How We Live Determines How We Age

Is more stress in your future? More than likely, yes. Stress is one of America’s leading causes of disease. Chronic stress breaks out physically as headaches, allergies, ulcers and heart disease. Ultimately, stress wears down the immune system, allowing the body to fall prey to disease. Chronic stress can also lead to mental frustration, anxiety, and ultimately, depression. There’s really no way around it: sooner or later, chronic stress will make us ill.

Science has shown us that by reducing stress not only do we remain healthier as we age, memory and mental abilities remain stronger as well. Researchers have learned that stress can actually damage the hippocampus, an area of the brain governing learning and memory. In short, stress can cause brain damage.

Unfortunately, many people deal with stress by adopting behaviors that end up increasing their stress load. Turning to “comfort food”, staying up late to watch TV or read or to catch up on work, drinking caffeinated drinks and energy drinks, relaxing with alcohol… All these “quick fixes” actually end up putting more stress on the body’s systems.

This is why preventive health centers like The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa, which incorporate stress reducing techniques and alternative therapy strategies, are becoming more and more important. While most agree that prevention is the future of health, the key question is how to take people from the stage of talking about the importance of diet, meditation, and exercise to the stage of actually doing something about it.

In-residence experiences take away the excuses. They take a person away from habits, distractions, and immediate sources of stress. Out of sight helps you to be out of the minds of your co-workers and even your family. I can’t tell you how often we’ve heard guests exclaim over the unexpected experience of being taken care of — because they are so accustomed to always taking care of others.

At the heart of The Raj programs are the traditional Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments, designed to remove imbalances and impurities from the body and to rejuvenate the mind and body. These therapies detoxify the body, rejuvenate the internal organs, lubricate joints, release toxins, stimulate the body’s lymphatic system, and relax the muscles.

The Raj also offers guests instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM). The physiological response during TM has been found to be the exact opposite of the body’s stress response. As the mind experiences quieter, subtler levels of the thinking process, the body gains a state of profound rest, much deeper than ordinary relaxation.


Research has found that the practice of the TM technique results in the normalization of hormone levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular health and brain functioning. The body starts to maintain a more rested, calm and energetic style of functioning even outside of meditation, making us more resilient to stress.

Published research shows that just one year of regular practice of the TM technique can be the antidote to stress and its detrimental effects. Even short-term practitioners of this meditation have, on average, a biological age five years younger than their chronological age. Five years of TM practice results in a biological age 12.5 years younger than the practitioner’s chronological age.

Guests at The Raj participate in daily Yoga classes, learning a simple set of yoga exercises that can be fit into almost any schedule. Yoga has been shown to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.

When guests return home from an in-residence experience, they should know how to eat, handle stress and how to live a life that supports health and happiness. Studies on twins have shown that only 20% to 25% of what determines how long we live is genetically determined. This means 75% to 80% must be due to our lifestyle, diet, environment, etc. At The Raj guests adopt an Ayurvedic daily routine; a routine that is in tune with the cycles of nature. Integrating these principles into one’s daily life supports healthy changes in body, mind, and consciousness. The Ayurvedic routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution, regularizes a person’s biological clock, and aids in the digestion, absorption and assimilation of food, leading to a healthier and more resilient physiology.

Staying healthy makes more sense than trying to cure illness. It is never to early or too late to start a healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself struggling to maintain balance in your life, consider treating yourself to an in-residence experience.

For more information on in-residence programs at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa, visit the website:

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