What is autophagy? It is a natural youth-boosting process that exists within our bodies.  All of us have the power to stay youthful and full of vitality by switching some of our everyday nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits.  Every day, deep within our cells, our body’s natural process of autophagy restores and rejuvenates our cells to keep them healthy and full of energy. But as we age our autophagy declines, causing premature signs of aging and leaving our bodies less able to bounce back from the pressures of daily life.

In my book, which will be available early March (pre-order here) you can learn more about this exciting Nobel-Prize winning science and how to harness this within your own body.

Therapeutic mechanical stress causing minor trauma to cells in skin and muscles may elevate autophagy and execute repair.  That means that manipulating your skin through therapies like massage and acupressure can stimulate your cellular cleanup crew to help you look and feel younger. What a perfect excuse for a spa day!

Start activating your autophagy today by trying one of these youth-boosting treatments to activate mechanical stress, making your cells act younger.


A great way to remove dead skin cells and stimulate cell turnover, facials can help to smooth skin and boost a youthful glow. One of the most promising facial treatments for autophagy activation and youthful-looking skin is microneedling, a cosmetic procedure that involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with tiny sterile needles that range between 1 millimeter and 1.5 millimeters in length. Being pricked over and over again with tiny needles may seem like a  form of torture,  but  I  can tell you from firsthand experience, it may be one of the best things you can do to rejuvenate your skin.

Many dermatologists believe microneedling may be an antiaging breakthrough and it works by creating a stress-response mode in your body. The theory is that the needles stress your cells to activate autophagy and repair the damage. The procedure boosts production of collagen and elastin for an antiaging effect. A study in the International Journal of Dermatology found it to be a promising, minimally invasive treatment option to help advance collagen production.  It can be effective for dark spots,  redness,  and fine lines and wrinkles.  The procedure is most commonly performed by a doctor or trained aesthetician, but at-home versions also exist and are gaining popularity.


This therapy dates back more than 5,000 years. The benefits of massage have been well examined, proven, and recorded throughout its history. Archaeological discoveries indicate that prehistoric people used herbs on their bodies to promote health and healing. Chinese literature records that massage was used for healing as far back as 3000 BCE. It is believed that Hippocrates, the Greek physician, was the first to use massage for circulation, maintaining that the strokes should be made in the direction of the heart. And during World War I, massage was used along with surgical treatment to alleviate pain, reduce edema, assist circulation, and promote tissues nutrition.

Today massage is more than just a luxurious form of pampering.  It’s been shown to help reduce anxiety, aches, and pains and relieve sore muscles.  Its benefits are so widespread that it’s offered everywhere, including doctors’ offices, spas, and even airports.

Treat yourself,  enjoy some self-care and get all the autophagy activating benefits at the same time.

Naomi Whittel

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