Dr. Dean Ornish is not new to the health & wellness world...but he was new to me! He's been practicing as a researcher and physician for over 30 years. I was lucky enough to see him speak at a primary care conference I attended last weekend in Boston.
The punchline is - Dr. Ornish has published studies in journals, like the New England Journal of Medicine, proving that his lifestyle change plan (The Ornish Spectrum) can REVERSE diseases - think...heart disease, coronary artery plaques, prostate cancer, diabetes and maybe even dementia!
Now you're listening! His philosophy is that we all need to transform our view: "From fear of DYING, to LOVE of living!" No more "stop eating that," "cut back on this," "eliminate that" or else you will have strokes, heart attacks, and cancer. Instead, he says, "try this," "add that," "enjoy your freedom to choose love, support, & pleasure, but not fear!"
In his patient population, they found that ANYONE at ANY AGE who could make changes would begin to reverse their diseases - AND - the more changes they made, the more they improved. Did I say, "at any age?!" As patients made changes, they started feeling BETTER - using words like "clear-headed" and "energetic." And guess what?! That made them want to make MORE changes!
He found in his patients that the simple change toward...
- eating more veggies led to a 38% decrease in cognitive decline
- adding fish oil weekly decreased Alzheimer's Disease by 60%
- moving toward the healthier side of his spectrum actually reversed coronary artery blockages
The gist of the nutrition (see, I didn't say diet!) portion of his spectrum is this - eat plants, whole grains, legumes & soy in their natural forms whenever possible. Add 4g/day of fish oil (supplements and/or food). Organic food is better and tastes better! Lower your sugar & refined carbohydrate intake and lower your saturated fat (mostly animal products). (See his spectrum at http://ornishspectrum.com/proven-program/nutrition/ where he discusses how to move from 4 and 5 foods to 1, 2, and 3 foods on the spectrum toward nutrition!) Making these improvements can make you FEEL better almost instantly, and make your body healthier within weeks!
And remember, he recommends not only a change in your (1) nutrition, but also a focus on (2) fitness, (3) stress management and (4) love and support. If one or more of these pillars is not strong for you, that's where you should focus on making small changes that can lead to big reversals in disease! And, if you're already feeling healthy...I'm sure there's something you can benefit from changing too!
Read the full article online about Direct Doctors and the different primary care option we are offering in Rhode Island!
My wife is always telling me that "happy wife equals happy life!" While somewhat cliche, there are actually well documented health, lifestyle and financial benefits of being in happy, committed relationships (especially for men). Current data suggests that people in shaky relationships have:
- an increased rate of heart attack (8.5%)
- a slower rate of wound healing (40%)
- higher artery calcification (20%)
- worse self reported health in old age (13%)
- 3.7x higher likelihood of developing an alcohol problem
- decline in immune function and increase in depression when compared by marital closeness and quality
Divorced men are 39% more likely to commit suicide and have been shown to have 1/4 of the wealth they would have had, had they never married at all!
With that in mind, I figured I'd compile some relationship advice to help avoid all of the above.
1) Do it together: men and women are more likely to make positive healthy behavioral changes if their partner makes the same change (daily exercise, dieting, therapy, etc).
2) Communication is key: how a partner responds to news, good or bad, is very important. Passive, destructive or flippant responses set up tense relationships. Positive responses reassure your spouse that you will support them at all times.
3) Travel can be redefining: while tropical and exotic destinations are great, any getaway with just the two of you can be recharging and allow for renewed connection.
4) Do something fun: research out of Berkeley shows that couple who engage in new and exciting activities report much more marital satisfaction than those who continually have "normal" date nights. Even better... do the activity with another happy couple and the benefits increase.
5) Sacrifice: an obvious part of all relationships but also a potential source of tension. You'll both be sacrificing through the years, so do something nice, don't keep count and everyone wins!
Happy relationship making!
If you live in RI and need someone to see you at home, check us out!
