. College graduates are more likely to marry and stay married, and marriage is good for your health: the wedded suffer fewer heart attacks and strokes than the single or divorced.

Many of the social developments that improve longevitybetter sanitation, less pollution, improved emergency roomsare provided to all on an egalitarian basis. But todays public high schools are dreadful in many inner-city areas, and broadly across states including California. Legislatures are cutting support for public universities, while the cost of higher education rises faster than inflation. These issues are discussed in terms of fairness; perhaps health should be added as a concern in the debate. If education is the trump card of longevity, the top quintile may pull away from the rest.

Society is dominated by the oldold political leaders, old judges. With each passing year, as longevity increases, the intergenerational imbalance worsens. The old demand benefits for which the young must pay, while people in their 20s become disenchanted, feeling that the deck is stacked against them. National debt increases at an alarming rate. Innovation and fresh thinking disappear as energies are devoted to defending current pie-slicing arrangements.

This isnt a prediction about the future of the United States, but rather a description of Japan right now. The Land of the Rising Sun is the worlds grayest nation. Already the median age is 45 (in the U.S., by comparison, it is 37), and it will jump to 55 by 2040. As Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the American Enterprise Institute, has noted, median age in the retirement haven of Palm Springs, California, is currently 52 years. Japan is on its way to becoming an entire nation of Palm Springs residents.

The number of Americans 65 or older could reach 108 million in 2050. Thats like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors.

Japans grayness stems from a very low fertility ratenot enough babies to bring down the average ageand strict barriers against immigration. The United States remains a nation of immigrants, and because of the continual inflow of young people, the U.S. median age wont go haywire even as life expectancy rises: the United Nations World Population Prospects estimates that the U.S. median age will rise to 41 by mid-century.

Nonetheless, that Japan is the first major nation to turn gray, and is also the deepest in debt, is not encouraging. Once, Japan was feared as the Godzilla of global trade, but as it grayed, its economy entered a long cycle of soft growth. In 2012 the centrist Democratic Party of Japan, then holding the Diet, backed a tax whose goal was not to pay down what the country owes but merely to slow the rate of borrowing. The party promptly got the heave-ho from voters. Last year Japans public debt hit $10 trillion, twice the nations GDP.

Sheila Smith, a Japan specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me, Young people in Japan have some of the worlds worst voter-participation rates. They think the old have the system so rigged in their favor, theres no point in political activity. The young dont seem excited by the future. News accounts of young Japanese becoming so apathetic that theyve lost interest in having sex sound hard to believe, but may bear some truth.

Young urban Japanese surely are aware that their elders are ringing up bills to be handed to them, but theyre also aware that if funding for the retired is cut, Grandma may want to move into their very small apartment. As life expectancy rises, a Japanese person entering the happy-go-lucky phase of early adulthood may find that parents and grandparents both expect to be looked after. Because the only child is common in Japans newest generation, a big cast of aging people may turn to one young person for financial support or caregiving or both. Acceding to public borrowing may have become, to young Japanese, a way to keep older generations out of the apartmenteven if it means crushing national debt down the road.

That America may become more like Japansteadily older, with rising debt and declining economic growthis unsettling. From the second half of the George W. Bush administration until 2013, U.S. national debt more than doubled. The federal government borrowed like there was no tomorrow. The debt binge, for which leaders of both political parties bear blame, was a prelude to the retirement of the Baby Boomers. Tomorrow has a way of coming.

Suppose the escalator slows, and conservative assumptions about life expectancy prevail. In a 2009 study, Olshansky projected future demographics under the hit a wall scenario. The number of Americans 65 or older, 43 million today, could reach 108 million in 2050that would be like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors. The oldest old cohort, those 85 and older, may increase at least fivefold, to more than 6 percent of the U.S. citizenry. Olshansky projected that by 2050, life expectancy will extend three to eight years past the age used by the Social Security Administration to assess the solvency of its system, while forecasting that by 2050, Medicare and Social Security will rack up between $3.2 trillion and $8.3 trillion in unfunded obligations. (State and local governments have at least another $1 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities.) These disconcerting numbers flow from the leading analyst who thinks that the life-span increase is slowing down.

When President Obama took office, Social Securitys trustees said the current benefits structure was funded until 2037. Now the Congressional Budget Office says the year of reckoning may come as soon as 2031. States may be funding their pension obligations using fuzzy math: New York issues promissory notes; Illinois and New Jersey sell debt instruments distressingly similar to junk bonds. Many private pension plans are underfunded, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which on paper appears to insure them, is an accident looking for a place to happen. Twice in the past three years, Congress has voted to allow corporations to delay contributions to pension plans. This causes them to pay more taxes in the present year, giving Congress more to spend, while amplifying problems down the road. Social Securitys disability fund may fail as soon as late 2016. Medicare spending is rising faster than Social Security spending, and is harder to predict. Projections show the main component of Medicare, its hospital fund, failing by 2030.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the next decade, all federal spending growth will come from entitlementsmainly Social Security and Medicareand from interest on the national debt. The nonpartisan think tank Third Way has calculated that at the beginning of the Kennedy presidency, the federal government spent $2.50 on public investmentsinfrastructure, education, and researchfor every $1 it spent on entitlements. By 2022, Third Way predicts, the government will spend $5 on entitlements for every $1 on public investments. Infrastructure, education, and research lead to economic growth; entitlement subsidies merely allow the nation to tread water.

If health span can be improved, the costs of aging-related disability may be manageable. Not that long ago, vast sums were spent on iron lungs and sanitariums for treatment of polio: preventing the disease has proved much less expensive than treating it. If chronic ailments related to aging can be prevented or significantly delayed, big-ticket line items in Medicare might not go off the rails.

But if health span does not improve, longer life could make disability in aging an economic crisis. Today, Medicare and Medicaid spend about $150 billion annually on Alzheimers patients. Absent progress against aging, the number of people with Alzheimers could treble by 2050, with society paying as much for Alzheimers care as for the current defense budget.

Many disabilities associated with advanced years cannot be addressed with pharmaceuticals or high-tech procedures; caregivers are required. Providing personal care for an aged invalid is a task few wish to undertake. Already many lists of careers with the most job openings are headed by caregiver or nurses aide, professions in which turnover is high.

As longevity increases, so too does the number of living grandparents. Families that once might have had one oldest old relative find themselves with three or four, all expecting care or money. At the same time, traditional family trees are being replaced with diagrams that resemble maps of the London Underground. Will children of blended families feel the same obligation to care for aging stepparents as they feel for biological parents? Just the entry of the phrase birth parent into the national lexicon suggests the magnitude of the change.

With Japan at the leading edge of lengthening life expectancy, its interest in robotics can be eerie. Foxconn, the Asian electronics giant, is manufacturing for the Japanese market a creepy mechanized thing named Pepper that is intended to provide company for the elderly. More-sophisticated devices may be in store. A future in which large numbers of very old, incapacitated people stare into the distance as robot attendants click and hum would be a bad science-fiction movie if it didnt stand a serious chance of happening.

As the population ages, so do the political powers that beand theyre aging in place. Computerized block-by-block voting analysis and shameless gerrymanderingMarylands new sixth congressional district is such a strange shape, it would have embarrassed Elbridge Gerrylock incumbents into power as never before. Campaign-finance laws appear to promote reform, but in fact have been rigged to discourage challengers. Between rising life expectancy and the mounting power of incumbency, both houses of Congress are the oldest theyve ever been: the average senator is 62 years old; the average representative, 57.

A graying Congress would be expected to be concerned foremost with protection of the status quo. Government may grow sclerotic at the very time the aging of the populace demands new ideas. Theres already a tremendous advantage to incumbency, one experienced political operative told me. As people live longer, incumbents will become more entrenched. Strom Thurmond might not be unusual anymore. Many from both parties could cling to power too long, freezing out fresh thinking. It wont be good for democracy. The speaker was no starry-eyed radical: he was Karl Rove.

Now think of the Supreme Court as life expectancy increases. The nine justices on the first Court sat an average of nine years; the last nine to depart, an average of 27 years. John Paul Stevens, the most recent to retire, was a justice for 35 years. If Clarence Thomas lives to the actuarial life expectancy of a male his current age, he could be a Supreme Court justice for 40 years.

The Framers would be aghast at the idea of a small cadre of unelected potentates lording it over the body politic for decades. When the Constitution was written, no one could have anticipated how much life span would increase, nor how much power the Supreme Court would accrue. If democracy is to remain vibrant as society ages, campaign laws must change to help challengers stand a chance versus incumbents, and the Constitution must be amended to impose a term limit on the Supreme Court, so confirmation as a justice stops being a lifetime appointment to royalty.

In 1940, the typical American who reached age 65 would ultimately spend about 17 percent of his or her life retired. Now the figure is 22 percent, and still rising. Yet Social Security remains structured as if longevity were stuck in a previous century. The early-retirement option, added by Congress in 1961start drawing at age 62, though with lower benefitsis appealing if life is short, but backfires as life span extends. People who opt for early Social Security may reach their 80s having burned through savings, and face years of living on a small amount rather than the full benefit they might have received. Polls show that Americans consistently underestimate how long they will livea convenient assumption that justifies retiring early and spending now, while causing dependency over the long run.

James Vaupel has warned that refusing to acknowledge longevitys steady march distorts peoples decisions about how much to save and when to retire and gives license to politicians to postpone painful adjustments to Social Security. Ronald Reagan was the last president to push through legislation to account for life-span changes. His administration increased the future eligible age of full Social Security benefits from 65 to 66 or 67, depending on ones birth year. Perhaps 99 percent of members of Congress would agree in private that retirement economics must change; none will touch this third rail. Generating more Social Security revenue by lifting the payroll-tax cap, currently $117,000, is the sole politically attractive option, because only the well-to-do would be impacted. But the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded that even this soak-the-rich option is insufficient to prevent insolvency for Social Security. At least one other change, such as later retirement or revised cost-of-living formulas, is required. A fair guess is that the government will do nothing about Social Security reform until a crisis strikesand then make panicked, ill-considered moves that foresight might have avoided.

Americans may decry government gridlock, but they cant blame anyone else for their own decisions. Peoples retirement savings simply must increase, though this means financial self-discipline, which Americans are not known for. Beyond that, most individuals will likely need to take a new view of what retirement should be: not a toggle switchno work at all, after years of full-time laborbut a continuum on which a person gradually downshifts to half-time, then to working now and then. Lets call it the retirement track rather than retirement: a phase of continuing to earn and save as full-time work winds down.

Widespread adoption of a retirement track would necessitate changes in public policy and in employers attitudes. Banks dont think in terms of smallish loans to help a person in the second half of life start a home-based business, but such lending might be vital to a graying population. Many employers are required to continue offering health insurance to those who stay on the job past 65, even though they are eligible for Medicare. Employers premiums for these workers are much higher than for young workers, which means employers may have a logical reason to want anyone past 65 off the payroll. Ending this requirement would make seniors more attractive to employers.

Many people may find continuing to work but under the lower-stress circumstances of part-time employment to be preferable to a gold watch, then idleness. Gradual downshifting could help ease aging people into volunteer service roles, where theres never any end of things to do. The retirement track could be more appealing than traditional retirement. A longer health span will be essential to making it possible.

Understanding the evolutionary biology of aging might help the quest for improved health span. Each cell of the body contains DNA code for a fresh, healthy cell, yet that blueprint is not called on as we grow old. Evolutionists including Alfred Russel Wallace have toyed with the idea of programmed deaththe notion that natural selection wants old animals to die in order to free up resources for younger animals, which may carry evolved genetic structures. Current thinking tends to hold that rather than trying to make older animals die, natural selection simply has no mechanism to reward longevity.

Felipe Sierra, a researcher at the National Institute on Aging, says, Evolution doesnt care about you past your reproductive age. It doesnt want you either to live longer or to die, it just doesnt care. From the standpoint of natural selection, an animal that has finished reproducing and performed the initial stage of raising young might as well be eaten by something, since any favorable genetic quality that expresses later in life cannot be passed along. Because a mutation that favors long life cannot make an animal more likely to succeed at reproducing, selection pressure works only on the young.

A generation ago, theorists suspected that menopause was an evolutionary adaptation exclusive to the Homo genuswomen stop expending energy to bear children so they can care longer for those already born, as mothers and grandmothers. This, the theory goes, increases childrens chances of survival, allowing them to pass along family genes. Yet recent research has shown that animals including lions and baboons also go through menopause, which increasingly looks more like a malfunction of aging cells than a quality brought about by selection pressure. As for the idea that grandparents help their grandchildren prosper, favoring longevitythe grandmother effectthis notion, too, has fared poorly in research.

The key point is: if nothing that happens after a person reproduces bears on which genes flourish, then nature has never selected for qualities that extend longevity. Evolution favors strength, intelligence, reflexes, sexual appeal; it does not favor keeping an organism running a long time. For example, a growing body needs calcium, so nature selected for the ability to metabolize this element. In later life, calcium causes stiffening of the arteries, a problem that evolution has no mechanism to correct, since hardened arteries do not occur until its too late for natural selection to side with any beneficial mutation. Testosterone is essential to a youthful man; in an aging man, it can be a factor in prostate cancer. Evolution never selected for a defense against that.

Similar examples abound; the most important may be senescent cells. Natural selection probably favors traits that reduce the risk of cancer, because cancer can strike the young before reproductive age is reached. Senescence doesnt occur until evolution is no longer in play, so natural selection has left all mammal bodies with a defect that leads to aging and death.

If senescence could be slowed, men and women hardly would become immortal. Violence, accidents, and contagious disease still would kill. Even if freed of chronic conditions, eventually our bodies would fail.

But it is not credulous futurism to suppose that drugs or even genetic therapy may alter the human body in ways that extend longevity. Brian Kennedy, of the Buck Institute, notes, Because natural selection did not improve us for aging, theres a chance for rapid gains. The latest BMWs are close to perfect. How can an engineer improve on them? But the Model T would be easy to improve on now. When young, genetically we are BMWs. In aging, we become Model Ts. The evolutionary improvements havent started yet.

