Juliette Kando is the author of the best-selling book on facial exercises entitled Natural Facelift, published by Thorsons, HarperCollins.
For those approaching their forties and worrying about getting old, consider this: if you are going live to a very old age you are going to be old for a much longer time than you were young, so you might as well get used to being "old" and try to reverse the signs of aging in a natural way. How? You can stay strong, healthy, and happy at any age by identifying the main 6 signs of aging and then do something about them as described in this article. So what are the 6 signs of aging?
The 6 Signs of Aging
- Poor Head Carriage
- Baggy Eyes
- Facial Wrinkles
- Hanging Jaw-line
- Thinning Lips
The good news is that all these can easily be avoided and reversed in a natural way. Let us begin by looking at the way you carry your head.
1. Poor Head Carriage
Watch how small children carry their heads well centered above the spine. A child’s head is proportionately much bigger and heavier than an adult’s head and, therefore, much harder to carry with the child’s smaller neck muscles. Now if small children were to carry their heads in front of their bodies like so many adults do, they would simply fall over forwards.
Pretend for a moment that your spine is a post and your head is a ball balancing on that post. If the ball is not placed exactly above the post, the force of gravity will make it fall off, right?
How to Reverse Forward Head Carriage
- Sit or stand with a straight spine, lifting the torso with the shoulders relaxed by your sides (not in front of the body).
- Tuck in the chin and at the same time,
- lift the head upwards and back to place it in its correct central position.
It should feel like someone is pulling your head upwards and back by a high ponytail. This will reverse poor head carriage, the first sign of getting old and prevent stooping.
2. The Stoop
During a lifetime of doing things with the hands and eyes, concentrating all actions downwards and in front of the body, most adults’ heads are carried permanently in an unbalanced forward and down position. A stoop leads to chronic neck and back pain. Why? Carrying the head in front of the body requires a lot of unnecessary effort by the neck and upper back muscles to hold the head in an imbalanced position. This makes you unnecessarily tired, bad-tempered and often causes a chronic headache, migraine, and pain in the neck, upper back, and shoulder areas. Plus... when the head is carried in front of the body instead of above the spine, you are well on your way to looking old and unattractive with a stoop and a sad, painful expression on your face.
There is Help at Hand
First and foremost habitual forward head posture can be corrected with daily realignment and strengthening exercises. If the condition is too severe, the use of a neck traction device in conjunction with remedial exercise can help speed up recovery.
We Don't Really Shrink With Age - Invert Gravity
It’s just a question of how the spine and neck are aligned and carried. A "shrunk" person is merely over-curved, folded like an accordion by gravity. In this respect, it is imperative that a good posture is maintained throughout a lifetime. The easiest way to prevent and reverse so called shrinking with age is gentle full body traction with the help of a Gravity Inversion Table. Watch the next short video to find out more.
A gravity inversion table helps you do just that. Gentle traction in the opposite direction to the norm stretches out the whole body towards the sky. Originally designed to prevent and cure backache, it also works wonders to re-align the skeleton, loosen the joints, perform fun and easy exercises, and make you feel strong and agile. Once you've bought a gravity inversion table and use it at least once a week, you can remain as fit and nimble as a child. And, because hanging upside down stretches and straightens out the whole body in an inverted position, yes, it will make you grow a little, and will certainly prevent shrinking.
3. Baggy Eyes
Baggy puffed up eyelids are full of water. Here is a trick to empty them out.
- Moisten a finger with plenty of saliva to lubricate the eye lids.
- Using the back of an electric toothbrush, gently massage the upper and lower eyelids from the outside inwards until the tear ducts empty themselves of excess water.
- Try and sleep on your back to avoid folding the upper jaw while sleeping.
4. Facial Wrinkles
The wrinkles of an aging face are a true map of a person’s life history and attitude. The bottom line is: don’t leave your baggage on your face. If your face reflects all the misery you have encountered during your life, it is not going to be very attractive. To reverse aging in the face you have a choice.
You can look miserable or you can start doing facial exercises to control your facial movements towards a happier and more positive facial behaviour. The beauty is, it works both ways. When you exercise your face, you feel happier and more positive in the bargain, so go for it, give it a try to see and feel the results.
5. A Hanging Jaw-Line
In both men and women, one of the main signs of aging in the face manifests itself in a break (a sag) in the continuity of the jaw-line (like a bulldog). As usual, gravity doesn't help. To understand the phenomenon of ugly sagging cheeks, ask the question: What is the purpose of having cheeks in the first place? Are cheeks muscle groups to aid in the chewing of food, or are they food storage units (bags) as they are in a hamster or chipmunk? A hanging jaw-line can be reversed by
- changing the way you eat
- training the cheek muscles
How Do You Eat?
The way we eat affects facial movements. If the amount of food put into a mouth is larger than the space provided for it (the cavity between the closed jaws), some of the food will remain stored in the cheeks, at the outside of the jaw. Many people happily eat like this. Like a chipmunk, they put as much food into their mouth as it can hold, forgetting that the tongue needs space to move the food around so it can be chewed. When two-thirds of a large mouthful is stored in the cheeks, it stretches the cheeks, causing them eventually to become hanging bags when they are empty. A better way of eating is to take a small bite, only as big as your teeth can immediately cope with. Chew, swallow, and empty your mouth before putting the next bite in.
Training the Cheek Muscles
There are some easy to learn facial exercises you can do to tone up your face to prevent your jaw-line drooping. Other exercises for the chin and neck area can help you get rid of a short neck or double chin.
6. Thinning Lips
As usual, gravity is the culprit in as far as lips becoming thinner over time. The upper lip often sags so much it becomes almost invisible. But there are other reasons: using the lips entails kissing and older people tend not to kiss quite as much as younger ones. Yet in the same way that one can tone up weak stomach muscles by doing sit-ups, lips too are muscle tissue (a ring muscle) and can be toned with specific facial exercises to thicken the lips. Here is one of them.
