Finding a way to slow down or even reverse your aging process may seem impossible without developing time travel (or, at the very least, an improbability). And aging is indeed unavoidable. However, not only do your genetics influence how it happens and how long it takes but so do a slew of environmental and lifestyle factors that are, in fact, under your control. The most frequently disregarded of those elements, regardless of your actual age, is how youthful or old you feel. Because having a favorable view of your age—or feeling younger than you are—can significantly influence your actual lifespan, the goal of the recently launched New York City health clinic Modern Age is to help you decrease your “subjective age.”
That concept contrasts sharply with the present cultural framework for aging, which views the process as an inevitability rather than something that can be actively influenced. Melissa Eamer, the creator and CEO of Modern Age, was inspired to wonder whether there was another way after witnessing her mother’s apathetic attitude toward aging. “It felt like one day, after my sisters and I had all graduated from college, my mother decided that her work was done and that she was old,” she recalls. “And her health began to deteriorate swiftly after that.”
“How old you feel has a significant influence on how long you live in a virtuous loop.” —Melissa Eamer, Modern Age’s founder and CEO
Eamer discovered that “how old you feel has a major influence on how long you live” after researching scientific studies on subjective age. “For example, if you feel younger, you’re more likely to be involved in your community and engage in physical activity and seek to feed your body.” In reality, that advantage might be biological as well: According to a small 2018 research of 68 older persons, those with a lower subjective age exhibited bigger quantities of grey matter in particular brain areas and younger estimated brain ages based on fMRI scans.
As a result, the opposite perception—seeing yourself as older than you are—can hurt your health, both through the aforementioned brain-related route and “allowing you to check out or cease actively engaging in your well-being,” according to Eamer. And this is when a trip to the Modern Age comes in handy.
The Modern Age Wellness Clinic’s approach to assisting you in lowering your perceived age
Learning to see oneself as younger (and receiving the rewards that come with it) isn’t as simple as resolving to feel that way one day. The concept of subjective age is intertwined with how you physically feel, how you see yourself in the mirror, and your psychological outlook on life, all of which are addressed in a Modern Age on-site consultation and will be included in the company’s soon-to-be-released online Subjective Age assessment. You’ll be directed to take selfies from various angles scanned by proprietary software and analyzed as part of the visual component playing into your subjective age, whether you come in person or online (as long as you’re in New York).
“There’s a feedback loop between your physical health, look, and feel,” says Anant Vinjamoori, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer of Modern Age, an internal medicine physician. “That’s why we begin by learning about the aspects of a patient’s aging journey that they wish could be better, whether it’s elements of visible appearance like skin or hair changes, or how they feel physically, in terms of energy, mood, ability to recover from injury, and other factors that are frequently linked to hormonal changes.”
To address the problems mentioned above, the services and treatments available are split into four categories: skin, hair, hormones, and bones. And according to Eamer, they are conscious areas of concentration because of how early in life and how frequently they might reflect indicators of aging.
“Skin was the obvious starting place because we found in our research that it’s the first place people notice aging, starting as early as their thirties,” Eamer says, citing research from the American Academy of Dermatology. “Hair was a natural addition because we know that 40% of women notice visible hair loss by the time they’re 40 years old,” Eamer says. Following that, hormones were considered because of how they may influence the adjustments above, and bone changes were considered since bone loss isn’t usually treated until it’s too late and can significantly impact life, she says.
“We attain peak bone mass in our late twenties and begin to notice reductions in our thirties,” explains Dr. Vinjamoori. “This can subsequently lead to fragility fractures, hazardous for general health.” According to Dr. Vinjamoori, every visit to Modern Age begins with a bone-density scan, which employs ultrasonic technology to “evaluate if you could be someone losing bone mass quicker than other individuals your age.” “If you are, we may devise a strategy to treat it, which may involve a lifestyle component and specific supplements.”
Microneedling and plasma-rich platelet injections are available for skin changes and hair loss, respectively, whereas hormone health is addressed with a diagnostic blood test and prescription and over-the-counter supplements; IV drip therapies for aging concerns related to energy and immunity are also available. And it’s all done in stylish treatment rooms that are considerably less clinical than a traditional doctor’s office, with rounded walls that reflect the curvatures of the human body and color-changing skylights that match with guided meditations to calm any pre-service jitters.
Based on your specific aging-related goals, you can create a treatment plan that combines any of the treatments mentioned above given by the on-site team of practitioners, including a gynecologist, dermatologist, and functional medicine experts. (It’s worth noting that this procedure may be prohibitively expensive for some, as none of these are currently covered by insurance.) You may follow your progress over time by retaking the Subjective Age exam online and seeing how the actions you’re doing are helping to reduce that age; according to Eamer: “My aim is that as a consequence, people would feel more in control and agency over what the future contains, and as a result, they will be more positive about it.”