Is Anti-Aging Today’s Fountain of Youth?

  Anti-Aging – A Continue the Conversation topic

Anti-aging is the first topic in a new monthly series I call Continue the Conversation. In each monthly   segment, I’ll be providing my thoughts on a topic related to healthcare. Then I’ll invite you to continue the   conversation. From your thoughts, I hope to learn more about what healthcare subjects you’re most   interested in and want to see more information about.


Anti-aging – a fountain of youth or an imposter?

anti-agingThe other day a friend asked me, “What’s your take on anti-aging?”

I thought about it for a minute, then responded, “I’m all for a long and healthy life as well as good quality living.”

Later that night I got to thinking about our never-ending quest for youth. It started back in the 3rd Century when references to a Fountain of Youth appeared in manuscripts. This magical fountain promised to restore youth, health, and vitality to anyone who drank from it or even bathed in it. The legend of its existence became more renown in the 16th Century when the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon supposedly searched for it when he traveled to what is now known as Florida.

Although we have always treasured youth, contemporary society lasers on it to the point where anti-aging, or staying young is an absolute. This can be problematic if the definition focuses on looking young rather than feeling young through better health.

Toward my point, if you go to the Internet and key in the term “anti-aging,” you’ll not find too many articles on slowing the aging process through changes in lifestyle – resulting in better vitality and energy. Mostly your search results provide an abundance of skin and hair care products selling you a more youthful appearance. But what good is looking young if you feel sick or dragged down?

I’m of the opinion that every season of life is beautiful – just like in nature. We need to see the beauty in spring and summer – but also in autumn and winter! As we get older every wrinkle or crease in our faces tell a story. It is a master painting created through a person’s experiences and emotions. Should we not behold this beauty? Or should we Botox and face-lift it away? Just to be clear, I am not entirely against plastic esthetic surgery – but I think we have focused far too much on outer beauty instead of character and inner allure and grace.

To be fair, anti-aging is also about living longer. If we can remain lucid and productive, we can continue our contributions to life, science, and other pursuits, including each other. But it’s difficult to dissect altruistic purposes from the motive to just want to live longer. As for myself, I’m not yet ready to move on because I still have a significant vision unfulfilled.

Continue the Conversation

Although looking young and slowing the aging process are not mutually exclusive, companies tend to treat them as such. You’ve read my take on the concept of anti-aging. What do you think? Should we strive for endless youth on the outside, healthy living on the inside, or merely to avoid dying? I’m interested in your thoughts – and your questions. You can continue the conversation below.

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