The meaning of "complexity"

A complex process involves various components interacting across multiple scales in time and space. To lift a foot requires electrical, chemical, and mechanical parts to coordinate across molecular, cellular, organ, and systemic levels.

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The process of simplification can be a sign of aging.

Our youthful health depends on complexity. Bones get strength from detailed scaffolds and connective tissue. Even the heartbeat relies on elaborate networks and controls. As our bodies age, these structures lose complexity, making them less resilient and eventually leading to frailty and disease.

A large and growing body of research suggests that biological complexity breaks down with aging.
Various tissues and organs and their communication pathways gradually diminish and lead to disease or disability.

We may be able to slow, or even reverse, some of the complexity loss due to aging. Adding complexity to your daily routine can have far-reaching effects.

  • Aerobic exercise and resistance training can increase heart rate complexity.
  • Tai Chi, combined with physical movement, breathing techniques, and meditation, affects postural control.
  • An extensive and diverse social network promotes better health and wellbeing.
  • Learning new skills or solving mental puzzles can improve cognitive function.

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Tai Chi

Is a mind-body practice that involves a series of slow, flowing exercises that combine movement, meditation, and rhythmic breathing. Initially developed as a martial art, it's now commonly practiced as a form of "moving meditation."

Many practitioners of tai chi use this technique to enhance physical and mental health, as well as to improve posture, balance, flexibility, and strength. In addition, tai chi is said to boost mood, alleviate pain, strengthen the immune system, and improve heart health.

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There are different styles of tai chi, each has a unique set of methods and principles, lineage, and date of origin. Some of these forms of tai chi lean towards health, while others stress competition or self-defense.

  • Chen-style, which started between 1580 and 1660
  • Yang-style, which started between 1799 and 1872
  • Wu- or Wu (Hao)-style, which started between 1812 and 1880
  • Wu-style, which started between 1870 and 1942
  • Sun-style, which started between 1861 and 1932
The olfactory sense at work

Our sense of smell works in wondrous ways since the chemical composition of our surrounding change instantly and constantly. Our noses pick up volatile airborne compounds that interact with our olfactory receptors.

The information that we get from our surroundings pass through our noses and then to the core cortex in the brain. We, humans have about 400 types of olfactory receptors which is used to identify many different types of chemicals that have varying odor quality.

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