The Thermobaric Approach to Longevity

By Joan McKenna



In cell banks around the world, human cells are kept in a state of near immortality.  The environments in which these cells exist are at a relative constant of temperature, pressure and  a steady supply of nutrients.  These cells have an average replication rate of once every three weeks.  They have a “life expectancy” of 10,000 replications.


Now do the math:     3 weeks    X  10,000   =     30,000 weeks    =   576  years


Yet, we are told that our life expectancy is only  80-100 years.


A bit of a contradiction here, or its it?



We do not live in such perfectly controlled environments.  Our bodies operate at a range of temperatures that can vary significantly from day to day, activity to activity, mood to mood.


So where the perfect cells are kept in a kind of unchanging stillness, our lives and our bodies are changing and reacting moment by moment.


While we cannot establish a constant state in all our cells, we can reduce the thermodynamic variation to some degree and benefit in a healthier and longer life.


To understand what is happening, we need to look at a physics term called “stress”.   Stress is any fluctuation of heat or pressure.   The more rapid or the more extreme the fluctuation, the higher the stress.


Each stress imprints the material that is stressed.  Imagine a pair of pants that you have never worn.  Now wear them for a long day.  Notice how the material has been changed by your form and your movements.  After a month or so, the pants that you have worn do not go back to looking like they were new.  They have been stressed and imprinted with and by your use of them.


Let’s go back to our cell bank where the cells are kept in a near perfect equilibrium.

The temperature of the incubators is 37 degrees Celsius.


Now, drop the temperature of the incubator by 2 degrees Fahrenheit  or 1 degree Celsius.


The life expectancy doubles .    Over 1,000 years.


Is this possible for human beings?


We have some evidence that it is.  Methuselah lived to be over 1,000 years old.  More…..

Roy Waldorf at UCLA experimented with mice.  He found that by reducing their food intake to about half of normal, that he could drop their body temperature by about 2 F and thereby double their life expectancy.


But he is certain that human beings will not tolerate living like this.


I believe that he needs to consider those on the planet who are malnourished and in a state of semi-starvation.  They do not live twice as long as the well fed.  Perhaps it is the range of nutrients, to some degree.  Perhaps it is another factor.


The longest living people that we know about live at altitudes above 1500 feet in cool to moderate climates, walk up and down slopes several times daily, eat little or no sugar and few starches, and have primarily water as their fluid intake.


The sacred writings of the Tibetans claim that some have achieved several thousand years of age.


Himalayan people claim that there are masters alive today who’s life has spanned more than

3, 000 years without reincarnations.


Are we to believe that the ancient people who recorded the correct progression of stars and comets for hundreds and thousands of years somehow did not know how to count years when it came to human aging? 


Skeptics will likely say that the witnesses were beguiled or duped.  Perhaps once, even twice, but for hundreds and thousands of years?  For generation upon generation?

Could all the witnesses have been misled and mistaken men they knew for twenty or thirty years for a youthful “substitute”?


If we accept the possibility that there have been individuals who have lived 150 years or more, and examine the cultures, climates, diets and philosophies of these individuals, we may find that there are certain principles that reoccur and find ways to adapt these principles to our own lives.


 Guidelines for Longevity:  Thermobaric Approach         $30