Tag Archives: Lifestyle Medicine

How To Boost Your Immunity | Dr. Dean Ornish

This is a really important article I received from Dr. Dean Ornish and I feel it needs sharing. Excellent scientific references and tips to build up your immune system from a Lifestyle Medicine perspective.

Comment and share here.


Your health, wellness & safety are important to us! 

We understand that this pandemic is causing feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. To avoid getting sick, most of the focus so far has been on preventing exposure to the coronavirus, which, of course, is very important—staying at home, social distancing, hand washing, gloves, masks, disinfecting, etc.  We’re all in this together!

But very little has been written about the other half of the equation: how to enhance your immune system so that if you are exposed, you can reduce the chances of getting sick—or at least mitigate the intensity of the disease and thus reduce the death rate.

The four aspects of our Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program—Eat Well, Move More, Stress Less, Love More—have been proven to reverse a wide variety of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, early-stage prostate cancer, and hypertension. They also enhance immune function.

Our book, UnDo It!, describes this in more detail. Here are some relevant studies:

1. Love More

Spreading fear and loathing about the coronavirus may, ironically, increase the risk of getting sick. Fear can be self-fulfilling to the extent that it does suppress immune function and makes someone more likely to get the very disease they’re most afraid of.

Also, staying at home and social distancing help prevent transmission of the virus, but feeling lonely can be harmful to your health. Study after study have shown that people who are lonely and isolated are 3-10 times more likely to get sick and die prematurely of virtually all causes when compared to those who have a strong sense of love and community.

Fortunately, there are many things we can do to enhance our immune function to help protect us. While it’s important to stay at home, wash your hands, disinfect, etc., it’s also wise to spend more time socializing with family members who are living with you as well using video or just audio technologies like Zoom or the phone to virtually spend time with friends and family in other places.

For example, Sheldon Cohen did a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in which he dripped rhinovirus (which causes the common cold) in the noses of volunteers. (I don’t know how he persuaded people to volunteer and got this approved by the human studies committee….) All of them became infected, but not everyone developed the signs and symptoms of a cold.

Those that had only 1-3 social ties—defined as a phone call or visit from a friend every two weeks—were 4.2 times more likely to develop a cold than those with 6 or more social ties during that time. (Now, just visit friends virtually rather than in person.)

2. Stress Less

In an earlier study, Cohen dripped five types of respiratory viruses (rhinovirus type 2, 9, or 14, respiratory syncytial virus, or coronavirus type 229E, a less deadly form than the current coronavirus) into volunteers. The rates of both respiratory infection and clinical colds increased significantly in a dose-response manner with increases in the degree of psychological stress. Infection rates ranged from approximately 74 percent to approximately 90 percent, according to levels of psychological stress, and the incidence of clinical colds ranged from approximately 27 percent to 47 percent.

In other words, stress suppressed their immune function. Because of this, the more stressed they felt, the more likely they were to get infected and sick.

And in a more recent study, he found that those who he infected with rhinoviruses who had positive emotions such as happy, pleased, and relaxed had a 2.9 times lower risk of developing a cold than those who did not in a dose-response fashion.

In other words, feeling happy and peaceful enhances your immune system.

In contrast, when you’re depressed, your immune system is depressed as well. In a different study by Margaret Chesney and others, men who were HIV positive (i.e., all had evidence of being infected with the HIV virus) and were depressed were significantly more likely to develop AIDS and die from it than those who were not depressed.

3. Eat Well

Numerous studies have clearly shown that a healthful whole foods plant-based diet enhances your immune function. There are thousands of substances in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy products that are protective against infections.

4. Move More

Many studies have shown a clear, inverse relationship between moderate exercise and risk of a wide variety of illnesses, including infectious diseases. It enhances immune regulation. Just walking 15-30 minutes/day makes a big difference in your immune function.

So, I put all of this together to say that it does make very good sense to be mindful of reducing risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus by staying at home, social distancing, hand washing, gloves, masks, disinfecting, etc.) without becoming afraid or depressed. And to spend more time virtually in loving relationships with friends and family; eating well; moving more; and stressing less.

In short, enhancing our immune system can help us to be less “influenced” by the influenza virus.

Finding meaning in situations, especially bad ones, also helps enhance our immune system. With all the tragedy of the coronavirus, is there anything meaningful that comes from it?

First, for those of us who work too much, being at home and being told not to go to work or to travel gives everyone a valid rationale to spend more time with our friends and family, both in-person with those you live with and also virtually with others. No FOMO if everything is cancelled. You don’t have to give an excuse at work to stay home.

