Medicine has helped expand the human lifespan, but can it avoid morbidity?

In our last post, we left off with the notion that aging is a developmental condition that exploits our choices, exposures and genetics. This, in return, allows us to replace morbidity with vitality.  Medical advances have helped us survive our morbidities, but is only cracking the surface of helping us to avoid those very same morbidities.

morbidity extension curve

With modern medicine we often are able to help manage the individual with their morbidity. This results in a curve that look like this….



replace morbidity with vitality

Modern medicine and morbidity

Our choices sometimes expose us the conditions that bring us morbidity.  We experience the loss of our reserves and, as a result, find ourselves impaired.  Unable to do what we once were, we write that off as “aging” and accept that as our fate.  We are satisfied to live the rest of our lives with that impairment, without truly examining whether we can be rid of it. By doing so, we are bargaining for our future, and too often accept a lesser deal than we have access to… ie: amelioration for our symptoms rather than a solution for a root cause.

Through the wonders of modern medicine, we create a morbidity extension, perhaps prolonging life, but with diminished quality.  In the practice of mind-body medicine, we should choose a path that flattens the curve. The intent of “anti-aging” medicine is to replace morbidity with vitality.


Replace morbidity with vitality

The first 20 years of our life we are growing, and for the rest of our life we are aging. A preferred approach is to intervene before our reserve capacity and functioning have diminished due to morbid conditions developing. The result is sustained vitality and compressed morbidity, and possibly longer life as well…but vitality in life is the goal.

replace morbidity with vitality

We age at a similar rate until about our 30s.  Then we transition from “growing” to “aging.”  Wide variations can occur with the rate at which we age.  Unhealthy choices may lead to a biologic age equivalent to someone 15-20 years older!


What is your true age?

Aging, as we know it, is a developmental condition. When we age, we become more mature adults, growing older developmentally, not chronologically. Our real, or functional age, may be better measured by developmental and functional indicators than by our chronological age. For example, a chronologically 60-year-old person may have the physiological age of a 45-year-old person, or a 50-year-old may have the diseases and ill health paralleling the physiological decline of an 80-year-old.


It is helpful to look at aging as a developmental process, rather than a chronological one. Pathologic aging is the aging process brought on by the presence of disease. Examples may include adult-onset diabetes or arthritis, which may later bring on cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis. This should not be considered “normal” aging. These conditions are due to heredity or lifestyle. Good nutrition, an active lifestyle, metabolic balance and cognitive activities all contribute to staying younger longer…at any age.  

Stay tuned to learn what the seven biggest factors of aging, and how you can take control of your life before these factors take control of you!


Contact me to learn more on how you can replace morbidity with vitality and taking control of your aging.  


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