Dr. Christopher Walling, PsyD, C-IAYT shared work he is doing at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation during his webinar sponsored by the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. He presented current research outcomes regarding the delayed onset of Alzheimer’s as well as age related cognitive decline and ways to incorporate yoga and meditation to offset the loss of memory and cognition.
The statistics he shared were “staggering”
- 4 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s today
- Alzheimer’s begins to develop 20 years before it is diagnosed
- Two-thirds of those diagnosed are women, though no one knows why
- Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s caregivers are also women, many of who will have to take time off or resign from their jobs
- A woman in her 60s is twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the course of her lifetime than breast breast cancer
- After 60, a woman has a 1 in 6 chance of developing Alzherimer’s.
According to Dr. Walling, time does not heal, it only conceals the impacts of a lifetime of stress that lead to decreased brain function. Stress, he said, increases risky behaviors leading to:
- poor dietary choices,
- fatigue so there’s no energy to exercise,
- feeling too exhausted to use cognitive training,
- one’s well-being becoming non-existent
- and unconscious compulsive self defeating behaviors increasing.
He discussed Telomeres (DNA segments at the end of chromosomes) and how stress shortens them, leading to eventual cell death.
And he talked about the psychology of Alzheimer’s prevention, which includes practices and interventions that focus on
- growth and restoration,
- an emphasis on eudemonic/ wisdom development,
- and primary and secondary prevention approaches, including yoga and meditation.
He talked about the Four Pillars of Alzheimer’s prevention:
- diet and brain specific nutrients
- stress management
- exercise (mental and physical)
- spiritual fitness which includes psychological well being (acceptance, independence, mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, and a purpose/mission aka eudemonic/wisdom) and spiritual well being (where you discover your best self–patience, altruisum, compassion, surrender, and peace of mind).
He shared the work being done with Kirtan Kriya, a 12-minute daily meditation that is yielding significant research results that involve the posterior cingulate gyrus (increases in blood flow that allow the brain to grow new brain cells), and improvements in concentration, focus and attention. You can experience this process by clicking the video link on our homepage.
The benefits of Kirtan Kriya include:
- easily learned and practiced at home with CD or free download from UTube
- strengthens the brain
- improves concentration, attention, focus and memory
- better mood, less depression and anxiety
- more mental and physical energy
- enhanced genetic health
He also mentioned an upcoming training process in Brain Longevity for interested practitioners to become trained facilitators in Los Angeles, CA, USA October 2017.
For information visit www.alzheimersprevention.org/training
Dr. Chris Walling is a licensed clinical psychologist and international mind body expert. Dr. Walling formerly worked in academic medicine for nearly a decade in various executive leadership roles all throughout the United States, and is currently the President-Elect of the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy. Chris now serves as Clinical Director at Soma Psychological Services in West Los Angeles, California. Chris is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, a certified Yoga Therapist as well as a Faculty Member at Yoga Therapy Schools in New York, London, England & Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Walling also assists with Somatic Experiencing trainings in Canada, Australia, and the United States.