In my dog-eared, highlighted, underlined, and autographed copy of The Immortal Cell by Dr. Michael West, he states, “Subsequent research showed that the aging of cells was linked to cell division, not time itself. In other words, the mere passage of time, or the normal machinery of life we call metabolism, did not move the hands of the clock of aging. The clock ticked only when the cells divided.”
Dr. West was the founder of a group of scientists that became Geron Corporation, the leading biotech company that discovered the immortal cells in the bone marrow called stem cells. What emerged from their research was the telomerase theory of aging. Telomeres (pronounced “tee-low-meers”) are sequences of nucleic acids that extend from the ends of chromosomes. This is much like the little plastic cap or sleeve on the end of your shoelace. When this cap breaks off, the end of the lace frays and becomes pretty much useless.
Every time your cells divide, your telomeres shorten. This leads to cell damage, which destroys the usefulness of the cell. Cellular death is another way of saying aging. The good news is that scientists have now discovered an “immortalizing enzyme” called telomerase. While it appears in cancer and germ cells, keeping these cells alive, it can also keep healthy cells from dying. Telomerase can repair and replace damaged or shortened telomeres. Telomerase can manipulate and reset the clock that affects the lifespan of dividing cells. Scientists are discovering how to use nanotechnology to trigger vastly extended life spans for humans. Once again, telomerase is the enzyme that keeps the telomeres from shortening.
This is exciting, but long ago the ancients discovered secret acupoint locations on the human body that were found to greatly extend the human life span. When I first published my findings in one of my books, I received harsh criticism for including an account of an alleged 242-year-old man and his 221-year-old wife that I found in A Study of Daoist Acupuncture by Liu Zheng-Cai. What my critics have ignored are the scientific studies by researchers in New York in 1988 (Omura et al.), cited by Dr. Shui Yin Lo in his book The Biophysics for Acupuncture and Health. It was“…found that acupuncture on ST 36 on normal subjects increased the telomere levels up to a maximum of 2 times their telomere levels before treatment. Frequently increases were between 60% to 100%.”
Well, let’s see: if you consider a normal lifespan to be 80 years and you could add two times that by extending the life of the telomeres, that would be 240 years of age. So, if the telomerase theory of aging is correct, and the immortal cell discovery by Geron Corp. and Dr. West is correct, there is absolutely nothing to contradict the allegation of a person claiming to be 242 years old—except our astonishment and conditioned disbelief.
Maybe the account is true, and maybe it isn’t—but several years ago, I began doing what the old man and his wife did. I burn mugwort cones on acupoint ST 36 right after I finish doing my Qi Gong. That’s all this couple claimed to do . So, why not try it? I’ll let you know how it’s working in a few more decades.
Written by Peter Ragnar