Also, having a common enemy can help heal some of the wounds that divide our country. These are profoundly human issues that affect everyone in all states, both red and blue.

It reminds me a little of the classic science fiction movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which an intelligent alien comes to Earth to warn everyone of the importance of living peacefully. He caused all mechanical and electrical machines to stop for an hour to get everyone’s attention. Our world this week is also stopping—for much more than an hour—and it’s getting everyone’s attention as well.

And, finally, having so much less traffic and manufacturing is also giving the Earth a chance to breathe and heal, at least temporarily. A literal breather.

Wishing you and your loved ones health & happiness!

Dean Ornish, M.D.
Founder & President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute


Lifestyle Medicine and Lifestyle Prescriptions® – The Answer to Chronic Disease?

Currently, unhealthy lifestyle practices account up to 63% of all deaths and a major reason for the inflation of chronic diseases. Moreover, with the traditional approach of conventional medicine, the figures are only getting worse.

Need for a Paradigm Shift in Health Care

Unsurprisingly, the United States spends highest on its health care than any other country. On the contrary, its citizens get very little value in return. An expert panel commissioned by the National Institutes of Health, released a new report wherein the U.S. ranked lowest on variety of health measures.

The primary protocol for treating lifestyle diseases such as obesity, Type-2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and other such chronic illnesses is by prescribing medicines and other pharmaceutical products leading many to personal bankruptcies.

As the existing health care system revolves around benefiting the medical industry, citizens suffer from a disease management approach that merely “mops the floor” by stalling the symptoms through medicines, rather than “turning off the faucet” and finding the root cause of the illness.

Yes, traditional medicine is important but, fact of the matter is chronic diseases are a consequence of improper diet and lifestyle choices. Our primary concern as healthcare professionals should be to help patients with long-term holistic lifestyle choices and provide alternatives to cope with their everyday stress and emotional conflicts. This is possible only when we upgrade our existing healthcare model.

Lifestyle Medicine: The Answer to Chronic Health Problems

However, recent advancements in the field of epigenetics indicate the efficacy of evidence-based lifestyle medicine in altering human metabolism and reversing the ill effects of poor lifestyle practices. This new line of treatment has opened many doors for physicians looking for a more systematic approach in dealing with lifestyle-related health issues of their patients.

In addition, while the health care system is shifting its priority from fee-for-service system to pay-for-performance system, this has made the process of integrating lifestyle medicine into our existing health care system a lot more feasible.

Furthermore, it is encouraging to see many physicians eager to integrate lifestyle medicine into their medical practice.

What is Lifestyle Medicine?

Lifestyle medicine is a newly emerging healthcare system involving implementation of lifestyle and alternative therapies in a systematic manner for the treatment of chronic diseases. It not only works as “disease prevention,” but also as “risk prevention”- reducing the risk factors leading up to a disease.

However, applying lifestyle medicine techniques requires physicians to possess several skills and competency for the treatment of special health risk behaviors and bringing about healthy lifestyle practices among patients.

Areas for modification include nutrition, physical activity, lifestyle changes, body weight control, patient compliance, stress and coping, spiritual, mind-body techniques, to name a few.

Challenges of Integrating Lifestyle Medicine

Patient adherence is paramount for the success of any medical treatment. Currently, many health care providers lack in applying basic knowledge about lifestyle and functional medicine. Even if they succeed in advising patients on “what to do,” chances of patients’ non-compliance are still high.

Another challenge for physicians is to find the root cause of symptoms and provide precise behavioral modifications to tackle patient’s health issues.

Therefore, a change in health care system also calls for change in the role-play of physicians: where they should not only tell “what” the patients should do, but also participate as a health coach and educate them about the benefits of healthy lifestyle modifications and provide alternatives and motivation for their easy transition.

Availability of Health Coach Training Institutes

Nonetheless, there is plenty of lifestyle medicine and health coach institutes available, which help health care professionals, gain lifestyle medicine education.

Likewise, the Lifestyle Prescriptions University, which is the world’s only Lifestyle Prescriptions® Training School, provides a 12-Month Lifestyle Prescriptions® Health Coach Certification Program for health care practitioners from varied fields of medicine.

Besides imparting sound knowledge about Lifestyle and Integrative Medicine, it also teaches health practitioners to write effective Lifestyle Prescriptions® for easy application of lifestyle medicine into their practices and further expand their career and core responsibilities as a medical practitioner.

