New Year’s Resolution 2015: Find Your Inner Happiness

It is no secret to many of my colleagues and friends that exactly one year ago, I abruptly fell off my professional trajectory. I lost the battle I was fighting-trying to bring new and fresh ideas and a measure of fairness and accountability into a dictatorial academic establishment-and, pretty much, lost the war. The year that followed was a spectacular  ride, filled with new ideas, meeting great people, creating business ventures such as my integrative practice and a start-up company, and relentlessly forging ahead. I listened to my inner voice, and learned that self-doubt is a luxury that I cannot afford. I uncovered the confidence and focus I did not know existed, the clarity of vision, and the guts to convince others in its value. Ultimately, through these efforts, and the unwavering support  of my family and friends, I regained my inner happiness.

Yet happiness is an elusive concept. As the 2015 approaches, and many of us are making the New Year’s resolutions, the very idea of happiness often equates with external values and attributes, the material things, and is devoid of inner focus. This is poignantly expressed by Dr. Robert Oliva in his recent blog post “The Truth About Stress and Its Cure.”

The inner focus may be just what the doctor ordered to cure the pervasive stress, despondency and malaise experienced by many American physicians. One does not have to go far to hear their unhappy voices. Check out the community dialogue on Sermo.com, or a book by my former colleague,Doctored: The Disinlussionment of an American Physician“. There is no question that we are at the most significant inflection point in the history of medicine in this country. Physicians have been marginalized and turned into “providers”, and over the course of several decades, the health insurance corporate tactics enriched the companies while costing us trillions of dollars. Older generations of doctors, our mentors, spent too much time defining their happiness through external attributions, and acquiesced to the troublesome developments even though they were internally unhappy over a loss of autonomy, public trust, and income. The Accountable Care Act, while sorely needed and a very significant step in the right direction, only added to the unhappiness and disengagement already experienced by many.

My resolution and my wish for 2015 is for myself and my colleagues to cure ourselves by finding and growing our inner happiness. Go beyond your professional exterior, your titles, positions and degrees, and focus on listening to your inner voice. In every one of us, there are dreams, ideas and aspirations that hold the keys to fulfillment. The growth of inner happiness is critical to our survival as physicians, and is a catalyst for change from passive observers who are feeling victimized to masters of our destiny.

Happy and Healthy 2015 to all of my colleagues and friends! I want to hear your stories and suggestions on curing the American physicians.

 

Updates to the Fit in Your Genes Program

The Fit in Your Genes program is a remarkable, revolutionary program. Our first 20 participants are well under way in achieving their weight loss goals! The program takes advantage of the genetic blueprint that is unique to each individual. At the core of the program is a full sequencing determination of the genetic makeup responsible for your sensitivity to various types of exercise, macronutrients, nutraceuticals and supplements, and lifestyle measures. The program offers comprehensive testing to determine personalized approach to weight loss. This approach not only functions to keep the pounds off, but promotes wellness from within.

What would be the value of the genetic program in weight loss? After all, there is no shortage of diet and exercise advice. The use of dietary supplements is a booming business, totaling nearly $4 billion annually in the United States. The Internet is saturated with multiple websites, forums, and discussion groups that promote and endorse various products. Physicians, nutritionists, health coaches, and other professionals have created various diets, programs and approaches, some more beneficial than others. Fierce debates continue about merits of diet in various health conditions, including prevention of heart disease and cancer.  Yet, we are in the midst of the most significant epidemic of chronic illnesses. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol continue to affect younger and younger individuals. The American population continues to grow progressively more obese year after year. Despite multiple resources, and billions of dollars spent, the solution does not appear to be in sight.