In the wild, young animals outnumber the old; humanity is moving toward a society where the elderly outnumber the recently arrived. Such a world will differ from todays in many outward aspects. Warm-weather locations are likely to grow even more popular, though with climate change, warm-weather locations may come to include Buffalo, New York. Ratings for football, which is loud and aggressive, may wane, while baseball and theatergoing enjoy a renaissance. The shift back toward cities, initiated by the educated young, may give way to another car-centric suburban and exurban growth phase.

The university, a significant aspect of the contemporary economy, centuries ago was a place where the fresh-faced would be prepared for a short life; today the university is a place where adults watch children and grandchildren walk to Pomp and Circumstance. The university of the future may be one that serves all ages. Colleges will reposition themselves economically as offering just as much to the aging as to the adolescent: courses priced individually for later-life knowledge seekers; lots of campus events of interest to students, parents, and the community as a whole; a pleasant college-town atmosphere to retire near. In decades to come, college professors may address students ranging from age 18 to 80.

Products marketed to senior citizens are already a major presence on television, especially during newscasts and weathercasts. Advertising pitched to the elderly may come to dominate the airwaves, assuming there still is television. But consumerism might decline. Neurological studies of healthy aging people show that the parts of the brain associated with reward-seeking light up less as time goes on. Whether its hot new fashions or hot-fudge sundaes, older people on the whole dont desire acquisitions as much as the young and middle-aged do. Denounced for generations by writers and clergy, wretched excess has repelled all assaults. Longer life spans may at last be the counterweight to materialism.

If health span extends, the nuclear family might be seen as less central. Bearing and raising children would no longer be the all-consuming life event.

Deeper changes may be in store as well. People in their late teens to late 20s are far more likely to commit crimes than people of other ages; as society grays, the decline of crime should continue. Violence in all guises should continue downward, too. Horrible headlines from Afghanistan or Syria are exceptions to an overall trend toward less warfare and less low-intensity conflict. As Steven Pinker showed in the 2011 book Better Angels of Our Nature, total casualties of combat, including indirect casualties from the economic harm associated with fighting, have been declining, even as the global population has risen. In 1950, one person in 5,000 worldwide died owing to combat; by 2010, this measure was down to one person in 300,000. In recent years, far more people have been killed by car crashes than by battle. Simultaneously, per capita military expenditure has shrunk. My favorite statistic about the world: the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports that, adjusting to todays dollars, global per capita military spending has declined by one-third in the past quarter century.

The end of the Cold War, and the proxy conflicts it spawned, is an obvious influence on the subsiding of warfare, as is economic interconnectedness. But aging may also be a factor. Counterculture optics notwithstanding, polls showed that the young were more likely to support the Vietnam War than the old were; the young were more likely to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq, too. Research by John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University, suggests that as people age, they become less enthusiastic about war. Perhaps this is because older people tend to be wiser than the youngand couldnt the world use more wisdom?

Older people also report, to pollsters and psychologists, a greater sense of well-being than the young and middle-aged do. By the latter phases of life, material and romantic desires have been attained or given up on; passions have cooled; and for most, a rich store of memories has been compiled. Among the core contentions of the well-being research of the Princeton University psychologist Daniel Kahneman is that in the end, memories are all you keepwhats in the mind matters more than what you own. Regardless of net worth, the old are well off in this sense.

Should large numbers of people enjoy longer lives in decent health, the overall well-being of the human family may rise substantially. In As You Like It, Jaques declares, Man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. The first five embody promise and powerinfant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, and success. The late phases are entirely negativepantaloon, a period as the butt of jokes for looking old and becoming impotent; then second childishness, a descent into senile dependency. As life expectancy and health span increase, the seven ages may demand revision, with the late phases of life seen as a positive experience of culmination and contentment.

Further along may be a rethinking of life as better structured around friendship than around family, the basic unit of human society since the mists of prehistory. In the brief life of previous centuries, all a man or woman could hope to accomplish was to bear and raise children; enervation followed. Today, life is longer, but an education-based economy requires greater investments in childrencontemporary parents are still assisting offspring well into a childs 20s. As before, when the child-rearing finally is done, decline commences.

But if health span extends, the nuclear family might be seen as less central. For most people, bearing and raising children would no longer be the all-consuming life event. After child-rearing, a phase of decades of friendships could awaitpotentially more fulfilling than the emotionally charged but fast-burning bonds of youth. A change such as this might have greater ramifications for society than changes in work schedules or health-care economics.

Regardless of where increasing life expectancy leads, the direction will be into the unknownfor society and for the natural world. Felipe Sierra, the researcher at the National Institute on Aging, puts it this way: The human ethical belief that death should be postponed as long as possible does not exist in naturefrom which we are now, in any case, diverging.

Read more from the original source:
What Happens When We All Live to 100? - The Atlantic

Happiness – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: September 23, 2016 at 9:42 pm

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.[1] Happy mental states may also reflect judgements by a person about their overall well-being.[2] A variety of biological, psychological, economic, religious and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Various research groups, including positive psychology and happiness economics are employing the scientific method to research questions about what "happiness" is, and how it might be attained.

The United Nations declared 20 March the International Day of Happiness to recognise the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics. There has been a transition over time from emphasis on the happiness of virtue to the virtue of happiness.[3] Since the turn of the millennium, the human flourishing approach, advanced particularly by Amartya Sen has attracted increasing interest in psychological, especially prominent in the work of Martin Seligman, Ed Diener and Ruut Veenhoven, and international development and medical research in the work of Paul Anand.[citation needed]

A widely discussed political value expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, written by Thomas Jefferson, is the universal right to "the pursuit of happiness."[4] This suggests a subjective interpretation but one that nonetheless goes beyond emotions alone.[citation needed]

Happiness is a fuzzy concept and can mean many different things to many people. Part of the challenge of a science of happiness is to identify different concepts of happiness, and where applicable, split them into their components. Related concepts are well-being, quality of life and flourishing. At least one author defines happiness as contentment.[5] Some commentators focus on the difference between the hedonistic tradition of seeking pleasant and avoiding unpleasant experiences, and the eudaimonic tradition of living life in a full and deeply satisfying way.[6]

The 2012 World Happiness Report stated that in subjective well-being measures, the primary distinction is between cognitive life evaluations and emotional reports.[7] Happiness is used in both life evaluation, as in How happy are you with your life as a whole?, and in emotional reports, as in How happy are you now?, and people seem able to use happiness as appropriate in these verbal contexts. Using these measures, the World Happiness Report identifies the countries with the highest levels of happiness.[citation needed]

Since the 1960s, happiness research has been conducted in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology, clinical and medical research and happiness economics. During the past two decades, however, the field of happiness studies has expanded drastically in terms of scientific publications, and has produced many different views on causes of happiness, and on factors that correlate with happiness,[8] but no validated method has been found to substantially improve long-term happiness in a meaningful way for most people.

Sonja Lyubomirsky concludes in her book The How of Happiness that 50 percent of a given human's happiness level is genetically determined (based on twin studies), 10 percent is affected by life circumstances and situation, and a remaining 40 percent of happiness is subject to self-control.[citation needed]

The results of the 75-year Grant Study of Harvard undergraduates show a high correlation of loving relationship, especially with parents, with later life wellbeing.[9]

In the 2nd Edition of the Handbook of Emotions (2000), evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby say that happiness comes from "encountering unexpected positive events". In the 3rd Edition of the Handbook of Emotions (2008), Michael Lewis says "happiness can be elicited by seeing a significant other". According to Mark Leary, as reported in a November 1995 issue of Psychology Today, "we are happiest when basking in the acceptance and praise of others". Sara Algoe and Jonathan Haidt say that "happiness" may be the label for a family of related emotional states, such as joy, amusement, satisfaction, gratification, euphoria, and triumph.[10]

It has been argued that money cannot effectively "buy" much happiness unless it is used in certain ways.[11] "Beyond the point at which people have enough to comfortably feed, clothe, and house themselves, having more money - even a lot more money - makes them only a little bit happier."[according to whom?] A Harvard Business School study found that "spending money on others actually makes us happier than spending it on ourselves".[12]

Meditation has been found to lead to high activity in the brain's left prefrontal cortex, which in turn has been found to correlate with happiness.[13]

Psychologist Martin Seligman asserts that happiness is not solely derived from external, momentary pleasures,[14] and provides the acronym PERMA to summarize Positive Psychology's correlational findings: humans seem happiest when they have

There have also been some studies of how religion relates to happiness. Causal relationships remain unclear, but more religion is seen in happier people. This correlation may be the result of community membership and not necessarily belief in religion itself. Another component may have to do with ritual.[15]

Abraham Harold Maslow, an American professor of psychology, founded humanistic psychology in the 1930s. A visual aid he created to explain his theory, which he called the hierarchy of needs, is a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological, and physical. When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid, he reaches self-actualization. Beyond the routine of needs fulfillment, Maslow envisioned moments of extraordinary experience, known as peak experiences, profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, during which a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient, and yet a part of the world. This is similar to the flow concept of Mihly Cskszentmihlyi.[citation needed]

Self-determination theory relates intrinsic motivation to three needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

Cross-sectional studies worldwide support a relationship between happiness and fruit and vegetable intake. Those eating fruits and vegetables each day have a higher likelihood of being classified as very happy, suggesting a strong and positive correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption and happiness.[16] Whether it be in South Korea,[17] Iran,[18] Chile,[19] USA,[20] or UK,[21] greater fruit and vegetable consumption had a positive association with greater happiness, independent of factors such as smoking, exercise, body mass index, or socio-economic factors.

Religion and happiness have been studied by a number of researchers, and religion features many elements addressing the components of happiness, as identified by positive psychology. Its association with happiness is facilitated in part by the social connections of organized religion,[22] and by the neuropsychological benefits of prayer[23] and belief.

There are a number of mechanisms through which religion may make a person happier, including social contact and support that result from religious pursuits, the mental activity that comes with optimism and volunteering, learned coping strategies that enhance one's ability to deal with stress, and psychological factors such as "reason for being." It may also be that religious people engage in behaviors related to good health, such as less substance abuse, since the use of psychotropic substances is sometimes considered abuse.[24][25][26][27][28][29]

The Handbook of Religion and Health describes a survey by Feigelman (1992) that examined happiness in Americans who have given up religion, in which it was found that there was little relationship between religious disaffiliation and unhappiness.[30] A survey by Kosmin & Lachman (1993), also cited in this handbook, indicates that people with no religious affiliation appear to be at greater risk for depressive symptoms than those affiliated with a religion.[31] A review of studies by 147 independent investigators found, "the correlation between religiousness and depressive symptoms was -.096, indicating that greater religiousness is mildly associated with fewer symptoms."[32]

The Legatum Prosperity Index reflects the repeated finding of research on the science of happiness that there is a positive link between religious engagement and wellbeing: people who report that God is very important in their lives are on average more satisfied with their lives, after accounting for their income, age and other individual characteristics.[33]

Surveys by Gallup, the National Opinion Research Centre and the Pew Organisation conclude that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religiously committed people.[34] An analysis of over 200 social studies contends that "high religiousness predicts a lower risk of depression and drug abuse and fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of satisfaction with sex life and a sense of well-being. However, the links between religion and happiness are always very broad in nature, highly reliant on scripture and small sample number. To that extent there is a much larger connection between religion and suffering (Lincoln 1034)."[32] And a review of 498 studies published in peer-reviewed journals concluded that a large majority of them showed a positive correlation between religious commitment and higher levels of perceived well-being and self-esteem and lower levels of hypertension, depression, and clinical delinquency.[35] A meta-analysis of 34 recent studies published between 1990 and 2001 found that religiosity has a salutary relationship with psychological adjustment, being related to less psychological distress, more life satisfaction, and better self-actualization.[36] Finally, a recent systematic review of 850 research papers on the topic concluded that "the majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, drug/alcohol use/abuse."[37]

However, there remains strong disagreement among scholars about whether the effects of religious observance, particularly attending church or otherwise belonging to religious groups, is due to the spiritual or the social aspectsi.e. those who attend church or belong to similar religious organizations may well be receiving only the effects of the social connections involved. While these benefits are real enough, they may thus be the same one would gain by joining other, secular groups, clubs, or similar organizations.[38]

Terror management theory maintains that people suffer cognitive dissonance (anxiety) when they are reminded of their inevitable death. Through terror management, individuals are motivated to seek consonant elements symbols which make sense of mortality and death in satisfactory ways (i.e. boosting self-esteem).

Research has found that strong belief in religious or secular meaning systems affords psychological security and hope. It is moderates (e.g. agnostics, slightly religious individuals) who likely suffer the most anxiety from their meaning systems. Religious meaning systems are especially adapted to manage death anxiety because they are unlikely to be disconfirmed (for various reasons), they are all encompassing, and they promise literal immortality.[39][40]

Whether emotional effects are beneficial or adverse seems to vary with the nature of the belief. Belief in a benevolent God is associated with lower incidence of general anxiety, social anxiety, paranoia, obsession, and compulsion whereas belief in a punitive God is associated with greater symptoms. (An alternative explanation is that people seek out beliefs that fit their psychological and emotional states.)[41]

Citizens of the world's poorest countries are the most likely to be religious, and researchers suggest this is because of religion's powerful coping abilities.[42][43] Luke Galen also supports terror management theory as a partial explanation of the above findings. Galen describes evidence (including his own research) that the benefits of religion are due to strong convictions and membership in a social group.[44][45][46]

Happiness forms a central theme of Buddhist teachings.[47] For ultimate freedom from suffering, the Noble Eightfold Path leads its practitioner to Nirvana, a state of everlasting peace. Ultimate happiness is only achieved by overcoming craving in all forms. More mundane forms of happiness, such as acquiring wealth and maintaining good friendships, are also recognized as worthy goals for lay people (see sukha). Buddhism also encourages the generation of loving kindness and compassion, the desire for the happiness and welfare of all beings.[48][49][unreliable source?]

