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Book Summary Video Interviews with Dr. Dean Ornish on his book “The Spectrum for HealthBootcamps.
Dean Ornish, MD, is the founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif. He is the clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Ornish received his medical training in internal medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received a BA in Humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address.
For more than 32 years, Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. He directed the first randomized, controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may stop or reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer. His research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes affect gene expression, “turning on” disease-preventing genes and “turning off” genes that promote cancer and heart disease. In collaboration with Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., he also showed that these lifestyle changes can lengthen telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that control how long we live.
He is the author of six best-selling books, including New York Times bestsellers Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Love & Survival; and his most recent book, The Spectrum.
The research that he and his colleagues conducted has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Circulation, TheNew England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Cardiology, The Lancet Oncology, and elsewhere.
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[00:01] REENA JADHAV: All right next chapter six, the stress- management spectrum. What is the stress management spectrum?
[00:06] DR. DEAN ORNISH: The same idea the more you meditate the more you do yoga the more you improve; so you decide how much to do it. And you know it improves you in a number of ways, one is you manage stress well, your fuse gets longer things don’t bother you as much so people say things like you know, they didn’t change but I did you know the same job, the same family, the same work environment, the same home and yet you react to a different way just like when you’re tired and run down your fuse are shorter little I needed a aggravation are most stressful, Interests don’t bother you as much, it’s not like you have to hold it in and explode it’s like you know I can… then you can actually function a much higher level to deal with ever whatever needs to be done. But also like what we talked about earlier is quiet down your mind and body to experience more of an inner sense of peace as well which you can then you know remain very grounded and even when you’re very busy out there and if you take it even further it gives you that direct experience of interconnected that on one level or separate on another level or already interconnected there’s a wonderful study that was done by Nicholas B Turk-Browne in Harvard where he found that if your friends are obese you’re 45% more likely to be obese yourself, f it’s your friends, friends its 25% ,if it’s your friends, friends, friends its 10% more likely even if you haven’t met them. That’s how interconnected we already are in the centers of the city pretty much everything. The support groups that we have which we’ll talk about in a moment are designed to recreate that sense of intimacy that intimacy is really human even in healing comes to the roots to make whole, even in yoga comes from the Sun script Yo- to unite, unions; it’s a really old ideas that were rediscovered and you know 50 years ago and it is not a radical shift in our culture last year’s 50 years ago people had an extended family that they saw regular, they had a job they felt secure, they had a church or synagogue they went to regularly, they had an extended family that they saw regularly. Today many people don’t have any of those things; and the thing that happens when you tell them that your neighborhood which was in generations of people that you grow up with, they know you they don’t just know your Facebook profile you know there was a study that came out last month and show that the more time you spend on Facebook the more depressing and sick you get. The reason is; is because it looks like everybody has this great life but you, you know it’s like as people post like I was suicidal when I was 29, oh my son’s non here you know, you start stuff right we’re going to have always self doubts is like here I am in a financial tower, here I am with my perfect life, my perfect family you go like what was wrong with me? And so it’s like a James Cameron though you know, legendary director Avatars like I see you know it’s not which is really an African Zulu proverb. What it means is like I just don’t see your Facebook profile, your bio sketch, I see you, I saw you grow , I saw you messed up, I saw you when you were doubtful, I saw you when you broke that window, I saw when you… you know we’re on this problem and I’m still here for you. Support groups are designed and really to replicate that we create a safe environment where people can let down their emotional defenses and just be all open and authentic with each other and the focus on their feelings and communicate their feelings because it is our feelings that connect us. And it’s so easy to make all that sense of touchy feeling and I used to get defensive and say look at our pet scans at our Instagram one says you know what it is touchy feeling that’s what makes it work so well, we are touchy feeling creatures and bringing people together in a safe environment where they can let down their defenses you know it’s not like you should not have defenses but if you have nowhere to feel safe enough, to be open and authentic and no one that you trusted enough to do that with, then the those walls are always up and if they are always up they isolate you, they isolate you more likely ironically you get sick and die premature. So many control people are culture have no one to do that with and so they could go to support groups incredibly transformative and then you can see how good that feels and then take that back into their other relationships and make them more independent and to that extent it becomes that much more here.
[04:04] REENA JADHAV: And it’s all about finding your tribe mean that’s a big part of what we do at health bootcamps, we help people with a tribe so you work together, bond together and we have to do daily life calls that are free so once you join the tribe every day you can just jump on a free call and catch-up with others ask your questions because to your point there is nothing available today that gives people that level of support and…
[04:30] DR. NEAL ORNISH: Is now through what you’re doing what we’re doing with our programs that we’re training around the country and so often people say things like oh having a heart attack was the best thing that ever happened, I remember the first time I heard that I was like what are you crazy? They say no that’s what it took to get my attention and so often when people are sick we’re just trying to literally by pass the problem or damp and kill it as opposed to say okay there is an opening here, because change is hard but if you’re in enough pain idea change becomes working right and then as you make this change the pain gets better not just the physical deeper, depression and loneliness and isolation.
[05:05] REENA JADHAV: Absolutely.
[05:06] DR. DEEN ORNISH: That becomes a doorway that we’re trying to change medical education so that people when we trained as doctors or other healthcare professionals can see that suffering as a way, as an opening as a doorway for helping people you know, Leonard Cohen said you know the cracks is where the light comes in…
[05:22] REENA JADHAV: Conventional doctors giving up on me and saying we don’t know what to do with you take prednisone was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because it brought me here, so I am one of those people who say getting the second not figuring out how to resolve been forced to figure it out on my own was absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me…
[05:39] DR. DEAN ORNISH: People don’t have to do it now on their own because they have got you and they have got me and other people out there doing this for them.
[05:43] REENA JADHAV: Absolutely, you shouldn’t have to do it on your own.
Dr. Dean Ornish, MD
Phone: 415-332-2525, x-229
Phone: +1 (877) 888-3091
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