February 18, 2020

A Trip That Turned Back Time


In 1979, a newspaper in the State of Ohio, U.S., put an advertisement for a one week free trip for eight elderly people in their late 70s to early 80s. The elderly people were selected and arrived in a remote country village. There were two regulations that they had to keep: One was talking and behaving as if it were actually 20 years ago, and the other was doing the housework on their own.

In the mansion decorated with things that were in 1959, the elderly participants watched films and read magazines of that time, and discussed historical events as if they were current news. In spite of their old age and physical frailty, they themselves cleaned the house, did laundry, and washed dishes, helping each other for a hard work.

A week later, the event host announced that this trip was an experiment to turn counterclockwise. The experimental results amazed everyone. The eight elderly, who lived with the help of others, showed physical improvements in hearing, memory, grip, and so on; they became as young as people in fifties.

“Since the mind and body are one, wherever you put the mind, the body will follow.”

As Dr. Ellen Langer said, who invented this experiment, everything depends on the mind.