Happiness or simcha (Hebrew: ) in Judaism is considered an important element in the service of God.[50] The biblical verse "worship The Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs," (Psalm 100:2) stresses joy in the service of God.[citation needed] A popular teaching by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a 19th-century Chassidic Rabbi, is "Mitzvah Gedolah Le'hiyot Besimcha Tamid," it is a great mitzvah (commandment) to always be in a state of happiness. When a person is happy they are much more capable of serving God and going about their daily activities than when depressed or upset.[51]

The primary meaning of "happiness" in various European languages involves good fortune, chance or happening. The meaning in Greek philosophy, however, refers primarily to ethics. In Catholicism, the ultimate end of human existence consists in felicity, Latin equivalent to the Greek eudaimonia, or "blessed happiness", described by the 13th-century philosopher-theologian Thomas Aquinas as a Beatific Vision of God's essence in the next life.[52] Human complexities, like reason and cognition, can produce well-being or happiness, but such form is limited and transitory. In temporal life, the contemplation of God, the infinitely Beautiful, is the supreme delight of the will. Beatitudo, or perfect happiness, as complete well-being, is to be attained not in this life, but the next.[53]

While religion is often formalised and community-oriented, spirituality tends to be individually based and not as formalised. In a 2014 study, 320 children, ages 812, in both public and private schools, were given a Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire assessing the correlation between spirituality and happiness. Spirituality and not religious practices (praying, attending church services) correlated positively with the child's happiness; the more spiritual the child was, the happier the child was. Spirituality accounted for about 326% of the variance in happiness.[54]

The Chinese Confucian thinker Mencius, who 2300 years ago sought to give advice to the ruthless political leaders of the warring states period, was convinced that the mind played a mediating role between the "lesser self" (the physiological self) and the "greater self" (the moral self) and that getting the priorities right between these two would lead to sage-hood. He argued that if we did not feel satisfaction or pleasure in nourishing one's "vital force" with "righteous deeds", that force would shrivel up (Mencius,6A:15 2A:2). More specifically, he mentions the experience of intoxicating joy if one celebrates the practice of the great virtues, especially through music.[55]

Al-Ghazali (10581111) the Muslim Sufi thinker wrote the Alchemy of Happiness, a manual of spiritual instruction throughout the Muslim world and widely practiced today.[citation needed]

The Hindu thinker Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras, wrote quite exhaustively on the psychological and ontological roots of bliss.[56]

In the Nicomachean Ethics, written in 350 BCE, Aristotle stated that happiness (also being well and doing well) is the only thing that humans desire for its own sake, unlike riches, honor, health or friendship. He observed that men sought riches, or honor, or health not only for their own sake but also in order to be happy. Note that eudaimonia, the term we translate as "happiness", is for Aristotle an activity rather than an emotion or a state.[57] Thus understood, the happy life is the good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way. Specifically, Aristotle argues that the good life is the life of excellent rational activity. He arrives at this claim with the Function Argument. Basically, if it's right, every living thing has a function, that which it uniquely does. For humans, Aristotle contends, our function is to reason, since it is that alone that we uniquely do. And performing one's function well, or excellently, is one's good. Thus, the life of excellent rational activity is the happy life. Aristotle does not leave it that, however. For he argues that there is a second best life for those incapable of excellent rational activity.This second best life is the life of moral virtue.[citation needed]

Many ethicists make arguments for how humans should behave, either individually or collectively, based on the resulting happiness of such behavior. Utilitarians, such as John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, advocated the greatest happiness principle as a guide for ethical behavior.[citation needed]

Friedrich Nietzsche savagely critiqued the English Utilitarians' focus on attaining the greatest happiness, stating "Man does not strive for happiness, only the Englishman does." Nietzsche meant that the making happiness one's ultimate goal, the aim of one's existence "makes one contemptible;" Nietzsche instead yearned for a culture that would set higher, more difficult goals than "mere happiness." Thus Nietzsche introduces the quasi-dystopic figure of the "last man" as a kind of thought experiment against the utilitarians and happiness-seekers; these small, "last men" who seek after only their own pleasure and health, avoiding all danger, exertion, difficulty, challenge, struggle are meant to seem contemptible to Nietzsche's reader. Nietzsche instead wants us to consider the value of what is difficult, what can only be earned through struggle, difficulty, pain and thus to come to see the affirmative value suffering and unhappiness truly play in creating everything of great worth in life, including all the highest achievements of human culture, not least of all philosophy.[58][59]

According to St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, man's last end is happiness: "all men agree in desiring the last end, which is happiness."[60] However, where utilitarians focused on reasoning about consequences as the primary tool for reaching happiness, Aquinas agreed with Aristotle that happiness cannot be reached solely through reasoning about consequences of acts, but also requires a pursuit of good causes for acts, such as habits according to virtue.[61] In turn, which habits and acts that normally lead to happiness is according to Aquinas caused by laws: natural law and divine law. These laws, in turn, were according to Aquinas caused by a first cause, or God.[citation needed]

According to Aquinas, happiness consists in an "operation of the speculative intellect": "Consequently happiness consists principally in such an operation, viz. in the contemplation of Divine things." And, "the last end cannot consist in the active life, which pertains to the practical intellect." So: "Therefore the last and perfect happiness, which we await in the life to come, consists entirely in contemplation. But imperfect happiness, such as can be had here, consists first and principally in contemplation, but secondarily, in an operation of the practical intellect directing human actions and passions."[62]

Common market health measures such as GDP and GNP have been used as a measure of successful policy. On average richer nations tend to be happier than poorer nations, but this effect seems to diminish with wealth.[63][64] This has been explained by the fact that the dependency is not linear but logarithmic, i.e., the same percentual increase in the GNP produces the same increase in happiness for wealthy countries as for poor countries.[65][66][67][68] Increasingly, academic economists and international economic organisations are arguing for and developing multi-dimensional dashboards which combine subjective and objective indicators to provide a more direct and explicit assessment of human wellbeing. Work by Paul Anand and colleagues helps to highlight the fact that there many different contributors to adult wellbeing, that happiness judgement reflect, in part, the presence of salient constraints, and that fairness, autonomy, community and engagement are key aspects of happiness and wellbeing throughout the life course.

Libertarian think tank Cato Institute claims that economic freedom correlates strongly with happiness[69] preferably within the context of a western mixed economy, with free press and a democracy. According to certain standards, East European countries (ruled by Communist parties) were less happy than Western ones, even less happy than other equally poor countries.[70]

However, much empirical research in the field of happiness economics, such as that by Benjamin Radcliff, professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, supports the contention that (at least in democratic countries) life satisfaction is strongly and positively related to the social democratic model of a generous social safety net, pro-worker labor market regulations, and strong labor unions.[71] Similarly, there is evidence that public policies that reduce poverty and support a strong middle class, such as a higher minimum wage, strongly affects average levels of well-being.[72]

It has been argued that happiness measures could be used not as a replacement for more traditional measures, but as a supplement.[73] According to professor Edward Glaeser, people constantly make choices that decrease their happiness, because they have also more important aims. Therefore, the government should not decrease the alternatives available for the citizen by patronizing them but let the citizen keep a maximal freedom of choice.[74]

It has been argued that happiness at work is one of the driving forces behind positive outcomes at work, rather than just being a resultant product.[75]

Several scales have been used to measure happiness:

The UK began to measure national well being in 2012,[83] following Bhutan which already measured gross national happiness.[citation needed]

A correlation has been found between hormone levels and happiness. SSRIs, such as Prozac, are used to adjust the levels of seratonin in the clinically unhappy. Researchers, such as Alexander, have indicated that many peoples usage of narcotics may be the unwitting result of attempts to readjust hormone levels to cope with situations that make them unhappy.[84]

A positive relationship has been found between the volume of gray matter in the right precuneus area of the brain and the subject's subjective happiness score.[85] Interestingly meditation, including mindfulness, based interventions have been found to correlate with a significant gray matter increase within the precuneus.[86][87][88][89][90]

In 2005 a study conducted by Andrew Steptow and Michael Marmot at University College London, found that happiness is related to biological markers that play an important role in health.[91] The researchers aimed to analyze whether there was any association between well-being and three biological markers: heart rate, cortisol levels, and plasma fibrinogen levels. Interestingly, the participants who rated themselves the least happy had cortisol levels that were 48% higher than those who rated themselves as the most happy. The least happy subjects also had a large plasma fibrinogen response to two stress-inducing tasks: the Stroop test, and tracing a star seen in a mirror image. Repeating their studies three years later Steptow and Marmot found that participants who scored high in positive emotion continued to have lower levels of cortisol and fibrinogen, as well as a lower heart rate.[citation needed]

In Happy People Live Longer (2011),[92] Bruno Frey reported that happy people live 14% longer, increasing longevity 7.5 to 10 years and Richard Davidson's bestseller (2012) The Emotional Life of Your Brain argues that positive emotion and happiness benefit long-term health.[citation needed]

However, in 2015 a study building on earlier research found that happiness has no effect on mortality.[93] "This "basic belief that if you're happier you're going to live longer. That's just not true."[94] Consistent results are that "apart from good health, happy people were more likely to be older, not smoke, have fewer educational qualifications, do strenuous exercise, live with a partner, do religious or group activities and sleep for eight hours a night."[94]

Happiness does however seem to have a protective impact on immunity. The tendency to experience positive emotions was associated with greater resistance to colds and flu in interventional studies irrespective of other factors such as smoking, drinking, exercise, and sleep.[95][96]

Despite a large body of positive psychological research into the relationship between happiness and productivity,[97][98][99] happiness at work has traditionally been seen as a potential by-product of positive outcomes at work, rather than a pathway to success in business. However a growing number of scholars, including Boehm and Lyubomirsky, argue that it should be viewed as one of the major sources of positive outcomes in the workplace.[75][100]

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Caligula – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: September 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Caligula ()[1] was the popular nickname of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (31 August AD 12 24 January AD 41), Roman emperor (AD 3741). Born Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus (not to be confused with Julius Caesar), Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's biological father was Germanicus, and he was the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius. The young Gaius earned the nickname "Caligula" (meaning "little soldier's boot", the diminutive form of caliga, hob-nailed military boot) from his father's soldiers while accompanying him during his campaigns in Germania.

When Germanicus died at Antioch in AD 19, his wife Agrippina the Elder returned with her six children to Rome, where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted the invitation to join the Emperor in AD 31 on the island of Capri, where Tiberius had withdrawn five years earlier. With the death of Tiberius in AD 37, Caligula succeeded his grand uncle and adoptive grandfather as emperor.

There are few surviving sources about the reign of Emperor Caligula, although he is described as a noble and moderate ruler during the first six months of his reign. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the Kingdom of Mauretania as a province.

In early AD 41, Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted: on the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorian Guard declared Caligula's uncle, Claudius, the next Roman emperor.

Gaius Julius Caesar (named in honor of his famous relative) was born in Antium (modern Anzio and Nettuno[2]) on 31 August 12 AD, the third of six surviving children born to Germanicus and his second cousin Agrippina the Elder.[3] Gaius had two older brothers, Nero and Drusus,[3] as well as three younger sisters, Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla and Julia Livilla.[3] He was also a nephew of Claudius, Germanicus' younger brother and future emperor.[4]

Agrippina the Elder was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder.[3] She was a granddaughter of Augustus and Scribonia on her mother's side. Through Agrippina, Augustus was the maternal great-grandfather of Gaius.[3]

As a boy of just two or three, Gaius accompanied his father, Germanicus, on campaigns in the north of Germania.[5] The soldiers were amused that Gaius was dressed in a miniature soldier's outfit, including boots and armour.[5] He was soon given his nickname Caligula, meaning "little (soldier's) boot" in Latin, after the small boots he wore.[6] Gaius, though, reportedly grew to dislike this nickname.[7]

Suetonius claims that Germanicus was poisoned in Syria by an agent of Tiberius, who viewed Germanicus as a political rival.[8]

After the death of his father, Caligula lived with his mother until her relations with Tiberius deteriorated.[9] Tiberius would not allow Agrippina to remarry for fear her husband would be a rival.[10] Agrippina and Caligula's brother, Nero, were banished in 29 AD on charges of treason.[11][12]

The adolescent Caligula was then sent to live with his great-grandmother (and Tiberius's mother) Livia.[9] After her death, he was sent to live with his grandmother Antonia.[9] In 30 AD, his brother, Drusus Caesar, was imprisoned on charges of treason and his brother Nero died in exile from either starvation or suicide.[12][13] Suetonius writes that after the banishment of his mother and brothers, Caligula and his sisters were nothing more than prisoners of Tiberius under the close watch of soldiers.[14]

In 31 AD, Caligula was remanded to the personal care of Tiberius on Capri, where he lived for six years.[9] To the surprise of many, Caligula was spared by Tiberius.[15] According to historians, Caligula was an excellent natural actor and, recognizing danger, hid all his resentment towards Tiberius.[9][16] An observer said of Caligula, "Never was there a better servant or a worse master!"[9][16]

Caligula claimed to have planned to kill Tiberius with a dagger in order to avenge his mother and brother: however, having brought the weapon into Tiberius's bedroom he did not kill the Emperor but instead threw the dagger down on the floor. Supposedly Tiberius knew of this but never dared to do anything about it.[17] Suetonius claims that Caligula was already cruel and vicious: he writes that, when Tiberius brought Caligula to Capri, his purpose was to allow Caligula to live in order that he "...prove the ruin of himself and of all men, and that he was rearing a viper for the Roman people and a Phaethon for the world."[18]

In 33 AD, Tiberius gave Caligula an honorary quaestorship, a position he held until his rise to emperor.[19] Meanwhile, both Caligula's mother and his brother Drusus died in prison.[20][21] Caligula was briefly married to Junia Claudilla, in 33, though she died in childbirth the following year.[22] Caligula spent time befriending the Praetorian prefect, Naevius Sutorius Macro, an important ally.[22] Macro spoke well of Caligula to Tiberius, attempting to quell any ill will or suspicion the Emperor felt towards Caligula.[23]

In 35 AD, Caligula was named joint heir to Tiberius's estate along with Tiberius Gemellus.[24]

When Tiberius died on 16 March 37 AD, his estate and the titles of the principate were left to Caligula and Tiberius's own grandson, Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs. Although Tiberius was 78 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still conjecture that he was murdered.[22][25]Tacitus writes that the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people,[25] while Suetonius writes that Caligula may have carried out the killing, though this is not recorded by any other ancient historian.[22] Seneca the elder and Philo, who both wrote during Tiberius's reign, as well as Josephus record Tiberius as dying a natural death.[26] Backed by Macro, Caligula had Tiberius's will nullified with regard to Gemellus on grounds of insanity, but otherwise carried out Tiberius's wishes.[27]

