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Grow Younger, Live Longer: Ten Steps to Reverse Aging Paperback – December 24, 2002
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Written as an easily accessible plan based on his Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra's Grow Younger, Live Longer presents many of the same quantum-based theories of aging as simply a matter of changing your perception. But here, you'll find the format greatly simplified into 10 short chapters, each with a single focus. Each step is fairly basic and combines visualization and breathing exercises with the behavior modifications we've come to expect when we try to get healthier, such as more exercise, balanced eating, avoidance of toxins, and regular sleep. Clear diagrams are included as necessary, such as with his yoga stretches and breathing exercises, and tables have been provided for a quick glance at some recommendations for vitamins. A handful of internationally inspired vegetarian recipes is tucked in the back and are a fun way to introduce some unusual flavors to your meals.
A regular complaint about Chopra's books is the lack of clear data to back up his claims, and this has not changed. He provides numerous anecdotal accounts of folks ridding themselves of cancer, AIDS, or high blood pressure. For many lay readers, these anecdotes provide enough encouragement to try Chopra's program and improve their outlook on life; medical professionals may just be annoyed. Lack of research aside, it's hard to argue with the suggestions. From "connecting more openly with your coworkers" to "always use sunscreen when you are outdoors" and "drink plenty of fresh water throughout the day," the majority of Chopra's methods seem based in common sense, with his "Quantum Realm" as the seasoning that adds a little exciting flavor to a very basic recipe. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Chopra, alternative health guru and founder of the Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, CA, and Simon, the center's medical director and cofounder, present a program to enhance mind/body integration that they contend will help reverse aging. In a previous book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (LJ 6/15/93), Chopra argued that mental, social, and intellectual activity can help people slow the aging process. Grow Younger suggests that readers who follow the advice offered can reset their biological age as much as 15 years lower than their chronological age. The authors outline ten steps: to make changes in how we perceive time, get enough of the right kind of sleep and rest, eat the right kinds of food, take nutritional complements (the authors prefer this term to supplements), enhance mind/body integration, eliminate toxins, cultivate flexibility and creativity, and make love the most import thing in our life. Conscious breath work and meditation are encouraged, exercises for flexibility are illustrated, seven vegetarian menus are provided, and a list of resources and a bibliography round out this book. Although his advice can be unorthodox, this work will be appreciated by Chopra's many readers; recommended for public libraries and specialized collections. Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Foundation Lib.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Grow Younger, Live Longer is an update on Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. The authors describe the Ayurvedic principles (practiced in India for many hundreds of years) of self-healing in a more detailed and understandable way than in any of Dr. Chopra's earlier books. Long-time practitioners of Transcendental Meditation will find little new in the book. Those who do not meditate now will find the book an easy, comfortable way to begin mind-body integration in ways that will probably help physiological and psychological health.
The authors argue that by forming ten new habits (by following the recommended practices for at least 10 weeks), you can "reset your Biostat (your biological or functional, age) up to fifteen years younger than your chronological age." Your Biostat is determined by various measures of your body's functioning, as compared to the average of people of the same sex and age. That point is not proven, however, in the text of the book. Many references care made in the notes. I am aware of studies done by practitioners of Transcendental Meditation that show such effects, which may be part of what the claim is based on. Some scientists have criticized the studies for potential bias because practitioners conducted almost all of the studies. The authors are not recommending TM, but rather other versions of meditation. Some nutritional and relationship studies have shown reversals of such biological markers.
You are encouraged to psychologically reframe aging to "an opportunity for greater wisdom, love, creativity, meaning, joy, and increased mental and physical capacity." "The real purpose of the book is to remind you, the reader, that this deeper reality, the domain of pure potentiality of spirit, is who you really are." "To know a person's body in the future, examine their experiences now." This sort of writing will remind you that Dr. Chopra likes to use Quantum physics as a metaphor for explaining the potential benefits of spiritual practices....
I also found much more scientific explanation here than in his earlier books about why these changes should be helpful. These were most detailed in the nutrition and exercise sections. The recommendations were explained in enough detail that I think that most people could understand and follow them. You will also find at least half of these food, water, and exercise recommendations in the better health books. The emphasis on spiritual and pscyhological practices is much stronger here. A good book on the importance of love from the scientific perspective is Dr. Dean Ornish's Love and Survival. The book also ends with a long section of vegetarian recipes from various cuisines (Thai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, French, American, and Middle Eastern) for seven sample menus. These have fairly extensive lists of ingredients, and you may need to buy some provisions you don't have now. Tamari sauce is a good example of something that is not present in many American larders.
This book will probably be most appealing to a retired person who finds her- or himself feeling disconnected from a meaningful purpose. The practices here would be most helpful in that situation, and a retired person would have the time to take on the many new habits suggested here. Although middle-aged people with children at home would feel like they could never take the time to do these things, they would probably benefit even more from the stress reduction that these practices could bring.