We do home visits for:
- all of our patients if acute issues arise that prevent them from coming in
- patients who join as "homebound" and want all their care in their own home
- newborns in the first month of life
Learn more about our old fashioned house calls...
Fellow Direct Primary Care physician and leader in the field, Samir Qamar, recently blogged about the ways in which businesses can benefit from an arrangement between their employees and a DPC practice (like his MedLion practices across the country or our Direct Doctors practice here in RI).
His quick points are that a DPC practice membership combined with a High Deductible Health Insurance Plan offered through an employer can be a great option for employees (think happier, healthier employees who miss work less and have access to their affordable primary care doctor more) and employers (think cost savings from less ER and Urgent Care visits).
For more on Samir's take, check out his blog...
For Dr. Hedde's take, check out her story on the patch.com...
Check out this week's video to find out what one thing you can do TODAY that can make a difference in your health LONGTERM.
To learn more about why it's important to stand up at work, check out Dr. Hedde's blog on the subject: http://www.directdoctors.org/blog/staying-active-while-you-work.
As the school season is upon us again, I get a lot of calls from parents looking for an appointment for school and sports physicals and sometimes immunizations too. Can we see your child ASAP - yes we can!
When you call your child's pediatrician or family doctor - how soon can they get in for a physical? Well, if you've experienced what most patients and families calling me have experienced, the answer is about three months - if you're lucky!
In the current system, the typical practice has a many months waiting period for "routine" visits because each doctor has to carry a large patient panel (think 1000s!) and always be "booked up" to cover costs. In a Direct Primary Care practice, like Direct Doctors, we limit our panel size to less than 500 patients per doctor. Why? Without taking insurance (no copays for visits, no bill to your insurance company that might result in a co-insurance bill), we eliminate many costs and headaches for our practice. That leaves us to be DOCTORS - that's right, just doctors - not insurance billing experts, not coding experts, and certainly not third party payer experts.
When we get to focus on doctoring, we get to change how we do everything. So, the other day when a colleague called asking if I could see her daughter "tomorrow for her school physical" before she started school the next day, I said sure! We will always be able to get you in - when YOU need it and when it WORKS for you.
You may find it hard to wrap your head around the idea of "paying out of pocket" for this higher level of service and access - but at $10 per month per child with a parent subscription (which is usually $50), you may find it's money very well spent (much better spent than the hundreds or thousands you spend in insurance premiums that only allow you the privilege of paying a copay and a deductible to see your doctor in three months). Sure, you still need health insurance to cover those things that come up (medications, bloodwork, emergencies, specialty visits), but we're happy to help you evaluate a switch to a higher deductible plan coupled with our practice membership so that the money you spend results in access and quality, instead of costs and wait times.
Dr. Mark Turshen MD and Dr. Lauren Hedde DO are accepting new patients at their Direct Doctors family practice in North Kingstown (Wickford), Rhode Island. Direct Doctors is an innovative primary care practice emphasizing an improved doctor-patient relationship. Drs. Hedde and Turshen offer 24/7 access, no waiting, same day visits, home visits, and a doctor who knows YOU well! If you are frustrated with “fast-food”, “cookie-cutter” health care, Direct Doctors may be just the prescription for you. Check out the Direct Doctors difference at www.directdoctors.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 401-400-2699.
Click to watch Dr. Mark Turshen's take on what one change you can make this week that can make a lasting difference in your health long-term!
Dr. Mark Turshen MD and Dr. Lauren Hedde DO are accepting new patients at their Direct Doctors family practice in North Kingstown (Wickford), Rhode Island. Direct Doctors is an innovative primary care practice emphasizing an improved doctor-patient relationship. Drs. Hedde and Turshen offer 24/7 access, no waiting, same day visits, home visits, and a doctor who knows YOU well! If you are frustrated with “fast-food”, “cookie-cutter” health care, Direct Doctors may be just the prescription for you. Check out the Direct Doctors difference at www.directdoctors.org, email email@example.com, or call 401-400-2699.
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.