Caligula accepted the powers of the principate as conferred by the senate and entered Rome on 28 March amid a crowd that hailed him as "our baby" and "our star", among other nicknames.[28] Caligula is described as the first emperor who was admired by everyone in "all the world, from the rising to the setting sun."[29] Caligula was loved by many for being the beloved son of the popular Germanicus,[28] and because he was not Tiberius.[30] Suetonius said that over 160,000 animals were sacrificed during three months of public rejoicing to usher in the new reign.[31][32] Philo describes the first seven months of Caligula's reign as completely blissful.[33]

Caligula's first acts were said to be generous in spirit, though many were political in nature.[27] To gain support, he granted bonuses to the military, including the Praetorian Guard, city troops and the army outside Italy.[27] He destroyed Tiberius's treason papers, declared that treason trials were a thing of the past, and recalled those who had been sent into exile.[34] He helped those who had been harmed by the imperial tax system, banished certain sexual deviants, and put on lavish spectacles for the public, including gladiatorial games.[35][36] Caligula collected and brought back the bones of his mother and of his brothers and deposited their remains in the tomb of Augustus.[37]

In October 37 AD, Caligula fell seriously ill, or perhaps was poisoned. He soon recovered from his illness, but many believed that the illness turned the young emperor toward the diabolical: he started to kill off or exile those who were close to him or whom he saw as a serious threat. Perhaps his illness reminded him of his mortality and of the desire of others to advance into his place.[38] He had his cousin and adopted son Tiberius Gemellus executed an act that outraged Caligula's and Gemellus's mutual grandmother Antonia Minor. She is said to have committed suicide, although Suetonius hints that Caligula actually poisoned her. He had his father-in-law Marcus Junius Silanus and his brother-in-law Marcus Lepidus executed as well. His uncle Claudius was spared only because Caligula preferred to keep him as a laughing stock. His favorite sister Julia Drusilla died in 38 AD of a fever: his other two sisters, Livilla and Agrippina the Younger, were exiled. He hated being the grandson of Agrippa and slandered Augustus by repeating a falsehood that his mother was actually conceived as the result of an incestuous relationship between Augustus and his daughter Julia the Elder.[39]

In AD 38, Caligula focused his attention on political and public reform. He published the accounts of public funds, which had not been made public during the reign of Tiberius. He aided those who lost property in fires, abolished certain taxes, and gave out prizes to the public at gymnastic events. He allowed new members into the equestrian and senatorial orders.[40]

Perhaps most significantly, he restored the practice of democratic elections.[41]Cassius Dio said that this act "though delighting the rabble, grieved the sensible, who stopped to reflect, that if the offices should fall once more into the hands of the many... many disasters would result".[42]

During the same year, though, Caligula was criticized for executing people without full trials and for forcing his supporter Macro to commit suicide.[43]

According to Cassius Dio, a financial crisis emerged in AD 39.[43]Suetonius places the beginning of this crisis in 38.[44] Caligula's political payments for support, generosity and extravagance had exhausted the state's treasury. Ancient historians state that Caligula began falsely accusing, fining and even killing individuals for the purpose of seizing their estates.[45]

Historians describe a number of Caligula's other desperate measures. In order to gain funds, Caligula asked the public to lend the state money.[46] He levied taxes on lawsuits, weddings and prostitution.[47] Caligula began auctioning the lives of the gladiators at shows.[45][48] Wills that left items to Tiberius were reinterpreted to leave the items instead to Caligula.[49] Centurions who had acquired property by plunder were forced to turn over spoils to the state.[49]

The current and past highway commissioners were accused of incompetence and embezzlement and forced to repay money.[49] According to Suetonius, in the first year of Caligula's reign he squandered 2.7 billion sesterces that Tiberius had amassed.[50] His nephew Nero Caesar both envied and admired the fact that Gaius had run through the vast wealth Tiberius had left him in so short a time.[51]

A brief famine of unknown extent occurred, perhaps caused by this financial crisis, but Suetonius claims it resulted from Caligula's seizure of public carriages;[45] according to Seneca, grain imports were disturbed because Caligula repurposed grain boats for a pontoon bridge.[52]

Despite financial difficulties, Caligula embarked on a number of construction projects during his reign. Some were for the public good, though others were for himself.

Josephus describes Caligula's improvements to the harbours at Rhegium and Sicily, allowing increased grain imports from Egypt, as his greatest contributions.[53] These improvements may have been in response to the famine.[citation needed]

Caligula completed the temple of Augustus and the theatre of Pompey and began an amphitheatre beside the Saepta.[54] He expanded the imperial palace.[55] He began the aqueducts Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus, which Pliny the Elder considered engineering marvels.[56] He built a large racetrack known as the circus of Gaius and Nero and had an Egyptian obelisk (now known as the "Vatican Obelisk") transported by sea and erected in the middle of Rome.[57]

At Syracuse, he repaired the city walls and the temples of the gods.[54] He had new roads built and pushed to keep roads in good condition.[58] He had planned to rebuild the palace of Polycrates at Samos, to finish the temple of Didymaean Apollo at Ephesus and to found a city high up in the Alps.[54] He planned to dig a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece and sent a chief centurion to survey the work.[54]

In 39, Caligula performed a spectacular stunt by ordering a temporary floating bridge to be built using ships as pontoons, stretching for over two miles from the resort of Baiae to the neighboring port of Puteoli.[59] It was said that the bridge was to rival that of the Persian king, Xerxes, crossing of the Hellespont.[59] Caligula, who could not swim,[60] then proceeded to ride his favorite horse, Incitatus, across, wearing the breastplate of Alexander the Great.[59] This act was in defiance of a prediction by Tiberius's soothsayer Thrasyllus of Mendes that Caligula had "no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae".[59]

Caligula had two large ships constructed for himself, which were recovered from the bottom of Lake Nemi during the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. The ships were among the largest vessels in the ancient world. The smaller ship was designed as a temple dedicated to Diana. The larger ship was essentially an elaborate floating palace with marble floors and plumbing. Thirteen years after being raised, the ships were burned during an attack in the Second World War, and almost nothing remains of their hulls, though many archeological treasures remain intact in the museum at Lake Nemi and in the Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Massimo) at Rome.[citation needed]

In AD 39, relations between Caligula and the Roman Senate deteriorated.[61] The subject of their disagreement is unknown. A number of factors, though, aggravated this feud. The Senate had become accustomed to ruling without an emperor between the departure of Tiberius for Capri in AD 26 and Caligula's accession.[62] Additionally, Tiberius's treason trials had eliminated a number of pro-Julian senators such as Asinius Gallus.[62]

Caligula reviewed Tiberius's records of treason trials and decided, based on their actions during these trials, that numerous senators were not trustworthy.[61] He ordered a new set of investigations and trials.[61] He replaced the consul and had several senators put to death.[63]Suetonius reports that other senators were degraded by being forced to wait on him and run beside his chariot.[63]

Soon after his break with the Senate, Caligula faced a number of additional conspiracies against him.[64] A conspiracy involving his brother-in-law was foiled in late 39.[64] Soon afterwards, the Governor of Germany, Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus, was executed for connections to a conspiracy.[64]

In AD 40, Caligula expanded the Roman Empire into Mauretania and made a significant attempt at expanding into Britannia even challenging Neptune in his campaign. The conquest of Britannia was fully realized by his successors.

Mauretania was a client kingdom of Rome ruled by Ptolemy of Mauretania. Caligula invited Ptolemy to Rome and then suddenly had him executed.[65] Mauretania was annexed by Caligula and subsequently divided into two provinces, Mauretania Tingitana and Mauretania Caesariensis, separated by the river Malua.[66] Pliny claims that division was the work of Caligula, but Dio states that in 42 AD an uprising took place, which was subdued by Gaius Suetonius Paulinus and Gnaeus Hosidius Geta, and the division only took place after this.[67] This confusion might mean that Caligula decided to divide the province, but the division was postponed because of the rebellion.[68] The first known equestrian governor of the two provinces was Marcus Fadius Celer Flavianus, in office in 44 AD.[68]

Details on the Mauretanian events of 3944 are unclear. Cassius Dio wrote an entire chapter on the annexation of Mauretania by Caligula, but it is now lost.[69] Caligula's move seemingly had a strictly personal political motive fear and jealousy of his cousin Ptolemy and thus the expansion may not have been prompted by pressing military or economic needs.[70] However, the rebellion of Tacfarinas had shown how exposed Africa Proconsularis was to its west and how the Mauretanian client kings were unable to provide protection to the province, and it is thus possible that Caligula's expansion was a prudent response to potential future threats.[68]

There seems to have been a northern campaign to Britannia that was aborted.[69] This campaign is derided by ancient historians with accounts of Gauls dressed up as Germanic tribesmen at his triumph and Roman troops ordered to collect seashells as "spoils of the sea".[71] The few primary sources disagree on what precisely occurred. Modern historians have put forward numerous theories in an attempt to explain these actions. This trip to the English Channel could have merely been a training and scouting mission.[72] The mission may have been to accept the surrender of the British chieftain Adminius.[73] "Seashells", or conchae in Latin, may be a metaphor for something else such as female genitalia (perhaps the troops visited brothels) or boats (perhaps they captured several small British boats).[74]

When several client kings came to Rome to pay their respects to him and argued about their nobility of descent, he allegedly cried out the Homeric line:[75] "Let there be one lord, one king."[76] In AD 40, Caligula began implementing very controversial policies that introduced religion into his political role. Caligula began appearing in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules, Mercury, Venus and Apollo.[77] Reportedly, he began referring to himself as a god when meeting with politicians and he was referred to as "Jupiter" on occasion in public documents.[78][79]

A sacred precinct was set apart for his worship at Miletus in the province of Asia and two temples were erected for worship of him in Rome.[79] The Temple of Castor and Pollux on the forum was linked directly to the imperial residence on the Palatine and dedicated to Caligula.[79][80] He would appear here on occasion and present himself as a god to the public. Caligula had the heads removed from various statues of gods and replaced with his own in some temples.[81] It is said that he wished to be worshipped as "Neos Helios," the "New Sun." Indeed, he was represented as a sun god on Egyptian coins.[82]

Caligula's religious policy was a departure from that of his predecessors. According to Cassius Dio, living emperors could be worshipped as divine in the east and dead emperors could be worshipped as divine in Rome.[83]Augustus had the public worship his spirit on occasion, but Dio describes this as an extreme act that emperors generally shied away from.[83] Caligula took things a step further and had those in Rome, including senators, worship him as a tangible, living god.[84]

Caligula needed to quell several riots and conspiracies in the eastern territories during his reign. Aiding him in his actions was his good friend, Herod Agrippa, who became governor of the territories of Batanaea and Trachonitis after Caligula became emperor in AD 37.[85]

The cause of tensions in the east was complicated, involving the spread of Greek culture, Roman Law and the rights of Jews in the empire.

Caligula did not trust the prefect of Egypt, Aulus Avilius Flaccus. Flaccus had been loyal to Tiberius, had conspired against Caligula's mother and had connections with Egyptian separatists.[86] In AD 38, Caligula sent Agrippa to Alexandria unannounced to check on Flaccus.[87] According to Philo, the visit was met with jeers from the Greek population who saw Agrippa as the king of the Jews.[88] Flaccus tried to placate both the Greek population and Caligula by having statues of the emperor placed in Jewish synagogues.[89] As a result, riots broke out in the city.[90] Caligula responded by removing Flaccus from his position and executing him.[91]

In AD 39, Agrippa accused Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, of planning a rebellion against Roman rule with the help of Parthia. Herod Antipas confessed and Caligula exiled him. Agrippa was rewarded with his territories.[92]

Riots again erupted in Alexandria in AD 40 between Jews and Greeks.[93] Jews were accused of not honoring the emperor.[93] Disputes occurred in the city of Jamnia.[94] Jews were angered by the erection of a clay altar and destroyed it.[94] In response, Caligula ordered the erection of a statue of himself in the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem,[95] a demand in conflict with Jewish monotheism.[96] In this context, Philo wrote that Caligula "regarded the Jews with most especial suspicion, as if they were the only persons who cherished wishes opposed to his".[96]

The Governor of Syria, Publius Petronius, fearing civil war if the order were carried out, delayed implementing it for nearly a year.[97] Agrippa finally convinced Caligula to reverse the order.[93]

Philo of Alexandria and Seneca the Younger describe Caligula as an insane emperor who was self-absorbed, angry, killed on a whim, and indulged in too much spending and sex.[98] He is accused of sleeping with other men's wives and bragging about it,[99] killing for mere amusement,[100] deliberately wasting money on his bridge, causing starvation,[101] and wanting a statue of himself erected in the Temple of Jerusalem for his worship.[95] Once, at some games at which he was presiding, he ordered his guards to throw an entire section of the crowd into the arena during intermission to be eaten by animals because there were no criminals to be prosecuted and he was bored.[102][clarification needed]

While repeating the earlier stories, the later sources of Suetonius and Cassius Dio provide additional tales of insanity. They accuse Caligula of incest with his sisters, Agrippina the Younger, Drusilla, and Livilla, and say he prostituted them to other men.[103] They state he sent troops on illogical military exercises,[69][104] turned the palace into a brothel,[46] and, most famously, planned or promised to make his horse, Incitatus, a consul,[105] and actually appointed him a priest.[79]

The validity of these accounts is debatable. In Roman political culture, insanity and sexual perversity were often presented hand-in-hand with poor government.[106]

Caligula's actions as emperor were described as being especially harsh to the senate, to the nobility and to the equestrian order.[107] According to Josephus, these actions led to several failed conspiracies against Caligula.[108] Eventually, officers within the Praetorian Guard led by Cassius Chaerea succeeded in murdering the emperor.[109] The plot is described as having been planned by three men, but many in the senate, army and equestrian order were said to have been informed of it and involved in it.[110]

The situation had escalated when, in 40 AD, Caligula announced to the senate that he planned to leave Rome permanently and to move to Alexandria in Egypt, where he hoped to be worshiped as a living god. The prospect of Rome losing its emperor and thus its political power was the final straw for many. Such a move would have left both the senate and the Praetorian Guard powerless to stop Caligula's repression and debauchery. With this in mind Chaerea convinced his fellow conspirators to put their plot into action quickly.