Lifestyle Prescriptions® involves a deeper understanding of the mind-body, social and emotional connection with response to stress.

It teaches health care practitioners the following skills:

  • Root-Cause Diagnosis- a unique retrospect of the bio-psycho-socio root cause on various health issues using descriptive Organ-Mind-Brain reference charts.
  • Root-Cause Solutions: Writing effective clear-cut solutions based on Energy Psychology Techniques and Coaching skills to help patients make micro-habit improvements and stimulate their body’s self-healing process.
  • Business Set-up and Training to run a smooth micropractice.

Therefore, Lifestyle Prescriptions® Health Coaches and Root-Cause Specialists can provide top quality Lifestyle Medicine solutions based on Psycho-Social Root-Cause Analysis to their patients and work towards reducing the burden of chronic diseases on the nation.

Lifestyle Prescriptions®: Two-Phases of Self-Healing

Surprising Sympathetic and Parasympathetic triggers in your daily life.

Get a FREE Lifestyle Prescriptions Root-Cause Analysis Consultation® at: www.LifestylePrescriptions.TV/directory

3 Steps To Healthy Habits [PDF Worksheet Download]

I’ve lived in California for 20 years and have heard about a thousand times motivational and goal setting advice like this:

“You can do it if you just put your mind to it.”

“Yes you can!”

“Set clear goals in your life and they will manifest.”

If you’ve heard it too and tried to use goal setting and will power to achieve your dreams then I would like to ask you to look back and consider how well this worked for you!

We use our will power to loose weight, get rid of back pain, depression or anxiety and often find that it’s not worked that well.

What we are realizing now is that setting goals is important and necessary. But it also requires lots of energy, attention and “will power muscle” to make them happen. We seem to have not enough will-power to achieve our goal, get frustrated and then blame ourselves for not being “good enough”.

And we all know how easy it is to lose our desired goals, by getting side tracked or because we don’t feed it with “energy and attention” … oops!

Download the brand-new PDF Worksheet: 3 Steps To Healthy Habits

Establishing habits is way more powerful.

Habits are like the automated tasks our smartphone does without us knowing. It’s being done. Just think of all the wonderful apps helping you to stay in touch with family, read emails (you’ve got mail!) or the latest news article or “fake news” on Facebook. It’s all pretty much automated and we love it and benefit from it.

The same is true for our body. Healthy habits make our body “run” in a productive and high performance kinda way. We don’t have to think at all that we drink water instead of soda, we grab healthy snacks or eat mostly vegetables not because we have set that daily goal and used tons of our will power and energy to do it.


It’s fully automated running in our background (our subconscious mind).

Our breathing, blood flow, digestion, sensory input, brain activity, etc…. the majority of our bodily functions are unconscious “habits” (if that is what we decide to call them).

Symptoms are habits!

Ok. I said it.

This might be a totally new perspective for you. But start to consider symptoms as habits and not as something being wrong with you.

Your symptoms are biological reaction based on…..what you eat, how you react to stress, how you process emotions, how you perceive your environment, your relationships and your connections with others and the universe, presence or God.

Your symptoms are the result of your unconscious habits and when you change that “symptom producing habit” you’ll notice that your body will automatically – sometimes instantaneously sometimes over time – adjust and the symptoms disappear.

In Lifestyle Prescription® Health Coaching we are using the power of habits in a conscious way to transform our body-mind into a well oiled “bio machine” that produces empowering emotions, thoughts and results.

Seth Godin says it perfectly: “Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re-invention of how you see yourself.”

“Habits are powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.” stats Charles Duhigg.

William James said: All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits – practical, emotional, and intellectual – systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be.”

The big question for you right now is: Do you want to continue to struggle using will power to improve your health and your life? 

Or are you ready to use the power of micro-habit change and Lifestyle Prescriptions® to consciously automate your unconscious habits and let your body’s intelligence do the work?

Once you set up healthy habits, they become part of your identity, they can last all your life and require very little or no will power to maintain them.

It’s your choice. 

So who’s the winner: Goals or Habits?

I guess there is really no winner, both have their purpose.

But one thing is for sure true: Creating habits in a conscious manner is extremely powerful and will free up your will power and energy and help you automate tasks in your life that you used to struggle with.

Download the brand-new PDF Worksheet: 3 Steps To Healthy Habits and apply them int your life.

