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I’m kicking off this season of the podcast with a very special guest. Dr Andrew Weil is a pioneer in the field of integrative health and is the founder and Director of the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine – where he’s also Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health. He’s achieved global recognition as an expert on medicinal plants and alternative medicine and is blazing a trail for medical education reform in the US and around the world. Andrew has been out there for more than 50 years promoting a healing-oriented approach to healthcare, bringing together mind, body and spirit.
Andrew describes integrative medicine as the “Intelligent combination of conventional medicine with natural and preventative strategies and selective use of alternative medicine.” It puts an emphasis on lifestyle medicine, mind-body interactions and the patient-practitioner relationship.
We discuss this relationship and the lost art of listening. We talk about the shortcomings of modern, Western medicine – how being a doctor today can mean simply giving out drugs to mask symptoms (which can ultimately prolong and even worsen them). It’s this frustration at being unable to truly help that drives most medics to study Andrew’s revolutionary course.
We delve into the topic of chronic inflammation – now a widely accepted cause of many serious health conditions, thanks in no small part to Andrew’s instincts and research. He shares some practical suggestions from his own anti-inflammatory eating plan, as well as the importance of mitigating stress. Breathwork, he says, is the game-changer here. Stress is a clear example of the mind-body connection at work, yet it remains a link modern medicine fails to address. We talk about how terms like psychosomatic or ‘all in your head’ have negative connotations, when the placebo effect is in fact proof of our mind’s healing power. When it comes to research and treatments, it’s a result scientists should be ruling in, not out. This is a whistle-stop tour of wellbeing, from the healing potential of psychedelics and the benefits of matcha tea, to the future of national healthcare systems, the value of sacred rituals, and some good news about dark chocolate. So much of my approach to health is aligned with Dr Weil’s and it was a joy to discuss our common ground and goals. This is a positive and practical conversation that I hope will inspire you.
Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*
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Watch the video version of this interview – click below.'Trust in and pay attention to your body's healing ability because it is your greatest asset.' Click To Tweet
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