Wellness

If you’ve navigated to this page, there’s a chance that you, or someone you love has been suffering from anxiety, depression, fear, insomnia, chronic pain, or another medical ailment (that includes just about all of us). Here, my goal is to help replace fear with facts and to dispense practical advice to manage your everyday health and well-being.

Here are several suggestions:

Daily exercise – ideally 1 hour per day, but at least 30 minutes. Running is wonderful, but if you can’t do that, walking, biking, swimming, or any team sport or exercise is great, including Yoga, Tai Chi, and Capoeira. You can find me in person most Saturdays at 9 AM at Jamaica Pond, Boston, rain or shine, for the 5K Park Run. It’s two laps around the pond – walk, jog, or run.

Food – I suggest a vegetarian diet with minimal processed foods and very low salt, but other diets also work. The idea here is to reduce atherosclerosis and vulnerable plaque alongside obesity, blood sugar, and blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease. Check out the recipes I’ve shared on my website.

Sleep – so important. Go to bed a little after sunset if you can; wake up with sunrise.

Western biomedicine – I fully support medications and surgery. Personally, I had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) in 1998 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. When I had cellulitis, I took antibiotics. I happily accept vaccines. Currently I take lithium and aripiprazole, medications which help my mood stay in balance. What is important is a healthy dose of skepticism regarding medications and surgery. Ask your doctor if there are randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses supporting the treatments they advise. Were they paid for by the drug companies? And ask for the “number needed to treat” – how many patients would have to take that pill to prevent one death, heart attack, stroke, etc.

Relaxation – there are many methods, including Ayurvedic medicine, meditation, massage, swimming, knitting, etc. Personally, I find music, especially chanting and singing, to be particularly helpful. I also play the violin.

Relationships – at home, friendships, and at work – slow down and listen. Then listen some more. You will grow closer.

Mother Earth – support a plant as it grows toward the sun. Spend a spring – summer – fall season working in a community garden. Get a dog. Go sledding. Start a beehive. This will connect you to our planet. Feel the vibrations, listen for the soul.

Therapy – I have tried different types of therapy and think it is extremely important for recovery, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis (informed by the work of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, as elaborated by Jacques-Alain Miller), music/ expressive arts therapy, and support groups. A written wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) can also be very helpful.

Advocacy – Our world feels broken, and by being involved in activism, we let go of our powerlessness and regain a sense of control, health, and healing.

If you would like to see me as a patient in the clinic, feel free to reach out.

Here I am in 1980, with my parents