Lifestyle Medicine Documentary – Reversing 80% of Chronic Disease? (Trailer)

Can we reverse up to 80% of Chronic Disease by treating the root-causes and using lifestyle modifications?

Watch the short-film documentary “LIFESTYLE MEDICINE” and learn from world-renowned experts like Dean Ornish MD, David Katz MD, Erminia Guarneri MD, Bruce Lipton PhD, Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. M.D, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Neal Barnard MD, Dawson Church PhD, Sayer Ji, Dave Asprey, Nick Polizzi, JJ Virgin, Ocean Robbins .. a total of 30 world-renowned experts in treating root-causes.

Watch the film at https://lifestyleprescriptions.org/documentary-trailer/.


The Pros and Cons of Lifestyle Medicine

Over the last decades, lifestyle medicine has gained momentum with its efficacy in treating various health conditions, including chronic illnesses. However, it is crucial to explore both the pros and cons of lifestyle medicine techniques, before including them in your treatment plan.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of varied medical and health care practices, and products that are not considered as a part of mainstream conventional medical practice.

As the name suggests, Complementary medicine involves therapies that match the traditional western medicine and are used in accordance with the conventional medical practice.

Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine refers to the synergy between the complementary therapies and conventional medical approach, in order to address the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient. These include treatments such as yoga, meditation, diet, exercise, stress management, acupuncture, herbal therapies and many other lifestyle-based techniques that are used with conventional treatments.

Further, we take a look at the Pros and Cons of Lifestyle Medicine:


  • Holistic care: The principle of lifestyle medicine is to treat the whole person and therefore, focuses on treating the root-cause and not just the symptoms of the disease. The therapies are based on the concept that mind and body are connected and hence creating balance between mental and physical health is of the essence in treating any disorder.
  • Stress Management: In lifestyle medicine, stress is considered a major factor in influencing significant changes in the mind and body, which results in many health complications. While the conventional treatment does not consider stress management in its treatment protocol, the lifestyle therapies focus on managing stress and striking emotional and physical balance. They deal with a person’s stress triggers which are considered potential health threats.
  • Non-Invasive: Lifestyle modalities are non-invasive and hence do not call for any intensive surgery or operation for treating any health conditions. Instead, they rely on the body’s intelligence and self-healing mechanism.
  • Personalized Treatments: As conventional treatments include generalized treatment alternatives for everyone, the lifestyle treatments are rather personalized and designed to suit the preferences of the patient.
  • Inexpensive and Less Damaging: Lifestyle medicine uses herbal therapies, which are natural and cost-effective as compared to the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and antibiotics used in conventional medicine that weaken the body’s friendly gut flora and immune system.


  • Insufficient Scientific Data: Although extensive research is developing to examine the efficacy and safety of complementary therapies, they are, however, yet to be scientifically approved.
  • Government’s consent: Most of the practices involved in lifestyle medicine are not recognized by the governing body and hence, lack in health insurance.
  • Long-Term Process: Lifestyle medicine aims to treat the root-cause of an illness and hence, the time required in healing process is sometimes longer.
  • Discipline: Lifestyle interventions do not show quick results; instead they require discipline and belief to bring about changes and improvement in diet and lifestyle practices.
  • Non-Instant Relief: In cases requiring immediate surgery, treatment or pain-relief, lifestyle inventions may not be an option.

Integrative and lifestyle medicine play a significant role in healing and living a holistic lifestyle. However, identifying the pros and cons of any medical treatment, and deciding what works best for you, are some of the fundamental aspects to gain maximum benefits from your treatment.

Lifestyle Prescriptions® Health Coaching – All It Takes Is One Minute!

Do you remember the time when someone you respect gave you advice or just said something to that you knew is true  and would make a huge difference in your life? You felt motivated to take that advice seriously and then acted upon it. You might have changed the way you felt about someone, changed your thinking or made small habit or behavioral changes in your life and were amazed how much your life improved.


We know prescriptions mostly from medical doctors when they write a prescription about a drug or other type of medications or procedures.

The success of medical Rx prescriptions can be traced back to the fact when a trusted doctor or health professional is writing a prescription for medications, diagnostic procedures or therapeutic interventions we trust their expert advice and will be motivated to follow through.

But there also has been a shift in consciousness over the last decades to expand emergency medicine and symptom treatment with prevention. Backed up by extensive research we know now that our lifestyle plays a tremendous role in the onset and development of disease.