According to Josephus, Chaerea had political motivations for the assassination.[111] Suetonius sees the motive in Caligula calling Chaerea derogatory names.[112] Caligula considered Chaerea effeminate because of a weak voice and for not being firm with tax collection.[113] Caligula would mock Chaerea with names like "Priapus" and "Venus".[114]

On 22 January 41 (Suetonius gives the date as 24 January), Cassius Chaerea and other guardsmen accosted Caligula as he addressed an acting troupe of young men during a series of games and dramatics held for the Divine Augustus.[115] Details recorded on the events vary somewhat from source to source, but they agree that Chaerea stabbed Caligula first, followed by a number of conspirators.[116] Suetonius records that Caligula's death resembled that of Julius Caesar. He states that both the elder Gaius Julius Caesar (Julius Caesar) and the younger Gaius Julius Caesar (Caligula) were stabbed 30 times by conspirators led by a man named Cassius (Cassius Longinus and Cassius Chaerea).[117] By the time Caligula's loyal Germanic guard responded, the Emperor was already dead. The Germanic guard, stricken with grief and rage, responded with a rampaging attack on the assassins, conspirators, innocent senators and bystanders alike.[118]

The cryptoporticus (underground corridor) beneath the imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill where this event took place was discovered by archaeologists in 2008.[119]

The senate attempted to use Caligula's death as an opportunity to restore the republic.[120] Chaerea tried to persuade the military to support the senate.[121] The military, though, remained loyal to the idea of imperial monarchy.[121] The grieving Roman people assembled and demanded that Caligula's murderers be brought to justice.[122] Uncomfortable with lingering imperial support, the assassins sought out and stabbed Caligula's wife, Caesonia, and killed their young daughter, Julia Drusilla, by smashing her head against a wall.[123] They were unable to reach Caligula's uncle, Claudius; after a soldier, Gratus, found Claudius hiding behind a palace curtain he was spirited out of the city by a sympathetic faction of the Praetorian Guard [124] to the nearby Praetorian camp.[125]

Claudius became emperor after procuring the support of the Praetorian Guard. He ordered the execution of Chaerea and of any other known conspirators involved in the death of Caligula.[126] According to Suetonius, Caligula's body was placed under turf until it was burned and entombed by his sisters. He was buried within the Mausoleum of Augustus; in 410, during the Sack of Rome ashes in the tomb were scattered.

The history of Caligula's reign is extremely problematic as only two sources contemporary with Caligula have survived the works of Philo and Seneca. Philo's works, On the Embassy to Gaius and Flaccus, give some details on Caligula's early reign, but mostly focus on events surrounding the Jewish population in Judea and Egypt with whom he sympathizes. Seneca's various works give mostly scattered anecdotes on Caligula's personality. Seneca was almost put to death by Caligula in AD 39 likely due to his associations with conspirators.[127]

At one time, there were detailed contemporaneous histories on Caligula, but they are now lost. Additionally, the historians who wrote them are described as biased, either overly critical or praising of Caligula.[128] Nonetheless, these lost primary sources, along with the works of Seneca and Philo, were the basis of surviving secondary and tertiary histories on Caligula written by the next generations of historians. A few of the contemporaneous historians are known by name. Fabius Rusticus and Cluvius Rufus both wrote condemning histories on Caligula that are now lost. Fabius Rusticus was a friend of Seneca who was known for historical embellishment and misrepresentation.[129] Cluvius Rufus was a senator involved in the assassination of Caligula.[130]

Caligula's sister, Agrippina the Younger, wrote an autobiography that certainly included a detailed explanation of Caligula's reign, but it too is lost. Agrippina was banished by Caligula for her connection to Marcus Lepidus, who conspired against Caligula.[64] The inheritance of Nero, Agrippina's son and the future emperor, was seized by Caligula. Gaetulicus, a poet, produced a number of flattering writings about Caligula, but they too are lost.

The bulk of what is known of Caligula comes from Suetonius and Cassius Dio. Suetonius wrote his history on Caligula 80 years after his death, while Cassius Dio wrote his history over 180 years after Caligula's death. Cassius Dio's work is invaluable because it alone gives a loose chronology of Caligula's reign.

A handful of other sources add a limited perspective on Caligula. Josephus gives a detailed description of Caligula's assassination. Tacitus provides some information on Caligula's life under Tiberius. In a now lost portion of his Annals, Tacitus gave a detailed history of Caligula. Pliny the Elder's Natural History has a few brief references to Caligula.

There are few surviving sources on Caligula and no surviving source paints Caligula in a favorable light. The paucity of sources has resulted in significant gaps in modern knowledge of the reign of Caligula. Little is written on the first two years of Caligula's reign. Additionally, there are only limited details on later significant events, such as the annexation of Mauretania, Caligula's military actions in Britannia, and his feud with the Roman Senate.

All surviving sources, except Pliny the Elder, characterize Caligula as insane. However, it is not known whether they are speaking figuratively or literally. Additionally, given Caligula's unpopularity among the surviving sources, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. Recent sources are divided in attempting to ascribe a medical reason for his behavior, citing as possibilities encephalitis, epilepsy or meningitis. The question of whether or not Caligula was insane (especially after his illness early in his reign) remains unanswered.

Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and Seneca state that Caligula was insane, but describe this madness as a personality trait that came through experience.[92][131][132] Seneca states that Caligula became arrogant, angry and insulting once becoming emperor and uses his personality flaws as examples his readers can learn from.[133] According to Josephus, power made Caligula incredibly conceited and led him to think he was a god.[92]Philo of Alexandria reports that Caligula became ruthless after nearly dying of an illness in the eighth month of his reign in AD 37.[134]Juvenal reports he was given a magic potion that drove him insane.

Suetonius said that Caligula suffered from "falling sickness", or epilepsy, when he was young.[135] Modern historians have theorized that Caligula lived with a daily fear of seizures.[136] Despite swimming being a part of imperial education, Caligula could not swim.[137] Epileptics are discouraged from swimming in open waters because unexpected fits in such difficult rescue circumstances can be fatal.[138] Additionally, Caligula reportedly talked to the full moon.[63] Epilepsy was long associated with the moon.[139]

Some modern historians think that Caligula suffered from hyperthyroidism.[140] This diagnosis is mainly attributed to Caligula's irritability and his "stare" as described by Pliny the Elder.

On 17 January 2011, police in Nemi, Italy, announced that they believed they had discovered the site of Caligula's burial, after arresting a thief caught smuggling a statue which they believed to be of the emperor.[141] The claim has been met with scepticism by Cambridge historian Mary Beard.[142]

Quadrans celebrating the abolition of a tax in AD 38 by Caligula. The obverse of the coin contains a picture of a Pileus which symbolizes the liberation of the people from the tax burden.

Welsh actor Emlyn Williams was cast as Caligula in the never-completed 1937 film I, Claudius.[143]

American actor Jay Robinson famously portrayed a sinister and scene-stealing Caligula in two epic films of the 1950s, The Robe (1953) and its sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954).[144]

A feature-length historical film Caligula was completed in 1979, in which Malcolm McDowell played the lead role. The film alienated audiences with explicit sex and violence. Although reviews were overwhelmingly negative (though McDowell's performance as the title character was praised), the film is considered to be a cult classic.[145]

David Brandon portrayed Caligula in the 1982 Italian exploitation film Emperor Caligula, the Untold Story which was directed by Joe D'Amato.[citation needed]

Courtney Love appeared as Caligula in a fake trailer for Gore Vidal's Caligula, ostensibly a remake of the 1979 film, but actually a parodic short film by conceptual artist Francesco Vezzoli.[143]

Szabolcs Hajdu portrayed Caligula in the 1996 film Caligula.[citation needed]

Caligula, by French author Albert Camus, is a play in which Caligula returns after deserting the palace for three days and three nights following the death of his beloved sister, Drusilla. The young emperor then uses his unfettered power to "bring the impossible into the realm of the likely".

In the 1934 novel I, Claudius by English writer Robert Graves, Caligula is presented as being a murderous sociopath from his childhood, who became clinically insane early in his reign. At the age of only seven, he drove his father Germanicus to despair and death by secretly terrorising him. Graves's Caligula commits incest with all three of his sisters and is implied to have murdered Drusilla.

In the BBC series based on Graves' novel (where the role is played by John Hurt), Caligula, although unhinged since early childhood, becomes dangerously psychotic after an apparent epileptic seizure and awakens believing that he has metamorphosed into the god Zeus. He kills Drusilla while trying to reenact the birth of Athena by cutting his child from her womb.

In 1941, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote I Am a Barbarian. The story is pitched as a free translation of the memoirs of Britannicus (a fictional character created by Burroughs) who was the slave of Caligula from early childhood till Caligula's death.

The character Ellsworth Toohey in Ayn Rand's 1943 novel The Fountainhead references Caligula in his climactic speech to Peter Keating stating, "Remember the Roman Emperor who said he wished humanity had a single neck so he could cut it? People have laughed at him for centuries. But we'll have the last laugh. We've accomplished what he couldn't accomplish. We've taught men to unite. This makes one neck ready for one leash."

The play The Reckoning of Kit and Little Boots, by Nat Cassidy, examines the lives of the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe and Caligula, with the fictional conceit that Marlowe was working on a play about Caligula around the time of his own murder. It emphasizes the similarities between the two charactersboth stabbed to death at 29, both in part as a result of their controversial religious perspectives. The play focuses on Caligula's love for his sister Drusilla and his deep-rooted loathing for Tiberius. It received its world premiere in New York City in June 2008.[146][147]

Eugene O'Neill's play Lazarus Laughed features the young Caligula as one of its pinnacle characters, where he is portrayed as a psychopath who believes he will only be happy once Tiberius is dead and he is the Caesar.

Canadian death metal band Ex Deo released an album called Caligula, styled as Caligvla. The band's video, "I Caligula", features Caligula and other members of his court that were important in his rule.

The Dickies' 1989 album Second Coming includes the song "Caligula," which relates his origins and reign of terror.

Welsh musician John Cale performed a song called "Caligula", which was part of his cycle composed for the centenary of the Christmas truce in December 2014.[148]

German thrash metal band Sodom released Decision Day in 2016, it includes the song Caligula. Two weeks before the release of the album, they released a lyrical music video of the song.

In The Smiths song "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" Caligula is referenced in the lyric 'Caligula would have blushed'.

Caligula has been portrayed in a number of television series:

Excerpt from:
Caligula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Skin and Facial Anti-Aging Creams & Lotions | InStyle.com

Posted: September 21, 2016 at 10:51 am

Best Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment 2016

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum

Best Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment 2016

WINNER 2016, 2015

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum

Can your love affair with retinol be best described as on-again, off-again? Dermatologists say this over-the-counter cream can help you stick with the ingredient, which is essential to addressing fine lines and sun damage. Many people find it irritating at first, explains Dr. Chiu. But the gentle formula, which doesnt blast your skin with a highly concentrated dose of retinol at once, can help mitigate that, she says. With dryness and redness under control, moisture-drawing hyaluronic acid can do its work of plumping up lines in the short term, while the retinol builds collagen in the long term.

Best Wrinkle Treatment 2016

Best Wrinkle Treatment 2016

WINNER 2016, 2015, 2013

Are you familiar with the saying You dont know what youve got till its gone? Dont let it apply to your bright, youthful skin. This much-heralded serum makes more mature skin cells behave like young, healthy ones to improve the overall texture and tone, says Dr. Zeichner. The key to this dermatological voodoo? A formula that, unlike the ones in some other equally pricey products out there, has a proven track record of spurring collagen production with the use of growth factors, says Dr. Zeichner.

Best Anti-Aging Eye Treatment 2016

Garnier SkinActive Renew Eye Roller

Best Anti-Aging Eye Treatment 2016


Garnier SkinActive Renew Eye Roller

For some of us, its going to take a lot more than a cucumber to get rid of undereye baggage. This tool checks all the boxes: It has a cooling metal tip, which you can massage around the eyes to get blood flowing. The formula packs caffeine to stimulate circulation and decrease puff as well as glycerin to moisturize. And applying it feels like a therapeutic treatso youll actually want to whip it out in the morning (and at night and lunchtime) and get rolling.

Best Discoloration Treatment 2016

Best Discoloration Treatment 2016

WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014

If your total obsession with emerging creases and wrinkles has caused you to overlook the equally aging sun spots that have cropped up on your nose and cheeks, this brightener can help you play catch-up in the pigment-reduction department. Fully explaining how it works would make a compelling high school science project for a budding dermatologist, but heres the short version: Retinol promotes the exfoliation of surface pigment, while antioxidant vitamin C decreases the formation of pigment in the first place, says Dr. Chiu. And niacinamide cuts down on the production of pigment that stems from inflammation.

Best Eco-Friendly Cleanser 2016

Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Cleanser

Best Eco-Friendly Cleanser 2016

WINNER 2016, 2015

Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Cleanser

Talk about flower power. In this gentle cleanser that dermatologists routinely recommend for daily use, jasmine extract whisks away dirt and grime without stripping the skin, while botanical extracts of anogeissus boosts cell turnover to leave skin smooth and soft.

Best Serum for Normal Skin 2015

Best Serum for Normal Skin 2015

WINNER 2015, 2014

Like bodyguards for your skin, vitamins C and E in this serum fight free radicals while ferulic acid boosts collagen. Best of all, unlike many anti-agers, its nonirritating, says Dr. Shah, making it safe even for those with supersensitive skin.

Best Eye Cream 2015

Best Eye Cream 2015


Whether Chinese takeout or a fussy newborn is to blame for your puffy eyes, this thick whip brightens things up with a

one-two punch of short and long-term benefits, says Dr. Susan Binder. Mica reflects light, grapeseed oil flushes pooled

blood, and a pentapeptide plays the long game to tighten wrinkles.

Best Eco-Friendly Anti-Aging Treatment 2015

Colorescience Anti-Aging Serum

Best Eco-Friendly Anti-Aging Treatment 2015


Colorescience Anti-Aging Serum

A newcomer on the anti-aging scene, this mineral-based serum has quickly made waves with dermatologists.

