We want to take you back more than 1000 years ago. Abu Ali al-Hussein ibn Abdallah ibn Sina or Avicenna has left about 45 medical works that are still used today. He leaves us with his view of longevity. Sogdian doctor, physician, philosopher, naturalist, poet, and musician Avicenna, who lived and worked more than 1,000 years ago, thinks the ART OF PROTECTING HEALTH is the key to longevity. And we don’t talk about the art to prevent death, releasing the body from external disasters, or guaranteeing a long life. The purpose of this art is much more modest. It is vital to look for protection against damaging the moisture contained within the body till natural death, and according to Avicenna, this is a means of preserving the human body for longevity.
This goal is achieved by the following three regimens:
- Replacing the disappearing moisture from the body;
- Preventing the causes and acceleration of body dryness;
- Protect existing body moisture from rotting.
How strange! The equilibrium of vital functions, the ancient physician, philosopher, and naturalist directs to the state of moisture in the body. Achieving these factors leads to exuberant health!? But note, these constants are called otherwise regimens.
The main thing in the art of preserving health to achieve longevity – is the balancing of seven factors:
- Nature (i.e., the harmony of the body, namely maintaining the temperament of the person in equilibrium).;
- Physical and mental movement (i.e., sleep and wakefulness). Avicenna says: “A body that is in motion does not need treatment”;
- Choice of beverages and food – it does not even need an explanation: “You are what you eat!”;
- Cleansing the body from a surplus (i.e., cleansing the body of toxins is indicated as a necessary need to maintain health);
- Protection of the proper fit. Maintaining the body in average weight is noted as an essential health factor, and both overweight and excessive weight loss are criticised;
- Improve breathing through the nose. One of the basic conditions for human health, as the great scientist points out, is the environment, especially the cleanliness of the air we breathe;
- Adaptation of clothing to the needs of the body. Adherence to rules for wearing adequate clothing is one of the most essential requirements for maintaining human health. Avicenna points out that it is necessary to choose clothes according to the seasons.
Exciting and original is the approach of the great thinker to the modification of the biological processes that take place in the organism during aging: “… from the very beginning we (the body) are the extreme humidity. The drying that happens in our bodies cannot be avoided. When the drying of the inherent moisture ends, then the internal heat is extinguished – the body of the elderly is colder and at the same time, drier.” This is supported by many studies of gerontologists: an aging process leads to dehydration due to a significant reduction in water in the bones and skin – life expectancy depends on body water.
Abu Ali ibn Sina has believed that health is equivalent to the art of life. Avicenna speaks not only about the physical education of children, but also about the usefulness of exercises for adults and the elderly for longevity. Such issues as the different types of exercise, the impact of baths on the body, and also massage, all this the scientist marks as protective factors for health and longevity.