The SAGE--Senior Actualization and Growth Explorations--Program has barely passed its fifth birthday, but one of its psychologist co-founders can hardly wait to crow about its ""success."" Seems that in 1974 some like-minded professionals met once a week with ""twelve adventuresome older people,"" initiated them into the sacred mysteries of relaxation techniques, foot fights, and naked massage, debunked many prevalent myths about aging, and admitted the world to the show via video-taped documentaries and a half-dozen foundation grants. The reward for this attention to the physical and spiritual needs of the elderly was, predictably enough, some rapid program expansion--or inflation. Luce lopes through observations about the longevity of people in cultures where age is admired--Navajo Indians, the Abkhasians in Soviet Georgia, etc.--and recommends a holistic approach to health: ""Ultimately optimum health springs from the expanded awareness of spiritual development."" This is the state of affairs that she proposes to encourage through deep-breathing exercises, meditation, self-healing, and first-aid for the bruised self-image. Most of the participants whose testimonials are profusely quoted blend facelessly in their inanity: ""It feels like a lot of hocus-pocus, yet I have to admit when I put my hand over my bad knee the pain went away."" But the real crimp belongs to the omnipresent techniques, techniques, and more techniques, all of which seem to require loosened clothing and a telephone off the hook. A tortuous way to reach a truism--you're only as old as you feel.