Peptides reduce fine lines, hyaluronic acid plumps, and minerals provide a flattering tint to even skin tone. Women want

to simplify, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Marina Peredo. This does it all.

Best Anti-Aging Exfoliator 2015

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Best Anti-Aging Exfoliator 2015

WINNER 2015, 2010

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

A few drops of water turn this ultra-fine powder into a creamy paste, then nonabrasive rice bran whisks away dead cells. "It's great for anyone with clogged pores," says N.Y.C. dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton. Plus, the scrub contains licorice-which evens skin tone-and green tea to protect skin from free radicals.

Best 2014 Exfoliating Brush

Best 2014 Exfoliating Brush


Like a street sweeper for dead skin cells and dulling debris, this tool clears the way so that serums and anti-agers can get the job done. The head massages at three speeds (from delicate to deep cleaning), but all give your skin the glowy look that everyone wants, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Anthony Rossi.

Best 2014 Best Wrinkle Treatment

SkinMedica Retinol Complex .25

Best 2014 Best Wrinkle Treatment


SkinMedica Retinol Complex .25

This elegant formula, which is also available in two stronger dosages, helps defend the face against free radicals and is even suitable for dry skin.

Best 2014 Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment

ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

Best 2014 Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment


ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

If youre a retinol rookie, this lavish cream is an effective (and affordable) first foray. People need time to build up tolerance for stronger prescription retinoids, says Dr. Karyn Grossman, who touts its swift work on fine lines, yawning pores, and brown spots.

Best 2014 Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment

Olay Regenerist Filling + Sealing

Best 2014 Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment


Olay Regenerist Filling + Sealing

On George Clooney, eye crinkles are cute. On the rest of us? Not so much, especially once foundation settles in. Devised as an alternative to injectables, this vitamin Erich ointment instantly fills fine lines around the eyes, forehead, and mouth, says Dr. Shah.

Best 2014 Editors' Pick

L'Oral Revitalift Miracle Blur

Best 2014 Editors' Pick


L'Oral Revitalift Miracle Blur

This fast-acting finishing cream can be worn alone or under makeup to deliver a final dose of oil-absorbing silica and fade the look of fine lines and pores. Instant gratification junkies will be hooked.

20% off at lorealparis.com from 4/18 until 5/16; use code INSTYLE20

Best 2014 Exfoliator

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

Best 2014 Exfoliator


Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

Some scrubs can leave microscopic lacerations in their wake, but the round microbeads in this soy-based brightener are gentle enough for daily exfoliating, says Dr. Emmy Graber.

Best 2014 Eye Cream

Neocutis Lumire Bio-Restorative

Best 2014 Eye Cream


Neocutis Lumire Bio-Restorative

Dry, puffy undereye bags are a drag. This caffeine-infused formula lightens dark circles and creates a smoothing effect, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Ellen Gendler. It also works as a primer for concealer. Baggage? Checked.

Best 2014 Editors' Pick

Silk 'n Face FX At-Home Anti-Aging Device

Best 2014 Editors' Pick


Silk 'n Face FX At-Home Anti-Aging Device

Not into needles? This collagen-boosting hand- held laser uses a mix of heat and light therapy to diminish fine lines, enlarged pores, and even dry skin, in two months. No pain, all gain. Silk 'n

20% off at silkn.com from 4/18 until 5/16; use code INSTYLE20

Best 2013 Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment

Best 2013 Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment

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A Holistic Approach to Treating Depression: Diet, Exercise …

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 3:43 am

By Ellen Greenlaw WebMD Feature

If youre depressed, taking medication is only one of many treatment options. A holistic approach focuses on treating your whole being -- body and mind -- to help you feel better. A healthy diet, exercise, and talk therapy are a few of the holistic approaches you can use, along with your medication, to help speed recovery from depression.

In a given year, nearly 15 million adults in the U.S. suffer from depression. Those with depression often have another medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or cancer, which makes treating the whole body even more important. This article looks at the benefits of diet, exercise, and therapy, and how you can use them alone, or with medication, to help treat depression.

Midlife Crisis: Transition or Depression?

What's a midlife crisis? It's the stuff of jokes and stereotypes -- the time in life when you do outrageous, impractical things like quit a job impulsively, buy a red sports car, or dump your spouse. For years, midlife crisis conjured those images. But these days, the old midlife crisis is more likely to be called a midlife transition -- and it's not all bad. The term crisis often doesn't fit, mental health experts say, because while it can be accompanied by serious depression, it can also mark...

Read the Midlife Crisis: Transition or Depression? article > >

Lisa Brennan has experienced the effect that diet can have on depression. She was first diagnosed with depression as a teenager and has had several bouts of depression as an adult.

Id often eat unhealthy food because it was easy, and sugary foods would boost my mood for a while, she says. But after a few hours, my energy level and mood would plummet and Id feel really lousy. Now that I eat mostly vegetables, beans, and whole grains, I feel better and I have a lot more energy. I dont think I could have gotten over my depression if I didnt change my diet.

Many specialists agree that a healthy diet of whole foods -- such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, and lean meats -- is best for people with depression. We know that diet can have a strong influence on mood, says Eric Endlich, PhD, a Boston-based clinical psychologist. And eating a balanced diet can keep your blood sugars stable throughout the day and help calm your mood. This stability is especially important if youre depressed.

Researchers are studying specific vitamins and nutrients in foods to see if they have a positive effect on depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and vitamin B12 show some promise. Experts arent certain of the role these substances play in boosting mental health but believe they may help with brain function. However, some experts caution that one of the greatest risks of these treatments is that people who use them may delay in seeking well-established treatments.

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Calorie Count – Food Nutrition Data for Healthy Eating Choices

Posted: September 18, 2016 at 10:48 am

CalorieCount.com is a free online resource for those who want to live a healthy lifestyle. At no cost whatsoever, you can use Calorie Count to look up nutrition facts and view complete food labels for more than 250,000 foods. Members use Calorie Count as an online diet program, a nutrition coach, and a workout partner. Your personalized CalorieCount.com account provides a food journal, exercise log, a weight tracker, nutrition data, and diet analysis, all customized to your personal goals, so that you can start eating healthier. By seeing your calorie requirements, daily calorie count, nutrition analysis, and weight loss progress, you can get the weight loss results you seek or maintain the fit and healthy body you already have. In addition to the helpful diet and exercise tools, there is also an online community of 4 million members awaiting your unique story on the path to better health.

The best feature of CalorieCount is our nutrition database of Nutrition Facts food labels that you can adjust for the portion you eat. Whether you are a vegetarian, pregnant, diabetic, on a low fat or low carb diet, or looking for the USDA's Daily Values, you can find personalized nutrition information about the calories and nutrients you need and eat.

Use Calorie Count to research healthy food options and complete meals before you get to the grocery store or restaurant.. Find new recipes in our recipe browser or, for recipes that you create, find the nutrition facts and generate a nutrition label with our recipe analyzer. Are you always on the go? No need to worry! Our mobile apps allow you to make good decisions when eating out by keeping the nutrition information on hand for dishes from your favorite restaurants. So what are you waiting for? Register for your free account now!

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Calorie Count - Food Nutrition Data for Healthy Eating Choices

Elm City YMCA | Central Connecticut Coast YMCA

Posted: September 17, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Home Locations Elm City YMCA

The Elm City YMCA is centrally located in the heart of New Haven overlooking the historic New Haven Green. Devoted to promoting healthy living, the Elm City Y focuses on personal wellness programs for the adult New Haven community.

The wellness center with a panoramic view of New Haven is staffed with personal trainers to help you meet your wellness goals. State of the art Life Fitness cardiovascular and strength training equipment is available with an area for stretching and functional exercises.

Group exercise classes are available at convenient hours. Lap swimming and lessons are available at the New Haven YMCA Youth Center, a walkable distance at 50 Howe Street.

Free, two hour parking is offered to members after 2:00 pm in the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale Parking Garage directly below the Elm City Y. No need to leave the garage to enter just follow the signs to the stairwell. The Omni Garage entrance is on Temple Street.

Whether your goals are weight loss, strength gains, improving balance and flexibility, rehabilitating an old injury, or just trying to be the best you that you can be a personal trainer at the Elm City YMCA can help you achieve your goals in the safest, most efficient way.

Our personal trainers have the knowledge, experience, and know-how to address all your health and wellness goals and needs. Our trainers hold a minimum of a four year college degree and have worked with a variety of individuals, from Olympic athletes, to celebrities, to seniors, to the physically handicapped.

To learn more: P 203 789 8887 E tmccauley@cccymca.orgor ask Member Services when you visit the Y.

When a friend youve referred joins the Y, wellthank you by giving you a FREE membership month.

Theres no limit to how many friends you refer and theres no limit to how many FREE months you can receive.

Being with friends is always more fun for you and your family.

The Elm City Y will be taking our Friday night P90X class outside on the New Haven Green.The P-90 X Strength and Conditioning class combines a variety of exercise techniques, including strength training, cardio, yoga, plyometrics, and stretching to give you a total body work-out.

Join Alex, our amazing instructor, and get lean on the green! This class is open to everyone, so make sure to bring a friend or two!

When: Friday evenings

Time: 6:30 pm

Location:Lower Section of the New Haven Green

Register for one FREE intropersonal training session! During this introductory session, youll:

Sign up at our Welcome Desk!

The YMCAs Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being. Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCAs Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58%, and 71% in adults over the age of 60. Click Here to find out if you qualify. To get a feeling for the class and more information about the program, watch this video.

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Elm City YMCA | Central Connecticut Coast YMCA

CDC – Depression – Mental Illness – Mental Health Basics …

Posted: at 3:42 pm

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The BRFSS is an annual state-based telephone survey of the U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized adult population. The core questionnaire contains questions asked of all respondents, while states may choose to also include optional modules addressing various topics. The core questionnaire asks about whether a person has been diagnosed with depression. An optional Anxiety and Depression Module assesses the prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders in the general population at the state level. This module is composed of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) which has been validated against the diagnostic criteria for a depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the U. S., which is conducted in 2-year cycles. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations. A depression screener has been administered during a computer-assisted personal interview as part of NHANES since 2005.

During 20002004, NHANES assessed major depression and dysthymia during the past 12 months using parent and child report using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-IV). Currently, NHANES uses self-reported symptoms drawn from the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess depression during the past 2 weeks among adolescents aged 1217 years.

The NSCH is a cross-sectional national (50 states and DC) telephone survey of parents in households with at least one child aged 0 to 17 years at the time of the interview. Parents report on their childrens health. To assess for depression, parents are asked: Has a doctor or other health care provider ever told you that [CHILD] had depression. If yes parents were asked Does [CHILD] currently have depression? and if yes, parents were asked to rate current depression as mild, moderate or severe.

The NSDUH is sponsored by SAMHSA and uses a series of questions asked through an audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) household interview to assess whether adolescents have experienced a major depressive episode, based on DSM criteria and is measured for the lifetime and past year.

PRAMS is a state-based, cross-sectional survey of women who have recently delivered a live-born infant. The survey provides population-based data that can be used to develop maternal and infant health programs and policies. Data are collected in 37 states and New York City and represent approximately 75% of the births in the U. S. PRAMS provides estimates of postpartum depression by using two questions similar to those included in the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8): 1) Since your new baby was born, how often have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless? and 2) Since your new baby was born, how often have you had little interest in doing things? Possible responses are never, rarely, sometimes, often, and always.

The national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was developed to monitor health-risk behaviors that contribute substantially to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among children and young adults in the United States. YRBS uses a three-stage cluster sample design to produce a representative sample of public and private high school students in grades 912 in the 50 states and DC. YRBS questionnaires are self-administered; students record their responses on a computer-scannable booklet or answer sheet. One symptom of depression, feeling sad or hopeless, is assessed by the question: "During the past 12 months, did you ever feel so sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing some usual activities?"

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CDC - Depression - Mental Illness - Mental Health Basics ...

Ultima Pure Swiss, Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Vitamin C, Anti-Aging …

Posted: September 16, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Indications Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum should be applied to freshly washed, dry skin, twice daily - in the morning and at bedtime. Apply a thin layer of the serum on clean skin. Once fully absorbed, immediately apply a good-quality moisturizer. Powerful, yet extremely gentle to the skin, the HA and Vitamin C Serum draws the moisturizer into the inner layers of your skin to enhance elasticity and hydration. You can expect to see a visible difference in your skin almost immediately after initial use

Ingredients All 180 Cosmetics skin care products are skillfully developed based on pioneering health and beauty science and cutting-edge technology. We pride ourselves in our ability to deliver products made from best ingredients, resulting in a line of innovative, market-proven anti aging creams and serums. Powerful, yet supremely gentle to the skin, all of our products have a pleasant, fragrant scent and a uniquely smooth texture. 180 Cosmetics Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum contains best Hyaluronic Acid, blended with pure Vitamin C, Aqua (water-based), Sodium Hyaluronate , Ascorbyl Tetrisopalmitate , Phenoxethanol, Chlorophenzin, Sorbic Acid.

Directions 180 Cosmetics Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum is recommended for use twice daily - in the morning and at bedtime. Apply several drops of the serum to clean face and neckline, gently massaging in circular motions. Wait until fully absorbed before applying facial cream, moisturizer or makeup

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Ultima Pure Swiss, Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Vitamin C, Anti-Aging ...

Home – WholeHealth Chicago

Posted: September 14, 2016 at 6:45 am

Upcoming Workshops

Shamanic Healing Clinic Harness the power of nature. Connect with your inner wisdom. Take a journey to reconnect with parts of you that have been left behind. Learn about the oldest form of spirituality and healing on the planet.

Experience a shamanic healing session.

Your individual session will include a brief intake, followed by clearing and balancing using a variety of shamanic tools: feathers, crystals, rattle, drum, tobacco, agua florida, and the singing of healing songs called icaros. There will be time at the end of the session to discuss your experience and any insights gained, as well as suggestions for shamanic practices that may be helpful to you for health and well being.

By appointment only, September 17, 10 am 3 pm Sign up for a half-hour session for $35 Call 773-296-6700 to register.

Awakened Body, Quiet MindAn innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress andtapping into your true power andnatural health.

