A Detailed Overview of Anti-Aging Technology – Past, Present and Future
Perhaps as long as our species has been alive, we’ve wanted to have just a bit more time. We want to live, if not forever, for another half-century or so at the very least. Most of the time we’ve satisfied ourselves with simply looking timeless.
That’s why anti-aging skincare is so popular. Most of us eventually reach a sort of peace with time continually moving forward, but we want to at least look like we’re outside of it. This has been true since civilization began and probably before.
We’ve done a lot of different things over that span of time to look our best. Some of it has seemed laughable while others to come are positively futuristic.
Here’s a short list:
- Gold Masks
- Herbal Pastes
- Carefully Engineered Products
All of these have been simply to try and look our best though. We’ve been even more interested in our pursuit of literal immortality or extended lifespans. This has led to some interesting choices along the way for some of us.
It is easy to look back and laugh, but we need to remember that our ancestors, in many cases, were no less intelligent than we are. They made sure we got this far. Our ancestors simply lacked all the information we take for granted.
Sometimes the oddest things can end up being useful too. With that in mind, it seems worth taking a look back at the various ways we’ve tried to defy age and continue to try to do so. That way we all know how far we’ve come.
A Matter of Faith
One thing we need to delicately touch on is that a lot of claims for prolonged life tend to be parts of major religions in the world. That makes discussing them and the ideas behind those long lives difficult.
There’s no way to give credence to one myth about an exceptionally long lived person in one faith without also allowing for another. That’s why we’re going to avoid these. These claims seldom rely on technology.
Most of these ideas revolve around it being the faith of the person that sustained them or a direct intervention of the supernatural. That isn’t something that just anyone could use even if it was true.
We just needed to touch on this topic because it was sure to come to the minds of some readers. Despite a lot of longevity claims being part of religious traditions and myth, there are still plenty of things people used to try to live longer.
Most of our early attempts at figuring out how to live longer tended to lean heavily towards folk remedies and cures. This lead to odd little ideas like carrying around an acorn in your pocket to live longer.
We know now that such ideas were relatively laughable. However, there are some earlier ideas related to health and longevity that might have something to them. The Romans in particular were fond of bathing in particular waters.
Roman baths for mineral waters are a good example of how they attempted to harness this. The medicinal properties of these waters continues to be relied on today. Original Roman baths are often in ruins now, but modern baths have sprung up near then.
Here’s the thing:
The Dead Sea is fairly similar in this regard. Sheer mineral content increases people’s overall buoyancy. It has also been long regarded as a place of healing.
Spots of healing like this play a heavy role in fighting aging in the past. Sometimes they’re a bit larger than a medicinal spring though.
Living longer in the past was a bigger issue than one might think. Less knowledge of medicine and disease combined with poorer nutrition tended to make for an overall shorter lifespan for most people. Any edge was welcome.
As a result, people tended to try to find ways to support better health so people lived longer. One of the key elements of this, as time went by, was moving to regions with believed healthier weather.
The Mediterranean was a popular destination for Europeans at one point specifically because of this reason. It gave people a way to move to an overall environment. This wasn’t always a miracle solution though.
This was particularly true when finding a place with better climate was used to treat diseases such as tuberculosis. There was only so much that better weather could do in the face of illness and infirmity. That hasn’t stopped the idea from remaining popular.
None of these ideas was actually the most fruitful though. The quest for living longer ultimately began to go somewhere in the modern era. We began to understand our bodies better and have viable solutions for solving some of the actual issues.
A Life Well Lived
As the study of medicine and general health awareness have improved, we’ve gotten a lot better about trying to improve our longevity. The deeper science of it is still a bit out of our reach, but at the same time our understanding is growing.
The biggest thing we’ve learned is that taking proper care of the body is an important aspect of living a long life. Admittedly, this news is less reassuring to some of us than others. Proper health takes work it turns out.
Here’s the deal:
Taking good care of yourself means eating well and exercising. Our doctors have told us this for ages and we’ve invented various ways to improve our odds on this. A big one is home fitness.
Most of us aren’t used to thinking of something as simple as exercise equipment as technology, but the truth is that they are devices meant to save us trouble in some way. That qualifies them as technology. It also qualifies the Roman baths and holiday in some instances.
Making sure that we stay as fit as possible isn’t necessarily the full goal of exercising well. We’ve learned that there is a healthy level of activity for the body over time. Going beyond that can cause problems.
Fortunately, that’s hard for most of us. Most of the time all we need to worry about is making sure to exercise at moderate intensity for a half hour to an hour, several times each week, to maintain optimal fitness.
Eating right is also recommended and far easier in the modern world.