I would also enourage you to learn about practicing TM. With that change, you would probably find it easier to make these other changes that Dr. Chopra suggests. Most cities have TM centers where you can locate a teacher. You can go to introductory sessions at no charge. The yoga in this book will make a nice complement to your meditation practice.
Take life's unexpected events less personally and with more curiosity!
The supposed scientific criticism of this book is based on the arrogant assumption that spiritual realities have little connection to or impact on our physical well-being. Heck, if we can't detect it with all our new fangeled toys, it doesn't exist! Give me a break. Does anyone believe that all of our modern scientists put together have discovered all of the dimensions of reality?! You can't even put them all together without starting a civil war of differing perspectives.
Chopra's prescriptions for health and longevity are based on both spiritual and scientific realities and he has expertise in each of these disciplines. After 31 years of spiritual ministry, much of it done in the world of health care, I advise you to not let the "smarty pants" M.D.'s and Ph.D's scare you away from this valuable health resource.
I have many of Dr. Chopra's audio tapes and while I don't take everything he says at face value I try to stay open to what he says on any given program and judge the material for it's own merits.
Of course Dr. Chopra's popularity as a "Pop Culture Guru" can make it tempting to take him less seriously and write off anything he does as just another way for him to make a buck. Sometimes I myself feel this way due to the "factory-like" volume of materials that have come out under his authorship. Also, I do find that Deepak can get somewhat repetitive in much of his talk about "Cybernetic Feedback Loops" and the like :)
Still, I always feel that if there's even one idea that can be helpful it is worth the effort and I generally get some benefit out of Deepak's work which is what led me to check this out.
What I found on this particular program was a lot of good advice for living a healthier and less stressful life. While I'm not a scientist, it seems quite obvious that anyone with a brain and common sense would realize that if you actually follow the advice given on this program you could only realize tremendous benefits on many levels.
Perhaps the only thing that might be considered "hocus pocus" by the mainstream medical community is Dr. Chopra's use of affirmations. While I'm generally not personally drawn to use affirmations , I would have to at least admit that if an affirmation helps one to focus on something positive rather than something negative it certainly can't hurt.
As far as the claims of a program like this making you live longer, who knows, BUT it seems quite clear to me that if you follow this program you will in the least feel better during whatever time you do have. Not only that, it seems pretty logical that if you do follow the useful advice on this program and therefore improve your overall physical and mental well being that it should translate into having a longer life than if you didn't follow the advice, and there is a LOT of practical and sound advice here.
I would be wary of some of the obviously jaded and arrogant scientific criticism that I read in previous reviews listed here concerning this book. My experience with the book is that those criticisms didn't ring true. While I can understand their concerns that this book may make some bold claims which they don't feel are scientifically proven, in general it appears that scientists seem to have a very narrow window that they look through and if it doesn't fit their world view then they think it's false.
The danger is that they think their world view is one based on facts, but perhaps they fail to realize or admit that they are limited by their current level of understanding, methods and equipment.
It wasn't so long ago that Newton was THE voice of physics and Quantum physics didn't exist as a scientific discipline. It wasn't so long ago that Galileo was given quite a hard time for views that are obvious to us now. There are other world views out there, that are equally valid. There are also many other approaches to well being that have been working for thousands of years, long before there was the American Medical Association and the like.
Likewise it also always amazes me how many doctors like to write off certain healing anomalies as a "placebo effect". What they fail to admit is that the whole notion of a "placebo effect" in and of itself is quite miraculous and shows that there are possibilities beyond what many Western doctors and scientists would like to admit is possible. Just because they can't quantify it doesn't make it invalid.
All that being said :)
Aside from the "Affirmations", this book is actually very grounded and filled with excellent and practical advice and one doesn't need to have a Ph.D. in aging to realize it's benefits. Anyone who "has a body" and common sense can benefit by good nutrition, exercise and stress reduction and therefore can benefit by the information in this program.
This book IS by the way co-authored by two doctors, one of which is Dr. David Simon. Dr. Simon was trained in neurology but came to feel the limitations of Western medicine as a sole healing modality. His search has led him to an integrative approach utilizing the best of so called "Conventional" and "Alternative" disciplines.
I am currently reading two of his books "Vital Energy" and "Wisdom of Healing" which are excellent. I was first exposed to Dr. Simon through a 12 tape audio program he did with Deepak Chopra called "Training the mind, Healing the Body" which is fascinating and very helpful. I was deeply impressed with Dr. Simon's deep knowledge, obvious sincerity, and compassion. After encountering that program I started searching out more of his materials which have all been outstanding!