4 Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD

Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditationandmental inquiry for deep healing.

Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm;beginning October20th More>>

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Home - WholeHealth Chicago

Anti-Aging Skin Care Products | SK-II

Posted: at 6:45 am

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SK-II Essential Power Eye Cream

SK-II's newest innovation in eye care from its most awarded anti-aging technology. Formulated with a potent anti-aging combination of Stem-Acanax Eye Complex and Pitera, ESSENTIAL POWER EYE CREAM triggers a chain reaction from within. It provides radical firmness on three crucial points around the eyes: the eyelids, the under eye area and the eye corners.

A soft and light cream that is easily absorbed by your skin.

SK-II R.N.A.POWER Radical New Age Cream

Improves multiple signs of aging, giving you a new level of firmness from multiple angles, so that skin becomes firmer, smoother, tighter, and more radiant. After one jar, fine lines appear less defined.

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SK-II Essential Power Rich Cream

This rich anti-aging super cream contains Stem-Acanax, Pitera and significantly more skin conditioning ingredients than SK-II Essential Power Cream to provide intensive nourishment that addresses concerns of firmness, wrinkles, dryness and sagging skin.

Rich but non-greasy, it spreads easily across your face.

SK-II R.N.A.POWER Radical New Age Essence

New R.N.A Power Essence brings you the next level of firmness - lengthwise-crosswise firmness

This powerful firming serum minimizes the appearance of your pores for a more youthful looking fresh morning glow. Immediately upon application, each drop fills the gaps in your skin, making it firm, resilient, and feeling plump.

Used with R.N.A Power Cream, this new duo from SK-II brings you to a new level of confidence from today and for the next 15 years.

SK-II Signs Eye Mask

This ultra-comforting cotton mask swiftly and effectively reduces the signs of aging and dryness around your eyes.

With just one application, appearance of fine lines is noticeably reduced, dullness of the skin under the eyes is visibly lightened and your eyes look visibly brighter.

Soft, essence-drenched cloth masks that fit the shape of the eye area.

SK-II Skin Signature Melting Rich Cream

This creamy balm turns into silky cream on contact to deeply nourish your skin and keep the moisture locked in for up to 12 hours.

This rich cream forms a protective veil to retain moisture provided by the skincare that you used prior to the cream.

Your skin is noticeably smoother, firmer and more radiant.

A creamy balm that melts into a luxurious non-greasy cream.

SK-II Skin Signature Mask 3-D Redefining Mask

This 3D stretch mask is drenched with a potent cocktail of Pitera, Oli-Vityl, Signaline and Niacinamide to noticeably firm and contour areas that are most prone to sagging.

It firms the forehead, sides of your nose and cheekbones and the skin around the jawline and corners of the mouth to give you a strikingly, more contoured facial profile.

The innovative 3D stretch design has been specially created to seamlessly fit the face with an immediate appearance-lifting effect.

A two-piece stretchable mask that fits your face like second skin.

SK-II Signs Up-Lifter

This intensive anti-aging serum contains Pitera and 360 Lifting Peptides in its list of active ingredients. It firms sagging skin, reduces the appearance of puffiness and helps improve elasticity.

A non-greasy serum that spreads easily on your face.


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Anti-Aging Skin Care Products | SK-II

US National Library of Medicine – PubMed Central (PMC)

Posted: September 8, 2016 at 12:43 am


Even though dentistry was not a specialized branch of Ayurveda, it is included in its Shalakya Tantra (system of surgery). Problems such as deformities of the oral cavity, plaques and infections were managed in ancient India. Traditional medicine can treat various infectious and chronic conditions. Research has shown that all kinds of chewing sticks described in ancient Ayurveda texts have medicinal and anti-cariogenic properties. Its oil pulling (Kaval, Gandush) practice is claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases. Amla (Emblic myrobalan), is a general rebuilder of oral health. Bilberry fruit (Vaccinium myrtillus) and hawthorn berry (Crateagus oxycanthus) stabilize collagen, strengthening the gum tissue. Liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabral) promotes anti-cavity action, reduces plaque, and has an antibacterial effect. Use of safe, quality products and practices should be ensured based on available evidence if traditional medicine is to be acknowledged as part of primary health care. Scientific validations of the Ayurveda dental health practices could justify their incorporation into modern dental care. Publicity of these techniques using appropriate media would benefit the general population by giving more confidence in the ancient practices, thus preventing tooth decay and loss.

Keywords: Ayurveda, kaval, oral health, oil pulling, traditional medicine

Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine which evolved in India some 3000-5000 years ago, a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent, now practiced in other parts of the world as a form of complementary medicine.[1] The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India. The Suruta Samhit and the Charaka Samhit are its earliest authoritative texts.[2] Over the centuries, Ayurvedic practitioners developed large numbers of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments and diseases.[3] Even though dentistry was not a specialized branch of Ayurveda, it was included in its system of surgery. In ancient India, problems such as deformities of the oral cavity, plaques and infections could be managed and even cured.

Traditional medicine is the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures that are used to maintain health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat physical and mental illnesses. Traditional medicine that has been adopted by other populations (outside its indigenous culture) is often termed complementary or alternative medicine. Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations, and finished herbal products that contain parts of plants or other plant materials as active ingredients.

In some Asian and African countries, 80% of the population depends on traditional medicine for primary health care. In many developed countries, 70% to 80% of the population has used some form of alternative or complementary medicine. Herbal treatments are the most popular form of traditional medicine, and are highly lucrative in the international marketplace. Annual revenues in Western Europe reached US$ 5 billion in 2003-2004. In China sales of products went to US$ 14 billion in 2005. Herbal medicine revenue in Brazil was US$ 160 million in 2007.[4]

In Ayurveda, dental health (danta swasthya in Sanskrit) is held to be very individualistic, varying with each person's constitution (prakriti), and climatic changes resulting from solar, lunar and planetary influences (kala-parinama). The body constitution is classified based on the predominance of one or more of the three doshas, vata, pitta and kapha. The dominance dosha in both the individual and nature determines health care in Ayurveda, including dental health.[5]

Ayurveda recommends chewing sticks in the morning as well as after every meal to prevent diseases. Ayurveda insists on the use of herbal brushes, approximately 9 inches long and the thickness of one's little finger. These herb sticks should be either kashaya (astringent), katu (acrid), or tikta (bitter) in taste. The method of use is to crush one end, chew it, and eat it slowly.[6]

Toothbrushing is an activity carried out with a toothbrush which is a special little brush designed for use on teeth. Chewing a medicinal stick of a kind recommended by a Vaidya, or other traditional practitioner, may validly be held to be equivalent to the western-pioneered activity of brushing the teeth, but it is not sufficiently similar to be given the same name, specifically because sticks that are chewed are used entirely differently from brushes.

It is recommended that chewing sticks be obtained from fresh stems of specific plants. The neem (margosa or the Azadiraxhta indica) is a famous herbal chewing stick. The stems should be healthy, soft, without leaves or knots and taken from a healthy tree. Chewing on these stems is believed to cause attrition and levelling of biting surfaces, facilitate salivary secretion and, possibly, help in plaque control, while some stems have an anti-bacterial action. With reference to the individual's constitution and dominant dosha, it is stated that people with the vata dosha dominance may develop atrophic and receding gums, and are recommended to use chewing sticks with bitter-sweet or astringent tastes, such as liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and black catechu or the cutch tree (Acacia Catechu Linn.), respectively.[7] Pitta dosha dominant individuals are recommended to use chewing sticks with a bitter taste such as the twigs from the margosa tree (Azadirachta indica or neem) and the arjuna tree (Terminalia arjuna). Those with the kapha dosha dominant are likely to have pale and hypertrophic gums and are asked to use chewing sticks with a pungent taste, citing the fever nut (Caesalipinia bonduc) and the common milkweed plant (Calotropis procera). Present-day research has shown that all the chewing sticks described in ancient Ayurveda texts (circa 200 BC) have medicinal and anti-cariogenic properties.[8]

Saimbi et al (1994) tested the antiplaque efficacy of Neem extract, Ayurvedic tooth powders and commercial tooth pastes. Neem extract came out on top and commercial tooth pastes were the last.[9] In another study Venugopal et al (1998) analyzed a total of 2000 children (1-14 year age group) in Mumbai for caries prevalence. Those children who were using neem datun were found to be less affected with dental caries.[10]

In southern India, mango leaf is widely used for cleaning teeth. A fresh mango leaf is washed and the midrib is removed. Leaf is then folded lengthwise with glossy surfaces facing each other. It is rolled into a cylindrical pack. One end of this pack is bitten off 2-3mm to create a raw surface which is rubbed on the teeth - pack is held between the thumb and the index finger. At the end, the midrib, which was first removed, is used as a tongue cleaner. Sumant et al (1992) evaluated the efficacy of mango leaf as an oral hygiene aid and obtained interesting findings.[11] Higher soft deposit scores were reported in group that used mango leaf. Caries experience in this group using mango leaf was similar to the group that used tooth brush. Mangiferin a compound present in mango leaves had significant antibacterial property against certain strains of Pneumococci, Streptococci, Staphylococci, and Lactobacillus acidophilus.

The miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak) is a teeth cleaning twig made from a twig of the Salvadora persica tree, also known as the arak tree or the peelu tree and features in Islamic hygiene jurisprudence. The miswak is predominant in Muslim areas but its use predates the inception of Islam. Almas and Atassi (2002) conducted research to assess the effect of miswak and tooth brush filaments end-surface texture on enamel. Twenty-one specimens were prepared; they were divided into Aquafresh toothbrush group, Miswak group and control group. Results showed that filaments end-surface texture play major role in abrasive active activity and enamel tooth surface loss. Miswak showed lesser effect on enamel as compared to Aquafresh toothbrush.[12] Almas and Zeid (2004) in a study to assess antimicrobial activity of miswak chewing stick in vivo, especially on streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli concluded that miswak had an immediate antimicrobial effect compared to toothbrush. Streptococcus mutans were more susceptible to miswak than lactobacilli.[13]

Eid MA (1991) in a study to examine relationship between chewing sticks (Miswak) and gingival recession concluded that miswak users had significantly more sites with gingival recession than did toothbrush users. Severity of recession was significantly more pronounced in miswak users than in toothbrush users.[14] A 2003 scientific study comparing the use of miswak with ordinary toothbrushes concluded that the results clearly were in favor of the users who had been using the miswak, provided they had been given proper instruction in how to brush using it.[15]

Oil pulling, in CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine), is a procedure that involves swishing oil in the mouth for oral and systemic health benefits. It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is called Kavala or Gandusha, and is claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma. Oil pulling has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy for many years to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw.[16,17]

Oil pulling therapy can be done using oils like sunflower oil or sesame oil. The sesame plant (Sesamum indicum) of the Pedaliaceae family has been considered a gift of nature to mankind for its nutritional qualities and desirable health effects. Sesame oil is considered to be the queen of oil seed crops because of its beneficiary effects.[18]

Brushing is contra indicated in the cases of mouth ulcer, fever, indigestion, those who have tendency to vomit, asthma, cough, thirst.[18] Oil pulling can be used to clean the oral cavity in all these cases. Gandusha and Kavala Graha are two primary oral cleansing techniques; specialized therapy to treat as well as to prevent oral diseases. Gandusha involves filling the mouth completely with fluid so that gargling is impossible. In Gandush, the oral cavity is filled completely with liquid medicine, held for about 3-5 minutes, and then released. In Kavala Graha, a comfortable amount of fluid is retained with the mouth closed for about 3 minutes, and then gargled. It is a simple rejuvenating treatment, which, when done routinely, enhances the senses, maintains clarity, brings about a feeling of freshness, and invigorates the mind. These oral cleansing techniques can also benefit bad breath, dry face, dull senses, exhaustion, anorexia, loss of taste, impaired vision, sore throat, and all kapha related imbalances.

A study was conducted by Asokan S et al (2009) to evaluate the effect of oil pulling with sesame oil on plaque-induced gingivitis, and to compare its efficacy with chlorhexidine mouthwash.[19] A total of 20 age-matched adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis were selected for this study. They were divided randomly into the study or oil pulling group (Group I) and the control or chlorhexidine group (Group II) with 10 subjects in each group. Plaque index and modified gingival index scores were recorded for the 20 subjects and baseline plaque samples were also collected. There was a statistically significant reduction of the pre- and post-values of the plaque and modified gingival index scores in both the study and control groups (p < 0.001 in both). The oil pulling therapy showed a reduction in the plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.

Oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that has recently become very popular as a CAM remedy for many different health ailments. Using this method, surgery or medication could be prevented for a number of chronic illnesses. The oil therapy is preventative as well as curative. The exciting aspect of this healing method is its simplicity. Ayurveda advises oil gargling to purify the entire system; as it holds that each section of the tongue is connected to different organ such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology and TCM.[18]

In Ayurveda, the well-known Rasayana herb, amla (the fruit of a tree) is considered a general rebuilder of oral health. Amla works well as a mouth rinse as a decoction. One to two grams per day can be taken orally in capsules for long-term benefit to the teeth and gums. Herbs such as amla that support the healing and development of connective tissue when taken internally also benefit the gums. The healing effect of these tonics take longer to become apparent since they must saturate the whole body in order to work on the gums. The results, however, are more lasting.

Bilberry fruit and hawthorn berry stabilize collagen, strengthening the gum tissue.[20] Liquorice root promotes anti-cavity action, reduces plaque, and has an antibacterial effect. In Ayurveda, teeth are considered part of Astidhatu - bone tissue, so that their sockets are like joints. Herbs taken internally to strengthen Astidhatu, i.e. the skeleton and the joints, are good for long-term health of the teeth. Outstanding examples include yellow dock root, alfalfa leaf, cinnamon bark, and turmeric root.

Many people believe that because medicines are herbal (natural) or traditional they are safe (or carry no risk for harm). However, traditional medicines and practices can cause harmful, adverse reactions if the product or therapy is of poor quality, or it is taken inappropriately or in conjunction with other medicines. Increased patient awareness about safe usage is important, as well as more training, collaboration and communication among providers of traditional and other medicines.

