Fountain of Youth
I see people every day with back pain, knee pain, body pain, pain and more pain. Current research supports imaging techniques focusing on MRI, bone, cartilage. THERE is no imaging of muscle. There has not been a break through in the why of the degradation of the body.
Ten years ago I had a patient with severe osteoarthritis. He was in his mid 70”s, lived with his wife on a large sailboat that the managed alone in the carribean. I looked at his hands and spine, incredulous that he was able to sail unassisted. He told me his secret, at 65,crippled with pain and limited mobility he started yoga. He continues with a daily routine. At that point, my knees were in constant pain, and my back was stiff and painful.
Always listen to your elders. From that moment on i started yoga classes, three times a week for a decade. My AHA moment came when I felt all the joints in my spine slide effortlessly when I was in spine twisting pose. My knee pain was long banished, my back no longer bothered my, and I was comfortable running, biking, hiking and playing singles tennis. I have reversed the aging and degeneration of my body with yoga.
This led to research in how the body can regain youth. It was well documented that muscle strength could be regained at 80 years old as efficiently as those in their 40’s. So if strength training was part of the answer, what was the other side of the coin? FLEXIBILITY.
I met Bob Cooley 3 years ago and worked with him on imaging muscles, resistance and flexibility. Since the 1950’s it was known that eccentric resistance training produced results not achieved with any other exercise. Yet it remained an unknown part of traditional medicine.
Yoga postures eventually allow self resistance and flexibility to work on the muscles in a way to conformationally changing connective tissue. Think of your body and posture like you are a building. We use a level and plumb line to build foundations so that a building stands the test of time. When your posterior muscles are out of sync with the anterior muscle plane the head projects forward , the spine rounds, and hamstrings get stretched. Try contracting your hamstring. Everyday I demonstrate for patients that their hamstring is so weak it can’t lift their foot without cramping…they are always amazed.
Here’s an interesting article about how different cultures use plants and herbs as “home remedies” to treat everything from sunburns to boosting immunity. While taking a pill seems second nature to many of us now, it was only 100 years ago when plants and herbs were the first line treatment for a variety of common ailments. www.yahoo.com/health/18-bizarrely-effective-home-remedies-from-the-far-115767416427.html
While most of the remedies in this article and not available to us (and we probably would hesitate to take them even if they were!), there are several foods you can safely and easily use and purchase at your local natural food store. Here are three:
Healthcare takes more than a minute... Welcome to the practice of health. Our practice believes the path to health is created by caring from the inside out. When we plant a vegetable in the garden, so much care is given to the soil with the right nutrients. The other day at the garden shop I watched as people gathered together potash, iron, nitrogen, sulfur, lime etc. They were buying tools to measure the ph of the soil as well as moisture meters and nitrogen meters. Yet, our body has a million chemical reactions every second but is not part of how we think of health. Can we do well if our body is depleted in minerals and vitamins? The extremes of the deficiencies are well known, rickets, anemia, neuropathy, osteoporosis, skin diseases and on and on. Yet we find it hard to identify our food and American diet as the source of our distress.
The practice of wellness requires education on how to bring the best nutrition and sense of balance into your life. While we recognize the need to treat the common ailments of life, we want patients to have a sense of healing and power over their destiny. About 10 years ago I realized that I had been trained to think of patients and their complaints in terms of what drug I might prescribe. I then realized I had forgotten to ask “why” did this happen. When we look at root causes, we realize nature has a lot to offer and a drug need not be the answer for every ailment.
"The two most important days of your life is the day your were born and the day you find out why…" - Mark Twain. I find this quote haunting and wonder how many of us have found out why we are here on earth. At a very young age I knew I wanted to be a doctor. Albert Scwheitzer was my idol at a young age. I also aspired to heaven, and thought, well, "he is the closest I know to sainthood." I was then inspired by Mother Theresa and she was the honorary degree recipient at my college graduation. Medical school to me was a path to healing, caring and community connections. I usually envisioned myself somewhere in New England with a 100 cows, delivering babies and doing general surgery. My career has taken me on a different path but with no less involvement in community, healing and caring. I have spent a life learning from my patients the burdens they carry, their strength in the face of adversity, the trials, both emotional and financial yet they remain optimistic in life.
Our practice is committed to facilitating the patients path to wellness. For some, this may mean complex medications and therapies, for other, it may be healing a long held sorrow. My staff knows every patient and their needs, often providing transportation, food and other support. To say I am proud of my staff is to under state their commitment to all our patients.
Over the last 30 years, we have developed a well connected network of experts in all fields, are closely aligned at Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts and the Brigham and Womens hospital. We are not bound by networks, we are bound by your needs.