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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:

Change Perceptions
A Youthful Mind
Healthy Relationship
The Mind-Body Connection
Mindful Eating
Joyful Exercise

But it was the blaring headline on the webinar page at grandparents.com and the seminar provider that most provoked Crabby:

“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


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

I'm with you, Crabby, nothing can make reverse the aging process. You can make yourself feel better as you do, but that's an entirely different claim. It's disrespectful of older people to claim that we can reverse Mother Nature.

"Ah-h, but I have finally found the fountain of youth - a squeeze of lime, and a liberal shot of Cuervo! No salt por favor. ."

Makes me feel younger!

A recent release from the National Institute of Health sites a study as to why elderly people have a higher risk of cancer than the rest of the population. It appears, to put it simply, we are genetically pre-programmed to live a certain number of years and no matter what we do, we cannot extend that time by very much. Here is a quote from that article and a link to the study..
From the National Institute of Health

“The accumulation of age-associated changes in a biochemical process that helps control genes may be responsible for some of the increased risk of cancer seen in older people, according to a National Institutes of Health study.
Scientists have known for years that age is a leading risk factor for the development of many types of cancer, but why aging increases cancer risk remains unclear. Researchers suspect that DNA methylation, or the binding of chemical tags, called methyl groups, onto DNA, may be involved. Methyl groups activate or silence genes, by affecting interactions between DNA and the cell’s protein-making machinery”.

Read more…
http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2014/niehs-03.htm

When I smile my jowls disappear and I instantly look and feel 20 years younger.

"The only reason Crabby has bothered with this is that unlike herself, many people pay attention to what Deepak Chopra says."

Don't shortchange yourself, Crabby.You have MANY readers who put more faith in your veracity and advice than in the dubious, false and unbelievable writings of Deepak Chopra.

What that solicitation and so many others don't seem to understand: We're old, not stupid.

What Ponce said (although dry martinis work for me) and also what Pied Type said.

If people weren't so gullible the cosmetic industry would not be making gazillions of dollars on the false premise that their products would make you look years younger. Deepak Chopra is just selling that false product in a different way.

Thanks for debunking him and his ilk. It's time for elders to face the reality that their bodies are old and they are going to continue to age.

The genes you inherited have more to do with how fast you age and how long you will live than any other factor and that you can never change.

I agree the DC is just out now, to get money. He has turned very slick. However, originally and underneath this hoopla are some good health ideas from auyervedic medicine. at least to my mind. And when he started out Chopra was far more humble and grounded in his approach. Now, when I hear Deepak is behind an idea, I push it aside. He has lost credibility with me. So, I'm with you.

I enjoyed reading as well as listening to him probably in the late 80s early 90s.

How sad to see that he’s just another one of them….member of the anti-aging club deceivers.

I’m older now and wiser…thank goodness!

Up here the CEO of Canada Post is also named Deepak Chopra. He is cancelling all home mail delivery everywhere, no exceptions, saying that "seniors and the disabled are saying they want the exercise", remember this is in areas that are covered in sheets of black ice and big snowbanks for months at a time. Seems like he has a lot in common with the "aging is a state of mind" Deepak, maybe they are cousins.

I read my share of "self-help" books when I was younger and learned one thing - most are selling books or conferences and just to make money. Common sense is sorely needed.

PiedType--There are always a certain number of people who have more money than sense, on which fact Mr Chopra and others of the ilk depend in order to make a living. He's playing the percentages.

Darlene--IMO, you are so right about the cosmetic industry.

"...this is nothing more than warmed-over pyschobabble..."

What a great phrase; I'm envious.

It's right up there with all the full-page ads for seminars on cures for a particular chronic disease. Doesn't the word "chronic" indicate that the condition may be treated or managed but not cured?

According to the good doctor: ”You have the power to reverse the aging process and feel a decade younger!"

How marvelous that a 90-year old something can relive the youth of his/her eighties. At 65 I am in better mental and physical condition (with a few minor exceptions) than I was at 55. I am no longer stressed from the job I once had (now retired)and have learned to eat a healthier diet with more opportunity to exercise.

Chopra's just another 21st century snake oil salesman

Crabby Old Lady is my HERO! Never cared for Deepak Chopra, although I know many people follow his teachings and buys his products.

If there were a magic pill and/or routine, then I wouldn't be going to as many funerals, sending get-well cards or living with chronic ailments myself. Yes, I believe in laughter and positive attitudes, just don't believe in spending my money for "snake oil".

Give me a glass of wine, art, music, a good book and even better friends - that's the secret to aging well, not overpriced seminars from shysters.

Ms. Crabby - don't sell yourself short. You have a huge readership that knows you are always ethical and honest. If you keep one person from signing up for this ptooi, you will have done them a great service.

I've never been a Deepak Chopra fan, but I was a Ronni fan from the first time I read TGB. As far as Deepak is concerned, I say "Follow the money!" He's made gazillions selling dubious advice to gullible (or vulnerable) people. Although some of his basic health suggestions are probably sound, they won't reverse the aging process. The cosmetics industry is in the same category, but at least it's fun to try a new "miracle potion" from time to time--once it's trickled down to the drugstore lines. Who can afford it otherwise? $200 for a 1 oz. jar of "anti-aging" cream is beyond ridiculous!

I do so love to hear the voice of reason crying out in the wilderness.

There's a whole range of PBS "gurus" who each come up with a new miracle cure for growing old, fat, senile, sexless, wrinkled, demented, and frail every other year but apparently can find nothing to help reduce gullibility! Wonder why that's never mentioned?

I understand the fear of frailty and of dementia. None of us want to lose our independence. But there is no fountain of youth available at any price or the super rich would never die. And yet they do, don't they?

Deepak Chopra and P.T. Barnum seem to have shared some qualities. They both entertain more than educate, and both seem to have enriched themselves by relying on the gullibility of the public. Julia Sweeney has a great one-woman show, "God Said Ha!", in which she relates her experience with cancer. She describes the various approaches she pursued in its treatment, including an eloquent description of some smoothe words of Chopra. Her conclusion regarding Chopra is one of the funniest bits of the show. We all want the magic bullet. Personally, I find the research into telomeres very interesting. Sadly, this also suggests that our days are numbered from the start, although reduction of stress seems to perhaps have a positive effect in extending their lives and our own.

No, aging is not reversible. The bigger problem here is the attempt to reduce the worth of those who are old. It is good to be young WHEN ONE IS YOUNG and it is good to be old IF ONE IS LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET THERE.
One sure way to make old age miserable is to wish it wasn't so… I can't do a lot of the things that I used to be able to do, but there is a lot that I have learned that I wish I had known when I was younger. Each age has its "plusses and minusses"… seminars such as this only reinforce the lack of acceptance of old age. What a pity.

This is my first issue since I subscribed and I can see immediately that I did not make a mistake. We have a lot to read these days, so it's great to know that TGB is going to live up to expectations. To learn that Crabby shares my aversion to "new age" snake oil in the very first article I read gives me a lot of hope for my future enjoyment of this blog.

This may just be me (and I normally think anti-aging anything is a bunch of BS), but I agree with DC's philosophy that you can change aging from the inside out. It's no different than people saying that thinking positive will lead to a more positive life. If we know that a stressful, negative life can age you quickly then how is his teaching false when he says a positive, stress-free life can make you feel young again?

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