Betty W. Phillips, Ph.D., Psychology
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Are You Growing Older and Sicker...or Younger and Healthier?





                             Are You Growing Older and Sicker … Or Younger and Healthier?


I usually write about stress management and happiness. So why am I writing about a health book?  Good health and vitality are critically important to happiness. These days we all worry about becoming diseased, frail and incompetent, possibly incapacitated with Alzheimer’s.  We’re aware of the growing population of debilitated older Americans and fear this fate. We’re used to hearing praise and accolades about our modern health system… along with increases in disease and dementia.  Why doesn’t our health system keep us happy and vigorous until the end?  I want to address this issue and provide some resources to inform and bring you up-to-date about these crucial issues.


Today I’ll be providing some information from a recent book by Raymond Francis with the provocative and exciting title “Never Feel Old Again”, subtitled “Aging is a Mistake--Learn How to Avoid It”, Health Communications, 2013. At the end of this discussion I’ll bring you information about some other easily accessible resources providing ongoing information about these issues.


Francis provides information to show us the intriguing possibility that “It is entirely possible to be biologically younger than your chronological age.” He explains that “the human body is a self-repairing system. It is designed to keep you fully functional and in good health for a long lifetime… The dreaded symptoms of aging that many of us have come to see as normal are nothing but a disease of repair deficits. A poorly maintained car ends up in a junkyard, and a poorly maintained body ends up in a nursing home.” Raymond Francis’ life is a proof of his system. Ever since he cured himself of a terminal illness at 48 years of age, he has been researching and writing about his discoveries. He describes his health at age 76 as excellent. He states “I never get sick. I have had only two colds in the last 27 years… I am mentally sharp and full of energy.”  Wow!


Francis describes our modern problem as accelerated aging with chronic medical problems (heart disease, cancer, COPD, strokes, Alzheimer’s, diabetes) emerging at younger ages. In societies where people lived healthy and long lives the typical death was sudden and rapid.  It’s a widely disseminated myth that people are living longer now due to modern health and medical advances. Let me explain. In 1907 the average life expectancy for a man was 45 and is now calculated as 75.  Most people are not aware that this increase in average life expectancy is almost entirely due to decreasing infant and child mortality. Child mortality has decreased dramatically because of factors such as modern sanitary systems, safe water supplies, lack of famine and treatment for accident victims, not due to disease treatment. In the early 1900s more than 50% of all deaths were children, bringing the average life expectancy down to 45 years.  In contrast to average life expectancy, maximum life expectancy has not changed for thousands of years. The change in maximum life expectancy for older Americans is actually minor. The difference between maximum life expectancy for a 70-year-old American male in 1850 and 2003 was only three years (from survival to 80 years to now 83 years.) Francis pointed out that the increase in maximum life expectancy has occurred along with a dramatic increase in chronic illness and dependency. Therefore the miniscule change in maximum life expectancy has actually been achieved along with a decrease in good health during our older years.  As Francis has so aptly explained in discussing his own life, a long and healthy life is not only desirable, it is possible.


The book states “Very few people die of old age anymore. Instead they are dying of completely preventable and curable chronic conditions that gradually overtake their bodies – all because they failed to provide the minimum support required for daily maintenance and repairs. Today there is abundant scientific evidence linking every one of the leading causes of death among the elderly to everyday lifestyle choices.” What are these poor choices? “Processed foods, sedentary lifestyles, toxic household products, stressful daily routines, and invasive medical treatments are all adding up to advance the onset of chronic illness.”


Francis explains that our bodies must be in homeostasis wherein the body regulates and repairs itself. Instead of the modern practice of attacking one disease at a time, usually with medications or surgery, the emphasis should be on restoring health to all parts of the body. Body cellular malfunctions and disease are due to basic causes, deficiency or toxicity, resulting in cellular malfunction and ill health. Francis points out the important fact that drugs suppress symptoms rather than provide cures. In many cases new prescriptions are then required to suppress the “side effects” of the original prescriptions.


All this is merely the introduction to a complete health system which Francis provides for you. I only have space here to provide a brief overview.  Francis provides information on the very important pH or acid-alkaline balance of your cells which is one direct measure of health.  Acidity causes fatigue and ill health, with pain being one symptom of acidosis.  Francis explains that pH is actually a measure of cellular voltage which creates healthy new cells.  With the correct acid balance, raw materials needed by the cells and the absence of toxins, a long and healthy good life will be possible.  The rest of the 388 page book provides detailed information about how to achieve these results. Francis describes six pathways to health or disease… nutrition, toxins, mental. physical, genetic and medical.  As a psychologist I love the recommendations in the mental pathway including those designed to “stress less” and “choose happiness.” In my columns you’ll find a great deal of information about these issues. While Francis’ information is extensive, you don’t have to implement all of his recommendations.  Following some of these choices will lead you to a better and healthier life.


I mentioned other resources which provide easily acceptable information about some of Francis recommendations. There are several free Internet sites which address these issues. Dr. Joseph Mercola is a physician who provides extensive research information in free daily emails at These emails are also catalogued on his website. Mercola also develops and sells products based on his research. Mike Adams also has an extensive library of resources in a free daily email report at He recently developed a testing laboratory investigating topics such as heavy metals in food products. Recently he founded breakfast cereals contain some alarming concentrations of these heavy metals. He also sells health products based on his research.  A caution: he also writes opinion articles which you can love if you agree or of course you can disregard them.  The Life Extension Foundation,, is a nonprofit research-based organization with extensive medical and scientific advisory boards. They produce high quality supplements based on their research findings. Subscribers receive a monthly magazine and reductions in supplement costs.  You don’t have to subscribe, as this information is available on their website and others (including Amazon and Vitacost) sell the supplements.


So let’s all start reading and moving into living a wonderful, happy long and vigorous life!