In the fight against aging, who has the edge? East or West? Holistic healing or science?
As the Boomer generation approaches old age, are they ‘aging gracefully’ or fighting back? What choices are available for pursuing longevity? And how does this search reflect ethical and spiritual values? Taking Back the Years follows 64 year old Rajendra Patel, through the rigorous, 90 day long and 4000 year old, Ayurveda age-reversal practice of Kuti Praveshika. Meanwhile Canadian filmmaker Hilary Pryor – the same age as Mr. Patel – explores the latest discoveries in North American medicine and, with advice from Western scientists and fitness experts, attempts her own 90 day regime towards rejuvenation.
– EPISODE GUIDE –
Episode 1 – Intro and Overview
Monday, May 7
Ageing is inevitable for all of us, but the boomer generation strives to find ways to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. The routes to attain this goal vary from the more holistic Eastern approaches to more scientific Western regimes and medical intervention. The ancient practice of Ayurveda boasts a 4000-year-old record that can achieve additional years of life, while in the West not only do diets and exercise feature predominantly, scientists such is Dr Aubrey de Gray believe new scientific discoveries will soon render old age a thing of the past. We meet two 64-year-olds who will be pursuing longevity within their own cultures – Rajendra Patel from India and Hilary Pryor from Canada.
Episode 2 – Diet and Cleansing
Monday, May 14
We are what we eat and just as we get our vehicle serviced and its oil changed regularly, we need to get our body serviced and cleansed to maintain it. Both Eastern and Western cultures embrace some facets of this philosophy whether it be through detox regimes, diets, medicines, or herbs. We look at the Ayurvedic system of healthy diet using the six tastes as well as the more extreme Western approach to anti-aging through calorie restriction.
Episode 3 – Lifestyle, Looks and Religion
Monday, May 21
Both cultures have suggested approaches to lifestyle routine and exercise in order to live longer and have a better quality of life – though in the West the emphasis on how you look sometimes overshadows how you feel. While Patel enters a phase of meditation and isolation in the Kuti, Hilary undertakes a fitness test before embarking on her 90 day regime of Western type exercise.
Episode 4 – Work, Play and Longevity
Monday, May 28
Hilary hurries back to India as Mr. Patel has had to cut his treatment short. Even though he has not completed the full 90 days the changes in his health are startling – and there is another patient, Anton Koláček, waiting to go into the Kuti. Back in North America, Hilary meets Dr Howard Friedman, author of The Longevity Project, to discuss the relationship between work, play and social interactions in the pursuit of longevity. She discovers the vital importance of having a sense of purpose
Episode 5 – Ethical and Economic Issues
Monday, June 4
As the world population reaches the 7 billion mark, there is bound to be ongoing controversy about the wisdom and economic benefit in pursuing longevity. However, as Aubrey de Grey argues, a healthy ageing population is a far less a drain on overstretched resources than an unhealthy one. As the percentage of seniors in the population increases, is ageing becoming a business? And what do most people really think about the idea of living to 200 years or more? Hilary completes her 90 day regime and is surprised at changes in her fitness.
Episode 6 – Spirituality and Science
Monday, June 11
While westerners counter stress, mental and emotional issues through therapy, medication or less healthy options like alcohol and illegal drugs, Eastern philosophy tends towards prayer and meditation as an important part of healthy living and anti-ageing. Hilary takes part in a study of the anti-aging effects of meditation at the Deepak Chopra Centre. She talks with Deepak Chopra who as both a medical doctor and spiritual leader combines both Eastern and Western philosophes in his approach to physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Hilary reflects on the comparative results of her regime and the Kuti Praveshika treatment for the two patients – and what she has discovered in her personal journey to Take Back the Years.