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The Secret To Living 100+ Years in Springfield, IL

For some, the idea of living for a century sounds like:


For others, it is their goal.

I’m hoping to live until the tricentennial in 2076. After that,


As a chiropractor in Springfield, IL, many of my patients are entering that phase of their lives when time seems to slip through the hourglass faster than it used to. Seniors fear they will lose their independence or their bodies won’t let them age with the dignity and grace we all deserve.

In 2018, we learned that the life expectancy in the United States was 78.8 years. That sounds like a lot, but for the first time in decades, that number was lower than in previous years. Then, in 2023, it fell to 76.4.


These numbers are way below our peer countries.

This concerning trend prompted a crazed researcher, my emphasis, to examine five areas of the world where people are most likely to live past their 100th birthday. They’re called “The Blue Zones”.

Sardinia, Italy
Ikaria, Greece
Okinawa, Japan
Nicoya, Costa Rica
Loma Linda, California

These areas are inhabited by human dinosaurs, who roam through their ranch houses, figuring out how to spend their social security allowance.


Actually, what this researcher found was that not only did they grow older than everyone else, but their quality of life was better. These are people who remember what the Titanic smelled like, living with a lower risk of health issues like heart attacks, strokes, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and dementia than average Americans.

They don’t just live longer; they live better.

This is exactly what my senior patients are searching for – not just longevity but vitality, strength, and spirit until the very end.


Here are seven lessons we can learn to turn our brown zone into a Blue Zone.

Whole Food Diet

People living in Blue Zones do what every healthy person has been saying to do since the dawn of time: Eat Real Food.

Traditional Sardinians, Nicoyans, and Okinawans eat nutrient-dense foods. They produce food in their own gardens and then supplement the rest with animal proteins. Now, not all of us have access to a patch of land to grow leafy greens and buckwheat, but we do have access to whole foods rich in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients that can naturally control our body’s hunger signals so we know when not to go in for seconds.


Foods like:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Herbs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and legumes
  • Quality fats
  • Grass-fed dairy
  • Fermented foods
  • Whole grains

These mostly plant-based Blue Zone diets do what we pay pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars a year to do:

  • Lower inflammation
  • Fight cancer agents
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Improve gut bacteria
  • Strengthen immunity


Avoid Processed, Packaged Foods

These first two traits go hand in hand. Processed foods are a staple of the standard American diet, aka SAD. What a telling nickname.

Our diet is rich in sugar, pesticides, and artificial ingredients that blue zoners don’t consume. They may occasionally use natural sweeteners – they’re human, after all – but refined carbohydrates and artificial flavors are unheard of.

Even when they want a treat, blue zoners indulge in a glass or two of red wine, sake, or dessert with locally made cheese or fruit.


Healthy Living From The Start

For these Blue Zone centenarians, none of these alterations are considered a “diet,” this is just how they live and how those around them live.

This trait is hard to replicate. Most of us are past the starting line and will have to resort to cutting back. But these ancient relics that refuse to die prove we can build our homes and environments for long-term success.

We need to go from this:

Chiropractor for Seniors in Springfield, IL

To this:

Chiropractor fro Seniors in Springfield, IL

Understand Hunger Signals

As a child, my mom often responded to my “I’m hungry” whines with, “Hi, hungry, I’m mommy.” It was infuriating. After she came down from the high that only a good joke can provide, she would tell me that I was probably just thirsty and should drink some water.

I was a growing boy, so I was actually just hungry, but she wasn’t wrong. Our body’s ability to distinguish between hunger and thirst or hunger and sadness or hunger and excitement or hunger and achievement is weakening every day. In Japan, a traditional cultural rule, “The 80% rule”, teaches people to eat until they are only 80% full.

Americans aren’t great with percentages, so let me suggest one critical way to control hunger signals…


Sleep is crazy important, and it feels crazy good. A good night’s sleep helps our body better regulate the hormones critical to appetite and fat storage. Blue zoners get eight or more hours of sleep a night, which helps them better manage stress and cravings.

Sleep reduces stress, which improves sleep.
Sleep leads to more energy, which improves exercise, which improves sleep.

These are the positive feedback loops we want to get stuck in.

Exercise Often

Speaking of exercise…


Blue zone residents aren’t obsessed with gyms; in fact, many of them never even step foot in one. Physical activity is baked into their every day.

They walk everywhere. They run errands on foot. They don’t do chores with machines or gadgets and instead use the machines God gave them…


Many of them are farmers or have physically demanding jobs that keep them more active than the corporate warrior lifestyle we’re familiar with. Almost all of them love to garden, which helps with their fresh fruit and vegetable diet. They are active with friends, doing yoga, tai chi, or just playing games or sports.

We know exercise improves longevity by:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving heart health
  • Strengthening our resilience to stress
  • Maintaining our bone and muscular health

So many people, however, loathe the idea of “working out.” We know from our eternal elders that “working out” doesn’t have to be a chore or something to fit into our day if our day is filled with activity. We can reorient our lives from sedentary to active, extend our lifespan, and never have to deal with trying to cancel a gym membership again.


Reduce Stress With A Support System

Our introverted and reclusive readers will not like hearing this, but one of the best ways to naturally reduce stress is…other people.


A strong social system helps reinforce the healthy, positive behaviors we strive for and reduce chronic stress. The Okinawans, the Sardinians, and even the Seventh-day Adventists make a point to assemble regularly or build their societies around groups that will stick together for their whole lives.

We live in an abnormally stressful society, to say the least, and it shows in our history of chronic disease compared to our peer nations. Chronic stress triggers chronic inflammation, which increases our risk for heart disease, mental disorders, autoimmune diseases, and digestive problems.


So, even if we can’t make it to bingo every week, finding ways to naturally relieve stress daily will dramatically improve our quality of life.

Spend Time With Family and Nature

This one is a hard sell for those readers who have Thanksgivings like this:


For people living in blue zones, family seems to be everything. Old-age homes don’t exist in these areas because taking care of aging family members is expected. Fortifying families and social networks relieves stress, provides an outlet for physical activity, and leads to healthy habits.

Nature is incredibly grounding and restorative, but harping about that just makes me sound like a:


As chiropractors, we believe our bodies are capable of incredible things. We have everything in us that we need to thrive. Our mission is to use chiropractic adjustments to optimize the nervous system and our body’s incredible healing potential so we can function at our best until the very end.

A natural, non-invasive approach that doesn’t obsess over the symptoms but delves deep to uncover the root cause of a problem and correct it at its source. Rather than try to stop the leaking roof with an old shirt, we want to turn off the water upstairs, patch the whole, and get on to the important things, like living.

For anyone tired of the medical merry-go-round or visiting doctor after doctor and getting no answers, anyone who is sick of spending time in waiting rooms rather than in dining rooms with friends and family, anyone who is over just surviving and wants to thrive, this is that answer you’ve been looking for. Chiropractic care extends not just your longevity but your vitality as well. Call us or schedule a time to talk with one of our amazing doctors and change the course of your life forever.

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