Lip Toner Exercise
- Make an "O" shape with the mouth.
- Place four fingers of a hand up against the "O" shape.
- Contract the lips 8 times by putting pressure against the fingers.
- Hold the contraction for 8 counts.
- Slowly let go of the contraction
- Rest for 8 counts
Use the next illustration to help you coordinate timing and breathing during the lip toner exercise.
Do the 8 contractions and the holding of the last contraction strongly enough to "feel the burn". Then release and rest or lick your lips, moving them freely until the sensation is gone.
How Many Repetitions?
Repeat this sequence 3 or 4 times or until you don't want to do them anymore. The beauty of the lip toning exercise is that it can be done anywhere at any time like for example in the car or while waiting whenever no-one is looking.
Both the body and the face can be trained and looked after for optimum looks, feel, and performance at any age. Postural awareness, natural skincare, facial exercises, and few dietary and lifestyle changes are all you need to reverse the signs of the aging process naturally.
- Is There Really Any Benefit to Multivitamins?
- A Nutty Solution for Improving Brain Health
- Human Aging: Usual and Successful
- Biological Versus Chronological Age
- Gravity Inversion
You are welcome to share your thoughts and ask questions in the comments section below.
Gupi on June 09, 2019:
Thanks for explaining in lots of detail. I found it very useful
BANKIM PANDEY from INDIA on July 24, 2018:
So well explained each concept
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on April 11, 2018:
I don't worry about age as I still feel young. However, the wrinkles
really worry me. Pity I started using aloe vera so late. The African sun does not help one bit.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on April 07, 2018:
You are so right Harry it's all relative to how you feel. Animals don't worry about their age until they really suffer from body malfunctions. Humans approaching 40 think they're getting old. Well, if you live to be 90, you're gonna feel old for more than half your life! What a shame.
Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 07, 2018:
Looking at things from a man's point of view I much rather see a person, man or woman age naturally. I have never liked a woman that uses to much makeup. I will be 70 years old in a few months and people tell me that I look like I am in my mid fifties. My wife will be 73 in May and people always tell he that she look like a fifty year old. I think people worry to much about age.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2018:
Wow, your Mom at 100 is very inspiring. I am now 66 and I have not used supplements except for a year when the doctor told me to take B-12 but after a year even he stopped that. I think that head carriage is key. I see that aunts who have had ballet or dance have kept their posture well and look nice even at 90.
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on November 22, 2016:
Really enjoyed your article. So true.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 22, 2016:
If you read the paragraph just above the video of the "so called" 20 most beautiful women video, you will see that I entirely agree with you. That is exactly what I am saying, namely:
"The 20 so called most beautiful women over 50 all have expensive hairstyles and hair extensions, face lifts, botox, lots of make-up, false eyelashes, false boobs, whitened teeth implants, lip implants, and, to make it all better... anti-depressant pills. "
Please read before making false accusations.
Michelle Luck on November 22, 2016:
Just wanted to point out to you that your list of "20 beautiful women over 50" includes women very well known for having plastic surgery. If you are going to tout about aging naturally, you should only have women in that film who actually are not half (or more) plastic. Just sayin.....
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on November 17, 2016:
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 28, 2015:
I don't know what you mean with:
"No secret to ageing beautifully but gracefully"
Can you elaborate?
peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 28, 2015:
No secret to aging beautifully but gracefully
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 02, 2014:
Thank you Jackie! For those of you who don't know famous photographer Ata Kando, she is my mum, turned 101 years old last September and still going strong. You can see her on the last picture.
Radha Jackie on December 02, 2014:
Congratulations to Ata, love the photo, she looks great!
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on September 21, 2014:
Hi Shades of Truth, thank you for your positive comment. Yes, we must spread the word to get rid of miss-conceptions about aging.
B.t.w. we just celebrated my mom's 101st birthday and she is still going strong
Emily Tack from USA on September 21, 2014:
I really enjoyed reading what you wrote, and couldn't help but think of all of the people I know, whose attitude ages them. We deal with the public every day, and have seen some "aged" young people, and some very youthful elderly people.
Great, comprehensive article!
Evie Dawson on April 11, 2014:
Oh lovely..... I had a great time reading your article... Thanks for the amazing words.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on June 11, 2013:
You are welcome Mar, glad you enjoyed it.
Mar Jakobi on June 11, 2013:
guauuu!!!!...thanks soooo much...brilliant reading...so exacited to start usig all those tricks!!!! muaccc
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 12, 2013:
Thank you for your kind comment. I enjoyed reading your Hub "I Do Not Feel Old!". You are putting oldies into the right frame of mind.
Marilyn Alexander from Vancouver, Canada on March 12, 2013:
Hi Sue. What a gorgeous hub! It is just great to see so many beautiful older faces. To me it is so amazing how uplifting a smile can be. I will look further into inversion therapy and your natural facelift book.
Many thanks, Up, awesome, interesting, beautiful and shared.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 07, 2013:
Thank you for dropping by. Yes, posture is one of the main elements of beauty, comfort, and efficiency of movement.
Yves on March 07, 2013:
You've written a beautifully constructed hub. I read it from beginning to end. One thing I am thankful for is that my mother always insisted that I stand/sit up straight. This has done so much good for me in so many ways. I always tell women to watch their posture (to attract men and exude confidence) however, you've gone above and beyond why it is so important. Your entire hub is fabulous! Up and awesome.
Mike Elzner from Oregon on June 29, 2012:
Oh so true, there are no real secrets we are all ageing and nothing can change that. Simple self care is the best solution for graceful ageing.