Aging Exceptionally: Anti-Aging and the Vagal Brain
Why must aging be “normal”? Why must our brains age? Well, not everyone one does age, at least to the same degree. So-called SuperAgers can maintain healthy cognitive functions well into their 80’s, similar to those in middle age. What makes their brains special and can they share it?
It appears the answer might be closer to the body than to the mind. SuperAger’s enhanced memory and cognition arises from the vagal brain, a neural circuit controlling the parasympathetic nervous system, which is much more developed compared to their younger peers. They have a particular buff representation of their body in their brain.
What does this tell us about how to age, not only gracefully, but exceptionally?
The powerful vagus (“wandering”) nerve connects the brain with almost all the vital functions of the body, reducing the damaging effects of stress on mind, body and brain, supporting grace under pressure.
Guided breathing has unique control over the vagal nerve, activating the repair and growth functions of the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system in both the body and brain to build healthier and more stress resilient versions of our selves.
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