Tuesday, 04 February 2014
Crabby Old Lady and Dodgy Aging Claims
Like Crabby Old Lady, perhaps some other bloggers reading this received an email Monday from a marketer touting a seminar series by Deepak Chopra.
You need to know up front that Dr. Chopra is not on the list of people Crabby respects in the areas of health and aging so keep that in mind as you read on.
The seminar series is titled, Timeless You: The Biology of Youth & The Wisdom of Experience and the marketer says it is unlike anything Chopra has ever created before. Uh-huh.
In the email, Crabby is offered a chance to become a “contributor to Team Chopra” with free access to the $30, six-part seminar, attendance at an “exclusive” live webinar where she can directly ask Dr. Chopra questions, plus a $15 Amazon gift card.
All she must do is write an “honest review” of the series. Well, consider it done, without a $15 Amazon gift card, because sometimes you really can tell a book by its cover.
If the information Chopra is selling is so revolutionary, why is it necessary to pay lowly bloggers an embarrassingly cheap fee for their advertising?
Further, because this is being marketed to old people (grandparents.com is a partner in the venture), Crabby was immediately skeptical of that “biology of youth” stuff - a carefully worded implication that six seminars will make you young again. But as you will see below, that claim is explicit elsewhere.
You can tell from the six seminar titles that this is nothing more than warmed-over psychobabble you can find in abundance anywhere online for free.The six webinars are:
A Youthful Mind
The Mind-Body Connection
“You have the power to reverse the aging process”
No you don't. Period. Full stop.
The longer version of that quotation at the seminar site is the epitome of new age-y blather Crabby thought had been left behind with the Sixties:
”You have the power to reverse the aging process and feel a decade younger! With Timeless You, you'll learn to maximize your energy, eliminate stress, keep your mind sharp, and find joy and fulfillment in every day.”
A lot of dubious products and services around the internet make that claim – that they can reverse the aging process. Listen to Crabby: nothing known to humankind reverses the aging process. Got that? Not a pill, not tinkering with DNA, not a “guru” or anything else.
If Crabby's word isn't enough for you, listen to Britain's National Health Service in a story from last December debunking widespread reports on both sides of the Atlantic that month that scientists had found the fountain of youth:
”The Mail Online tells us that, "the secret of looking up to 40 years younger" has been identified by scientists in the US.
“Sadly, this Christmas present fails to deliver. The research in question was only carried out in mice and didn't focus on reducing their wrinkles.
“What the scientists actually did was identify why the 'power houses' of cells – mitochondria – perform less well as cells age.”
Following a detailed explanation in layman's terms of what the scientists did learn, the NHS concludes:
”This research has shown that some of the changes in cells that occur with ageing can be reversed in mice in the short term. The longer term effects of the treatment used in this study on mice are not yet known.
“The treatment did not reverse the age-related weakening of the mice's muscles, so the researchers will need to show if it can have an effect on this or other wider consequences of ageing. Whether the findings apply to humans also remains to be seen.”
The only reason Crabby has bothered with this is that unlike herself, many people pay attention to what Deepak Chopra says and the promotional material for this seminar series makes a particularly egregious claim about what he's selling.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mickey Rogers: Shoes