women, menopause involves an abrupt decrease of female sex hormones such
as estrogen and progesterone, along with cessations of ovulation and
menstruation. This marks an end to natural reproductive capability. In
men, between the ages of 40 to 65, a gradual aging process with decrease
of male sex hormones such as testosterone has been observed. Depending
on differences in lifestyle, eating habits, genetics and stress levels,
and different symptoms can present quickly, and the aging process can
increase rapidly. In the majority of situations, the aging symptoms can
include but are not limited to mood changes, weight gain, decreased
concentration and memory, increased cardiovascular risk, increased
prostate cancer risk, decreased sexual functions such as weaker and
shorter erection, premature ejaculation, decreased libido, increased
nervousness, and a general sense of melancholy or weakening of muscles
and bones. There are more wrinkles and duller sensory perception.
Significant hair loss or graying can be seen. This is also an important
"midlife crisis" stage in which men frequently examine their role in
their life and their world. This can determine whether or not men can go
through aging gracefully. Male menopause, unfortunately, does exist.
This period in men's life is defined in Chinese Medicine
as the end of the first life cycle of sixty years where the body has
achieved peak growth and development and in the process of aging, at
times rapidly. This is the time period to prepare for the next
sixty-year cycle. Chinese believe that men and women, without illnesses,
can live minimally to the age of 120. The goal of managing this Male
Menopause period is to slow down or even temporarily reverse the aging
process and preserve good life quality. There are ten essential steps to
a successful male menopause? That is male aging.
Get rid of illnesses as early as possible.
We have the tendency to attribute all sorts of
problems-such as fatigue, depression, incontinence, forgetfulness, or
unsteadiness on the feet-to the process of getting old. In fact, most
these problems are not part of the aging process and need to be treated.
To get rid of illnesses does not mean merely managing the symptoms with
drugs. For example, taking antihypertensive drugs for high blood
pressure, Viagra for impotence, and aggressive lowering cholesterol
statins for hyperlipidemia are just ways to manage the illnesses. Though
they are necessary and vital especially in managing moderate to severe
conditions, they are not curative ways in addressing the roots of the
conditions. Sometimes the roots of the conditions might be genetic and
difficult to remedy; we still need to strive for a cure or betterment of
the conditions. For example, in hypertension, besides taking a
medication, fundamental life style and eating habits need to be
modified. Having sufficient exercise regimen, good eating habits and
learning Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong can all be beneficial. In elevated
cholesterol condition, intake of saturated fats needs to be avoided and
intake of fresh fruits and vegetables should be encouraged. Regular
physical examination is also a helpful way to discover problems earlier
Mild to moderate exposure to sun.
Direct strong sunlight can damage the skin as well as
speed up the aging process of the body. Some exposure to mild morning or
late afternoon sunshine is more suitable.
Avoid smoking and limit consumption of alcohol.
Smoking damages the lungs and different organs and
tissues of the body. It dramatically increases cancer risks. Alcohol can
dry up the skin, weaken the blood vessels, and impair the liver and
other organs if it is used excessively. Moderate intake of alcohol is
Eat a healthful diet with good water.
Diet needs to be rich in vegetables and fibers. Avoid
high fat and high calorie foods. Avoid overeating. Eat lighter at
dinner. Long living men
in the world live around areas where the water quality is superb. Good
water quality with good trace mineral contents is vital for the
functioning of our organs.
Embrace healthful exercise and learn self-healing.
Do exercises that incorporate cardiovascular and
strengthening aspects. Do meditative exercises that can promote
self-healing such as Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong, Eight Treasures, Dao-In,
Yoga, swimming and walking. As we get older we actually need to be more
physically active, since our bodies need to be moved more frequently to
prevent stiffening and aging of the joints.
Keeping mentally fit.
One way is to never retire. We can modify and change
the jobs we do to something less stressful and demanding, but we should
continue to find challenging projects that will exercise our mind and
help us stay connected to other people. Take up grandparenting duties.
Spending time with grandchildren and young people can help us absorb
some of the vibrant youthful energies. Develop new interests, visit new
places, make new friends, attend new classes, read new books, work on
new puzzles, volunteer in nonprofits or community service to keep your
Minimize Drug Usages.
Because we do not metabolize drugs as well as when we
are younger, more drugs are likely to cause side effects as we age. Find
natural substitutes such as herbs or other alternative treatments such
as acupuncture if possible to deal with the problems first. If there is
a new symptom, always check to see if it is due to a medication you are
Judicious Use of Herbs.
There are many herbs that have anti-aging or aging
reduction qualities. These herbs can be powerful in helping to slow down
the aging process. Food grade herbs such as Polygonum Multiflori,
Dioscoreae, and Reshi can be taken for a long period of time without any
side effects to boost immunity. But not all herbs are safe to take for a
long time. Consult a qualified practitioner before trying to use them
yourself, especially if you have limited knowledge.
Smile more often and keep a positive mood.
Happiness can lift your spirit and slow down the aging
process. Keep away negative energies. Learn to gracefully drive others
crazy. There is a saying in my family, if the old folks (the parents)
are demanding and difficult, they are probably aging nicely.
Throw away your age.
How you feel is important. Knowing your age sometimes
can make you feel old. A little denial is quite healthy at times. But
never be in denial of your physical capacity, pace yourself in your
daily activity level.