The genetic program offers a unique opportunity. It is a chance to go back to the ground floor. To help you understand how the genetic program for weight loss may be of value, not just in losing weight but also in fostering wellness, consider this. Suppose you decide to build a house. You would ask an architect for a blueprint. The blueprint calls for specific details, provides standardized measurements, defines materials, and ultimately guides the construction. Of course, once the walls are constructed, you put on your personal imprint. This imprint may include your own color palette, choice of finishing materials, even landscaping. It is very common for busy developers to utilize nearly the same blueprint over and over again in construction, making adjustments for personalization or location. Yet, many of these houses, built from similar or identical blueprints, look and feel very different. Your genetic makeup is the blueprint that is guiding construction of your house of wellness and illness. The environment, lifestyle choices, interactions with food, toxins, exercise, medications and supplements all work upon this genetic blueprint to create your personalized imprint. And it is this imprint, the phenotype, or the external appearance is what we often seek to change. However, just as in construction, the external appearance changes do not change the blueprint. To enact a fundamental change, the one that would drastically change the entire house, one would need to take the blueprint into consideration, and act upon it. By determining your genetic blueprint for weight loss, you are enacting a fundamental change that leads to much more than an appearance change. It changes the entire house!

There are several components to the genetic program. The initial testing is carried out by obtaining a small sample of your cells. This is performed by swiping a Q-tip on the inside of your cheek. This sample is sent to be processed in a sequencer. The test result is available in about four weeks. While you are waiting for your test results, you will start with a detoxification phase of the program. Once you test results are received, a recommendation will be made for diet adjustments, exercise regimen, and supplement use.

Each individual starts with a unique blueprint, and the influences of lifestyle and environment on this blueprint are responsible for weight loss, weight re-gain, wellness, and illness. The impact of inflammation in promoting obesity, and related chronic diseases, cannot be overestimated. Thus, the genetic blueprint serves as a fundamental scientific basis for setting goals guiding the weight loss and wellness interventions. It is an objective starting point. The nutritional, exercise, and nutraceutical components of the program are directed to manage much more than the weight loss. The goal is to control inflammation and pro-inflammatory conditions that interfere with weight loss, promote weight re-gain, and diminish organ reserve.

 

Many of our participants are passionate and determined to lose weight and improve their wellness. We are here to help them every step of the way. Our patients success and safety are our primary concerns. The Fit in Your Genes program is a medically supervised program. It requires face-to-face visits with a licensed physician, and offers support through a team of health coaches and yoga instructors. During the detoxification, a virtual video visit is available for additional support. To assure our patient safety, we respectfully ask that patients abide by the following rules of participation:

  • Patients cannot participate in any additional programs if they already are enrolled in the Fit in Your Genes program. Enrollment in another program would preclude detoxification and personalized supplement selection. Patients may be eligible for the Fit in Your Genes program if they discontinue another program for at least two weeks prior to enrollment.
  • Patients taking their own supplements must present them for verification of compatibility with the supplements recommended by the genetic testing. If a full list of ingredients, country of origin, site of manufacture, authenticity, and purity of the supplements cannot be established, the supplements must be discontinued. The supervising physician reserves the right to request that any supplement be discontinued if its safety cannot be ascertained.
  • Patients cannot use additional substances, such as supplements, medicinal foods, herbs, or homeopathic remedies once the program commences unless such substances have been approved by a physician supervising the program.
  • The initial program fee includes a before and after consultation with the supervising physician, performance of the genetic test, and a detoxification kit.
  • The subsequent fees include supplements and nutraceuticals, health coach, and yoga sessions. The first health coach session is complementary to all program participants.

The quest for weight loss is an essential component of vitality and wellness. It is well known that overweight and obesity result in less productivity at work, disturbed sleep, inflammatory state, and early onset of chronic and debilitating diseases. The obesity is a state of chronic malnutrition that is fueled by inflammation, and it adds more fuel to the inflammation fire daily. Billions of dollars are spent annually to treat consequences of obesity and chronic diseases. Pharmacological treatments or drugs are mainstay of these approaches. There are even drugs for obesity, and bariatric surgery is available to help patients suffering from consequences of excessive weight. The genetic program offers an opportunity to address root causes of obesity and chronic diseases.