French doctor L.H. [Louis-Henri] Goizet published a book in 1920 claiming a surefire trick to live past age 100: massaging your head. Let’s just say that’s not the prevailing scientific consensus today.
Now for the treatment. He sits us on a stool, and, beginning at the top of the head, for, he says, the brain is the home of the Ego and the centre of gravity of our being, and all physiological evolution takes place around its extreme axis, he begins with slow, gentle, rotary, tractile motions, from west to east, since that is the course of all nature’s movements, both internal and external, as exemplified by the course of the planets around the sun, to rub the top of our head with the palm of the hand.
Goizet claimed all sorts of amazing transformations on patients as a result:
“It seems extraordinary, at first, that rubbings so light could produce effects of such importance that under their conscious and reasoned action one sees the enlarged mouth shrink, the commissures contract, the nostrils appear, the jaws relax, the teeth loosen, the wrinkles disappear, the contracted and elevated shoulders descend to their normal place, the neck gets clear, the head, stooping forward, becomes erect, the wrists become refined, the fingers taper and stretch out…”
I’ll stop it there, but that one sentence continues on for dozens of more words.
What’s the secret to old age, according to today’s most up-to-date scientific knowledge? In 2015, Scottish 109-year-old Jessie Gallan told the Daily Mail her key to remaining alive so long was “staying away from men.” Maybe she has a point: of the 28 people currently alive who have been validated as age 110 or older, all 28 are female. Seeing as I am a man, alas, it will be hard to stay away from myself.
How to Live for More Than a Hundred Years
Published: Sunday, November 14, 1920