Longevity on Your Plate
The biggest thing that we’ve learned is honestly that what we eat is important. Healthy, green diets tend to ensure we live longer than other diets. There are a few catches to that though.
We have to be aware of how we’re tailoring our diet. The trick is figuring out what particular combination of foods gives you optimal nutrition. This is getting easier and easier with time.
It gets better:
Advances in agriculture and transportation over time mean that we have a wider selection of foods available to us than at any point in history. That allows us to have true freedom when it comes to picking out what foods we want to include in our diet.
This improvement carries over into our options for getting those nutrients into our bodies too. A healthy diet is typically the meals we eat, yes, but juicers and similar options open up the chance for dense, nutrient-rich drinks as well.
Working with a doctor goes a long way towards ensuring that you manage to eat a good diet. After all, what that means tends to vary from person to person. Sometimes it can even involve supplements.
A Healthy Boost
Supplements are one of those things that seem a bit absurd when you just describe them. Small, nutrient-packed objects that you swallow for your health. Why wouldn’t you just eat the food with the nutrients to get a good taste too?
The truth of the matter is that a lot of us have difficulty ensuring we meet every nutritional need. Sometimes climate interferes while other times a particular disease or physical issue can hamper having the right nutrition. That’s why supplements exist.
They are another tool for our doctors to help us reach an ideal level of health. Unfortunately, many people treat them as something else entirely. They encourage people to take supplements without consulting their doctors.
Adopting this mindset is a bad idea. It can lead to unexpected drug interactions as well as end up hampering the effectiveness of certain treatments. That’s why you should always tell your doctor what supplements you’re taking.
It gets worse:
Indiscriminately taking vitamin supplements can hurt your health by causing you to have too much of a particular nutrient. This in turn can lower your life expectancy by cause certain diseases. That’s what it is important to take supplements only as direct.
Sticking with directions from your doctor will help you make supplements a healthy part of keeping your life longer and healthier. The personal touch required actually foreshadows the future of anti-aging technology fairly well.
A Glimpse of the Future
Customized medicine ultimately represents the future of anti-aging technology. Doctors are beginning to decipher more about how our genetics relate to our potential longevity and are able to isolate the likelihood of certain diseases.
This ability is going to continue to grow over time and allow specialists to provide you with better quality treatment. Narrowing down the specialists you’ll need for particular care will also help avoid not knowing what needs to be treated.
You can expect longevity to increase some alongside this shift in medicine. Identifying potential problems earlier on will let us figure out what problem behaviors to adjust in our lives.
Want to know the best part?
These advances are coming alongside other forms of advanced detection that are leading to phasing out older, less reliable ways of detecting illness. This is particularly important when it comes to life-threatening illnesses like cancer.
It’s advances like these that actually drive up life expectancy instead of miracle drugs or treatments for extending one’s lifespan. Admittedly, there are a few treatments out there banking on a better understanding than we have now or a miracle to extend life.
Stepping Outside the Boundaries
There have been more than a few outlandish ideas on how to extend one’s life. Some of them are a bit farther out there than others though. Many people have heard of Alcor in at least passing. The service they offer seems to be a one-stop ticket to the future.
The general principle they offer is to preserve the body, or physical brain, immediately after apparent physical death. Their technicians will then cryogenically preserve the body or brain until such a point that future technology can restore people to a healthy new body.
It isn’t really the most ideal way of avoiding the aging process. After all, the entry barrier is at least seemingly dying. There are more interesting and likely ways to help minimize the effect of age on the body.
Gene therapy is a hot topic right now in anti-aging circles. Various researchers, both with backing and without, have been looking into ways to adjust one’s genes to live that much longer. The current ongoing tests are actually the subject of some skepticism.
The most popularly known tests don’t have much credibility behind them and the ability to test the results is dubious. However, it is entirely likely that we will see more of it in the future thanks to age at least partly being in our genes.
Admittedly, age is also in many other aspects of our bodies too. It remains to be seen how long it will be before the science of aging offers us a way to reduce or reverse the process, but we’ll all be watching carefully.
We’ve covered a fair number of ways that we’ve thought to aid our longevity over the course of civilization. These, of course, are a fraction of the ideas that have gone around. There are countless other things out there people tried to use.
Here are a few examples:
- Subsistence on an unusual diet
- Adherence to a strict code
- Rarely washing
- Staying in sunlight
It honestly often seems like there are as many ideas about how to live a long time as there are people. Trying to actually solve it and apply a technological mindset is a comparatively new idea though. The idea has manifested throughout history though.
Minimizing the effects of age is likely to remain an ongoing quest for the human species. We may just wear out eventually. Regardless of any upper limit, we certainly won’t stop trying to ensure we make the most of this life for as long as we can have it.