Traditionally, Ayurveda uses many metals in therapeutics, but that is only after due purification process strictly followed in accordance with authentic traditional methods. Lead, mercury, and arsenic intoxication have been associated with the use of Ayurvedic herbal medicine product (HMPs). Robert et al conducted a study to determine the prevalence and concentration of heavy metals in Ayurvedic HMPs manufactured in South Asia and sold in Boston-area stores. They concluded that one of 5 Ayurvedic HMPs produced in South Asia and available in Boston South Asian grocery stores contains potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. Users of Ayurvedic medicine may be at risk for heavy metal toxicity, and testing of Ayurvedic HMPs for toxic heavy metals should be mandatory. Saper et al from Harvard Medical School have reported heavy metal content of Ayurvedic herbal preparations and have recommended mandatory toxic heavy metal testing. Neither report allows for the fact that there have been few reports of heavy metal toxicity following traditional medicine use.[21]

Such studies are important and needed, however they are more related to the quality control failures of mass manufacturing activities. Often they are wrongly used to limit the use of traditional medicine. In reality, such a quality control failure should not be considered as a general negative notion to create a bias against traditional medicine. More broadly, in addressing safety in herbal medicines a basic question is safe with respect to what? Research has found that in US, 51% of FDA approved drugs have serious adverse effects not detected prior to their approval. 1.5 million people are sufficiently injured by prescription drugs annually that they require hospitalization. Once in hospital the problem may be compounded. The incidence of serious and fatal adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in US hospitals is now ranked as between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death in the United States, following next after heart disease, cancer, pulmonary disease, and accidents. Thus the safety of and risks associated with medical interventions is an issue across all categories of health care.[22]

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Naturopathic & Functional Medicine Doctors in Michigan …

Posted: September 5, 2016 at 7:46 pm

One of Dr. Morgan's many interests is nutrigenomics and methylation management. This works well for more complicated symptom pictures because making generalized recommendations can work well for many conditions but the answer is not always so simple. Looking at patient's genetics and methylation processes can give insight into their ability to produceneurotransmitters, detoxify their body, and regulate cell processes. How well these biochemical reactions function determine if you are sensitive to vaccinations, perfumes, sulfur drugs, and etc. This cycle also determines if you have a increased risk for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), schizophrenia, depression, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and etc. The Methylation Cycle can be very confusing but sometimes it is the key to recovering your health. We cannot change your DNA, but nutrigenomics is looking at how nutrients interact with your genes to optimize these pathways. With genetic testing we can help you regainyour health by finding your methylation weaknesses and either supporting them nutritionally or by withholding compounds that you do not metabolize well.

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Naturopathic & Functional Medicine Doctors in Michigan ...

The Center For Natural & Integrative Medicine, Orlando …

Posted: at 7:46 pm

The shopping cart is currently unavailable. Please call the office or email us at info@drkalidas.com We apologize for any inconvenience. FREE SEMINAR Natural & Holistic Ways to Treat Anxiety and Depression

It may surprise you to hear that depression and anxiety are more than "just a chemical imbalance in the brain. Dr. Romie is going to discuss what is the root cause of depression and anxiety?

What does treating depression and anxiety holistically really mean? What is the science behind mindfulness in treating depression and anxiety?

Join us to learn about getting your life back!

At the Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine we strive to become your partner in health. Our mission is to inspire and empower you to live extraordinary lives by nourishing yourself from the inside out. We support you and help you discover a personalized, integrative approach for both men and women to optimize vitality and vibrant health. We test, identify and treat imbalances of hormones, vitamins, micronutrients as well as remove obstacles to healing such as toxins, allergens, and heavy metals. We look for and find the root cause. By treating the whole person, our programs optimize immune function, decrease illiness and enhance the positive outcome for health and well being. Our functional approach truly provides a bridge to health, hope, and healing.

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Are you feeling moody, depressed, irritable, or have brain fog? Are you losing hair or libido or feeling hot or aged? Are you finding it difficult to lose weight or perhaps having acne? These are some of the signs of having a hormonal imbalance. Production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, melatonin, human growth hormone, and other hormones tapers off after we reach our 20s and 30s and contribute to the signs and symptoms of aging. Blood, saliva and urine testing for all hormones including the thyroid hormone, optimizing with bio-identical hormones and going beyond just "normal" are a cornerstone therapy at our center.

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Chonic Fatigue and Imune Dysfunction Syndromes (abbreviated CFIDS or CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS) represent a group of symptoms associated with severe fatigue, insomnia, "brain fog," and, in those with fibromyalgia, widespread pain. Lyme disease symptoms often overlap with those of co-infections or other diseases, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and lupus. Most people can improve and often recover by using our individualized protocols that address sleep, hormonal support, infections, nutrition, and exercise. Oxidative therapies including hyperbaric, ozone and ultraviolet blood irradiation are very effective. Many patients have recovered using our individualized oral and I.V. nutrition, antibiotics, detoxification and rebuilding the immune system program.

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America is home to the most obese people in the world. According to the CDC, approximately 33% of adults are overweight and obesity related deaths have climbed to 300 000 per year. Obesity rates are soaring in our children as well. We believe that healthy weight loss, i.e. loss of fat while conserving muscle, is essential to Anti-aging and Longevity Therapies.

Excess weight has a tendency to creep up on us. Its important to remember that obesity is much more than a cosmetic issue. If youre carrying extra pounds, youre walking a dangerous tightrope towardsheart disease,diabetes, and myriad other health concerns.

Weight gain is almost always a consequence of poor eating habits and too little exercise, and we acknowledge the role of therapeutic lifestyle changes in weight management.

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We extensively use oral nutritional and herbal support to nourish and energize the body. For our cancer patients we prefer to use intravenous nutrition which involves administering vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other nutrients directly into the bloodstream (intravenously). Our extensive protocols, some using Vitamin C, Myers cocktail, or Glutathione, help strengthen immune function and are used for chronic fatigue, cancer recovery, migraines, maculardegeneration, allergies and more. We identify food allergies and sensitivity and help with special diets such as gluten free, dairy free, vegan or vegetarian. We frequently test for vitamin, antioxidant and mineral deficiencies, gut flora, Candida and stomach acid.

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Chelation is a safe, effective and relatively inexpensive treatment to restore blood flow in patients with atherosclerosis without surgery and to eliminate toxins and heavy metals from your system. It involves the intravenous infusion of a prescription medicine called Ethylene Diamine Tetra-Acetic Acid (EDTA), plus vitamins and minerals at therapeutic dosages. We test for heavy metals, environmental toxins, plastics, PCBs, pesticides and offer I.V. and oral chelation, liver support with oral and I.V. nurtition along with the use of the infra-red sauna, lymphatic drainage. We offer 3, 10, and 28 day detoxification programs that can be tailored to your needs.

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Stages of Alzheimer’s & Symptoms | Alzheimer’s Association

Posted: September 4, 2016 at 10:42 am

Did you know?

People with cognitive changes caused by Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's or another dementia. However, not all people with MCI develop Alzheimer's.


Overview of disease progression

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease worsen over time, although the rate at which the disease progresses varies. On average, a person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.

Changes in the brain related to Alzheimer's begin years before any signs of the disease. This time period, which can last for years, is referred to as preclinical Alzheimer's disease.

The stages below provide an overall idea of how abilities change once symptoms appear and should only be used as a general guide. They are separated into three different categories: mild Alzheimer's disease, moderate Alzheimer's disease and severe Alzheimer's disease. Be aware that it may be difficult to place a person with Alzheimer's in a specific stage as stages may overlap

Mild Alzheimer's disease (early-stage)

Although the onset of Alzheimer's disease cannot yet be stopped or reversed, an early diagnosis can allow a person the opportunity to live well with the disease for as long as possible and plan for the future.

>>Life After Diagnosis

In the early stages of Alzheimer's, a person may function independently. He or she may still drive, work and be part of social activities. Despite this, the person may feel as if he or she is having memory lapses, such as forgetting familiar words or the location of everyday objects.

Friends, family or neighbors begin to notice difficulties. During a detailed medical interview, doctors may be able to detect problems in memory or concentration. Common difficulties include:

Moderate Alzheimer's disease (middle-stage)

During the moderate stage of Alzheimer's, individuals may have greater difficulty performing tasks such as paying bills, but they may still remember significant details about their life.

Moderate Alzheimer's is typically the longest stage and can last for many years. As the disease progresses, the person with Alzheimer's will require a greater level of care.

You may notice the person with Alzheimer's confusing words, getting frustrated or angry, or acting in unexpected ways, such as refusing to bathe. Damage to nerve cells in the brain can make it difficult to express thoughts and perform routine tasks.

At this point, symptoms will be noticeable to others and may include:

Learn more: Know the 10 Signs, Steps to Diagnosis, Diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Related Dementias.

Learn more: Daily Care and Behaviors

Severe Alzheimer's disease (late-stage)

In the final stage of this disease, individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, to carry on a conversation and, eventually, to control movement. They may still say words or phrases, but communicating pain becomes difficult. As memory and cognitive skills continue to worsen, personality changes may take place and individuals need extensive help with daily activities.

At this stage, individuals may:

Learn more: Late-stage Care

Help is available

Your local Alzheimer's Association chapter can connect you with the resources you need to cope with the symptoms and challenges of Alzheimer's. Find a chapter in your community

Our free 24/7 Helpline provides information, referral and care consultation by professionals inmore than 200 languages.

Our Greenfield Library houses more than 5,000 books, journals and resources. Access it online.

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Fitness (magazine) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: at 10:42 am


Cover of the November/December 2009 issue of Fitness.

Fitness is a United States-based women's magazine, focusing on health, exercise, and nutrition. It is owned and published by the Meredith Corporation. The editor-in-chief of Fitness is Betty Wong.[2]

Fitness was launched in 1992,[3] and was acquired by the Meredith Corporation from Bertelsmann's Gruner + Jahr in 2005.[4] In 2005, Fitness also launched its web presence, giving readers separate online resources for fitness and health tips alongside the magazine's monthly editorial content.[5] Betty Wong became Editor-in-Chief in September 2008, incorporating several changes to the magazine, creating several new columns and features.[2][6] In 2009, Fitness posted significant ad page gains according to the Publishers Information Bureau, increasing by 18.4% when overall magazine publishers' counts were down 27.9% industry-wide.[2][7] It was recognized for several awards, having been awarded "Most Improved Publication" and best "How-To/Instructional" feature in minOnline's Editorial and Design Awards.[8]

On January 28, 2015, it was reported that Meredith Corp. would acquired Shape Magazine which would be merged with Fitness magazine in May 2015.[9] The Fitness website would continue to operate.[10][11]

Fitness editorial content centers largely on exercise, nutrition, health, and beauty. Fitness also conducts several real-world fitness and health-themed events to promote its brand and raise money for charity, including the Mind, Body, Spirit Games and a half-marathon in conjunction with fellow Meredith publication More magazine.[2][12][13]

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Fitness (magazine) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beachbody – At Home Workout Videos & Fitness Programs

Posted: September 2, 2016 at 5:44 am

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Results vary depending on starting point, goals, and effort. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition. The testimonials featured may have used more than one Beachbody product or extended the program to achieve their maximum results.

Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or nutrition plan, or using any supplement or meal replacement product, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication. The contents on our website are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Apple logo, App Store, Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Roku is a registered trademark of Roku, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Amazon, Kindle, Fire, and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com or its affiliates. Chrome, Chromecast, and the Chrome logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Beachbody - At Home Workout Videos & Fitness Programs

Gyms Near Me – Find a Gym – Gym Locator | Anytime Fitness

Posted: at 5:44 am

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FitnessRx for Women!

Posted: at 5:44 am

Do-Anywhere Circuit

What You Should Be Doing!

Just 18 Minutes!

Part 1: Shoulders and Abs

NO Equipment Needed!

EASY To Make!

Sheena Martin shares her prep!

And Help Shrink Your Waistline!

You MUST Get OUT Of Your Comfort Zone

22 Grams of Protein!

A Total Body Transformation Powered By AML

Grill Up a Healthy Summer Meal

Shape Up With One Versatile Machine

A skinny version of this popular dessert!

NPC Competitor Megan Long shares her Secrets

The Lunchtime Facial and How It Works

17 grams of protein per serving!

Stay Cool While Looking Hot

Fat-Blasting 25-Minute Workouts

Star Vicky Jeudy Reveals Diet and Workout Tips

How to FIX them!

Paleo & Low-Carb Friendly!

And how to change it!

Burn Fat with 10-20-30 Training

Do-Anywhere Circuit

Just 18 Minutes!

Part 1: Shoulders and Abs

NO Equipment Needed!

EASY To Make!

22 Grams of Protein!

Grill Up a Healthy Summer Meal

A skinny version of this popular dessert!

What You Should Be Doing!

And Help Shrink Your Waistline!

The Lunchtime Facial and How It Works

Stay Cool While Looking Hot

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FitnessRx for Women!

Dietary Guidelines | Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

Posted: September 1, 2016 at 4:45 am

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the cornerstone of Federal nutrition policy and nutrition education activities.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the 8th edition released since 1980 and remains the current edition until the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is released.

The Dietary Guidelines is required under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act, which states that every 5 years, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) must jointly publish a report containing nutritional and dietary information and guidelines for the general public. The statute (Public Law 101-445, 7 U.S.C. 5341 et seq.) requires that the Dietary Guidelines be based on the preponderance of current scientific and medical knowledge. The 2015-2020 edition of the Dietary Guidelines builds from the 2010 edition with revisions based on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and consideration of Federal agency and public comments.

Previous editions of the Dietary Guidelines focused primarily on individual dietary components such as food groups and nutrients. However, people do not eat food groups and nutrients in isolation but rather in combination, and the totality of the diet forms an overall eating pattern. The components of the eating pattern can have interactive and potentially cumulative effects on health. These patterns can be tailored to an individuals personal preferences, enabling Americans to choose the diet that is right for them. As a result, healthy eating patterns and their food and nutrient characteristics are a focus of the recommendations in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.

The Dietary Guidelines is designed for nutrition and health professionals to help all individuals ages 2 years and older and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. The information in the Dietary Guidelines is used by policymakers in developing Federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs. It also is the basis for Federal nutrition education materials designed for the public and for the nutrition education components of HHS and USDA food programs.

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Dietary Guidelines | Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion