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Aging Happens: Local authors offer insights into aging

I recently discovered a wonderful book written by two local experts. Robin Miller, MD, MHS, and David Kahn, MS, CPT, who have combined their vast knowledge and brought us one the most unique books I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s why. They include Dr. Miller’s medical expertise on topics such as the brain, the heart, and the gut and combine it with chapters on the “undiet” and dancing like your life depends on it from David Kahn. For me, better health and dancing are exactly the types of topics I am most passionate about.

Their book is called “Healed: Health and Wellness for the 21st Century; Wisdom, Secrets and Fun Straight from the Leading Edge” (www.wellhealed.net/the-book/). The paperback is available on Amazon.com, their website above, and at the Ashland Public Library.

You will find not just new information here, but new ways of considering the aging body. Here’s a synopsis of what you’ll find inside the book, which is divided into four interconnected parts:

— Part I: What you need to know about your heart, brain, and gut;

— Part II: How to overcome depression and sadness without the drugs; live longer and be happier; and improve your sex life;

— Part III: How to stop dieting and yet lose and maintain a healthy weight; and

— Part IV: Hard evidence how dancing will keep your brain and your body young; improve your social life and your love life; and make you a happier person.

You might notice that the words “happier” and “healthier” appear in several places, and isn’t this what anyone would hope to achieve in their lives? Sounds good to me.

Here are some questions I posed to Dr. Miller.

Q: What is the “secret to never ending joy, happiness and vitality,” as mentioned on your site?

A: Overall health is the secret to happiness, joy and vitality. That includes the mind, body and spirit. In our book we talk about how to find true health and longevity. There are patient stories throughout the book accompanied by in-depth information addressing how to have a healthy gut, brain and heart.

Q: How does the information in this book support your medical view?

A: The book actually presents my medical view. I also discuss ways to prevent and possibly reverse Alzheimer’s disease. There is an interesting chapter about sex as well. My view is that it is the small changes that can make a big difference.

Q: What have you discovered about health and wellness that many patients overlook?

A: There are many new and important findings that many doctors and patients overlook. How we eat and what we eat greatly impacts our health and that includes mental health. The microbiome which is made up of our gut bacteria is taking on greater significance as we continue to learn more. Healthy gut bacteria lead to a happy mood, healthy heart and a healthy body. A healthy diet is essential and that is something many do not understand. There are also new risk factors for heart disease and stroke that again are related to the gut and are very important for people to know.

Q: What can you say about how dancing is an aid to living well?

A: Ballroom dancing is great for our health. It reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s disease by 76 percent. It helps with balance, bone health, mood, heart health, human connection and helps patients with Parkinson’s disease to move better (to name just a few of the benefits!).

The additional benefit is that both of these authors offer their professional services here locally. Contact them through their website noted above. You can also see Dr. Miller on Monday at 5 p.m. for “Focus on Health” and 6 p.m. for “Docs on Call” on Newschannel 5 KOBI-NBC, where she is the medical expert. Call her office, Triune Integrative Medicine, 541-842-9433, for a medical appointment.

David Kahn teaches dance on a variable schedule at the Ashland Family YMCA (541-482-9622) beginning this month. He also teaches at the Evergreen Ballroom on Thursday nights at 7 p.m., and offers private dance lessons (541-324-7981; Kahndor@ashlandhome.net; davekahndance.com).

So eat right, drink more water, and dance your way into a healthy New Year!

Ellen Waldman is a certified aging life care professional. Submit questions about aging and Ashland-area aging resources and column suggestions to her through her website, www.SeniorOptionsAshland.com.

Ellen Waldman (Photo by Sash Photography)