Stereotypes about the elderly are so prevalent that elders themselves often buy into them. People young and old assume that retirement is a time of inactivity, less social involvement, and inevitable physical decline. For over nine decades Dr. Irvin M. Korr was a living refutation of that dreary stereotype. Through a holistic approach to health, based on the principles of osteopathic medicine, he proved that healthy, vigorous, fulfilling old age and long life are the natural culmination of healthy living. In his eighties, Dr. Korr was regularly playing tennis and cross-county skiing, while continuing his career as a medical educator, researcher, author, and lecturer.
In this inspiring guide to achieving a healthy lifestyle at any time of life, Dr. Korr explains with enthusiasm and great clarity how any reader can apply scientifically based osteopathic principles to improve quality of life and promote successful aging. Among the principles he stresses is that the human body incorporates its own healing and defensive systems, as well as a health maintenance system. Together they form an indwelling healthcare system that is the ultimate source of health and for which each individual must take primary responsibility. By learning to develop healthy habits, we take care of the “physician within” to ensure that our inner physician can then take care of us.
Dr. Korr also emphasizes the importance of regular exercise and the beneficial effects that freedom of motion and physical activity bring, not only on our musculoskeletal system but also for our various internal organs, as well as our state of mind. He recommends stretching exercises such as Yoga and whatever workout routine an individual finds enjoyable, from walking to jogging, swimming, and bicycling. Finally, he makes the point that healthy aging is a choice that anyone can make at any time of life by making beneficial lifestyle changes.
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Irvin M. Korr, PhD (1909-2004), was widely known and regarded for his writing in the fields of medical education, medical philosophy, and heath promotion. He spent most of his career at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, but also worked at New York University School of Medicine, Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the University of Texas School of Osteopathic Medicine. He wrote numerous articles and several books, mostly on the human nervous system and the physiological basis for osteopathic medicine.
Rene J. McGovern, PhD (Kirksville, MO), is a geriatric and health psychologist and professor of neurobehavioral sciences and community and family medicine at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, MO. She is also on the faculty of the department of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH. She has lectured nationally and internationally on geriatrics and behavioral health and headed the federally funded ElderLynk project to integrate mental health in primary care for the elderly. She is the coauthor, with J.J. McGovern, of Your Healer Within: A Unified Field Theory of Healthcare, as well as many articles in peer-reviewed academic journals.