How did you find yourself in the integrative health space?
When I first joined the attending staff at NY Presbyterian/ Columbia University and began performing heart replacement surgery, my very ill patients desired any additional solutions to support their struggles. In response, I began exploring alternative medicines approached like meditation audiotapes in the operating room, massage therapy in the recovery room, and aromatherapy on the wards. Many of these insights arose from my wife’s family’s long-standing belief that low-tech traditional remedies could be used with high-tech surgical approaches. We started a complementary medicine program and offered these solutions across our services while researching their potential benefits.
What is important for people to know about integrative health and its benefits?
Common problems like fatigue, pain, and poor performance have plagued us throughout human history, so we have developed traditional approaches which have survived the test of time. These home remedies and ancient approaches often have wisdom that benefit us in the modern world. They are generally safe and deserve our attention.
How can sleep, exercise and a healthy diet help boost your immune system?
Sleep offers the single most underappreciated health benefit to us, yet we ignore its merits. If Evolution did not value sleep, it would have been eliminated long ago. After-all, is there no apparent survival benefit of being defenseless for 1/3 of your life? Sleep reduces risks of hypertension, immune problems, dementia, cancer, and many other chronic conditions.
Exercise revs the engine of our body so we are ready for the battles of life. Food is a powerful tool that is often overlooked, but when you walk into a grocery store, you are actually entering a pharmacy.
What are some of the ways people can integrate holistic health into their everyday lives?
- Develop a system to incorporate worthy lifestyle approaches.
- Sleep hygiene to prepare you for bedtime.
- Thoughtful food shopping for affordable, powerful antioxidant rich products.
- Daily physical activity that elevates your heart rate.