Pioneers like Dean Ornish MD, David Katz MD, Bruce Lipton PhD and many others have demonstrated that

  • what we eat,
  • how often we exercise,
  • how we perceive stress  and
  • which people we surround ourselves with

does affect our health. Fortunately, what is called now Lifestyle Medicine rapidly finds its way into traditional medicine clinics and universities and doctor offices worldwide.

Still what has been missing up until now is a process that allows health professionals to use the newest knowledge and strategies in lifestyle improvements without having to change the way they work (which mostly means having very limited time available per patient).

Isn’t it time to use Lifestyle Prescriptions®?

Lifestyle Prescriptions® are a natural extension have been developed exactly to fill this gap and combine lifestyle medicine principles with the proven process of writing a prescriptions. They are based on the newest research in the Mind-Body-Social Connection and how stress, emotions, beliefs and our lifestyle choices affect our health.

There are two types of Lifestyle Prescriptions®:

1. Generic Lifestyle Prescriptions® educate about our body’s self-healing abilities and using the power of nutrition, fitness, stress management and social support to improve our well-being.

2. Personalized Lifestyle Prescriptions® allow for laser-sharp habit and behavior improvements by knowing the root-cause emotions, stress triggers, beliefs & lifestyle habits affecting specific symptoms and using targeted Lifestyle Prescription® Protocols to stimulate the natural healing process and auto-regulation..

To our surprise we start to realize how powerful lifestyle improvements can be and using the power of your pen and writing “green” prescriptions you increase compliance and also health outcomes. Once people become aware of the connection between their stress triggers and illness we see powerful “AHA” moments and motivation to improve lifestyle habits increases drastically.“, says Johannes R. Fisslinger, Founder of Lifestyle Prescriptions University.

Health Professionals can learn how to empower clients and patients by writing effective Lifestyle Prescriptions through a Master Class Training currently available for free at Lifestyle Prescriptions University.

To get a personal and complementary Lifestyle Prescription® Consultation click here.

Day 11 Lifestyle Prescriptions® Bootcamp: Types of Stress Triggers

Learn how to recognize 3 different types of Stress Triggers in your life.

Get a FREE Lifestyle Prescriptions Root-Cause Analysis Consultation® at: www.LifestylePrescriptions.TV/directory

Lifestyle Prescriptions- Integrating Lifestyle Medicine Into the Health Care System

As per the predictions of the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2020, almost two-thirds of all the diseases worldwide will be the outcome of poor lifestyle habits – classified as chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

These NCDs include: obesity, heart disease, different forms of cancer, type-2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions, which have been proven to be effectively treated or prevented through lifestyle medicine.

Lifestyle Prescription Medicine Health Care System

Nevertheless, doctors and health care professionals face several challenges for adapting the lifestyle medical interventions into their practice. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Insufficient time
  • Inadequate knowledge and hence, lack of confidence
  • Poor returns/revenue
  • Lack of personal fitness levels
  • Lack of resources for start-up

Apart from the above, it is imperative to consider a process that is not only a definite solution, but simplifies the integration of lifestyle medicine protocols into the standard practice of physicians; given the very limited consultation time.

Nevertheless, the Lifestyle Prescriptions® health-care program goes a step further to wipe out these challenges and gives way to a new health-care reform. Combining the evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine protocols with META-Health and the Art and Science of Self-Healing, it provides health professionals with the appropriate training, tools and techniques.

To start with, the Lifestyle Prescriptions® program defines a powerful and precise diagnostic process based on: the body’s healing intelligence, the organ-mind-brain-lifestyle connection, and the 9 major points and phases of self-healing process.

Secondly, the Lifestyle Medicine University Foundation Training (self-study program) teaches you 7 proven protocols and the required skill-sets for quickly identifying the root-cause, which stimulates your clients healing process.

Furthermore, for easy reference, you are given 13 Organ-Brain-Mind Connection Reference Charts & Posters that includes:

  • 150+ organ tissues with the relevant conflicts and emotions,
  • 1000+ stress and regeneration phase symptoms, and
  • Major points and phases of self healing worksheets and charts.

These organ-mind-brain-lifestyle connection charts help to easily relate and link your client’s symptoms to its root cause and write effective Lifestyle Prescriptions®: Well-defined habit and behavioral interventions.

Hence, including lifestyle medicine into your health-care practice gets easier and takes minimum time.

The Lifestyle Prescriptions® Training Program can prove to be an successful investment for your practice and your client’s health as they adopt more conscious and holistic lifestyle habits.

To learn more about Lifestyle Prescriptions® Health Coach Training Program and get a free demo click here.