Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream to transmit "messages" from glands to cells regarding growth, development, and energy.
Hormone replacement therapy was introduced to modern society in the sixties with a powerful marketing campaign promising women, health, happiness and long life if they consented to take synthetic hormones on a regular basis. The ensuing research, however, continues to show problems with this apparent panacea.
In this modern era, the aging process is understood to be a condition of hormonal deficiency. Allopathic medicine therefore, treats the aging process for the most part with hormone replacement therapy. The approach taken by many alternative medicine practitioners, is essentially the same, except for the fact that the synthetic, manufactured hormones are replaced with natural compounded bio identical ones.
There are two fundamental arguments against hormone replacement therapy. Firstly, once hormones are introduced into the body, the endocrine system becomes completely lazy, and stops making the hormones that are now being given to the body for free. So once hormone therapy is begun and sustained for a time, it can very difficult to stop the process and get the body to produce the necessary hormones on it’s own.
Secondly, as we age the natural reduction in the secretion of growth and reproductive hormones is not necessarily a negative thing. There is a logic to it. In classic oriental medicine, for example, menopause is seen as a totally positive transition. The body is actually reducing hormonal output and finally stops the monthly menstrual cycle in order to preserve and save bodily resources for the sake of longevity. Some critics have described the act of putting active reproductive and growth hormones into a human body which is older than age fifty, as something similar to putting high octane fuel in an old car. It may actually quicken the wear on the machinery.
The choice to use some form of hormone replacement therapy with intelligent consideration may be appropriate for some. Even so, there are some very effective steps that can be taken to rejuvenate an aging body that is exhibiting changes and reductions in hormonal flows, without resorting to hormone replacement therapy. There remains an ever growing constituency of people who do not want to introduce live hormones into their bodies and they are doing extremely well by applying the following principles:
1. Eliminate all Junk foods Eliminate all processed and convenience foods which introduce xenohormones into the body. Xenohormones are pollutants originating outside the body that have hormone-like and estrogen-like activities causing hormone imbalances and cancer. Eat an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables particularly raw organic greens.
2. Reduce sugar intake Reduce blood sugar levels by significantly reducing sugar intake. An older pancreas cannot metabolize sugar in the same way as younger person. When we control blood sugar levels we reduce bodily inflammation and preserve spleen resiliency. This improves positive hormonal flows.
3. Right Exercise Whatever form of exercise you choose, sustain it forever. Regular exercise protects the cardio vascular system, improves oxygen intake and circulation, and stimulates the secretion of growth hormones. Regular exercise clears the liver, strengthens the heart, the lungs, and boosts the spleen and kidneys. A good exercise program is critical to hormone health.
4. Nourish the Essences from which the Hormones are Made The deep essences of the body provide the raw material from which hormones are produced. These essences are diminished as we age and this effects hormonal production. We can, however, directly nourish these essences with herbal medicines and plant materials whose active ingredients are identical to the essences in the human body. The practice of nourishing the deeper essences significantly promotes health, well being and balanced hormonal production.
The classic formula Rehmannia 6 nourishes bodily essences effectively. Herbs like shou wu, eclipta, cuscuta, soloman’s seal, and shatavari can all be used to good effect. Traditional Botanical Medicine’s Great Essence formula contains many of these wonderful essence tonics. Some herbs are actual hormonal precursors. They directly stimulate specific hormones. Herbs like shilijit, tribulus, mucuna, and epimedium will boost testosterone levels in the body and help to preserve your heart, muscles and libido.
By implementing these right life practices in your life, the vast majority of people who do not want to resort to some form of hormone replacement will be able to magnify health and well being for many years into the future.