Q & A Dr. Frank Lipman Talks “How to Be Well”
Q & A Dr. Frank Lipman Talks “How to Be Well”
A pioneer in functional and integrative medicine, Dr. Frank Lipman is the founder and director of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and a New York Times best-selling author. In his four decades of clinical experience, Dr. Lipman has helped thousands of patients heal and change their lives with his unique blend of ‘good medicine,’ which combines the best of modern medicine with the best of alternative and complementary medicines, and integrates essential elements from Chinese and herbal medicine as well as integrative nutrition, acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation, yoga and more.
In his newest book, How To Be Well: The Six Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life, Dr. Lipman gives readers the ultimate cut-to-the-chase, at-your-own pace, total wellness toolkit with which to build a lifetime of vitality, resilience and good health.
Recently, I sat down with Dr. Lipman to talk about the new book. Here’s what he had to say:
So, what inspired you write How To Be Well?
I was inspired by the rising tide of today’s wellness seekers. The modern patient, when it comes to wellness, prevention and treatments, is more open and forward-thinking than ever. They’re quickly breaking away from old-school medical thinking and declaring independence from a broken healthcare system that’s almost completely out of synch with their needs. They’re demanding fresh approaches that don’t do more harm than good.
You refer to it as ‘a book for our times.’ How so?
As exciting as this tidal wave of wellness interest is, for the average person, there are challenges – namely, time and energy constraints, information overload, plus constant anxiety over what we doand don’t know about threats to our wellbeing. It leaves the already stressed-out and time-pressed patient out on a limb, saying “Please! Doc, just tell me what to do – and how to do it!” And that’s where How to Be Well comes in – to cut through the wellness clutter, simply, clearly, in layman’s terms (and hundreds of illustrations).
So, how would you describe the book?
In a nutshell, I’d call it a modern hands-on manual, a real ‘how-to’ book, in the tradition of classic survival guides, for body, mind and spirit. It’s a start-anywhere compendium of essential D.I.Y skills, daily rituals, and sometimes not-so-sexy but powerfully effective habits everyone should learn in order to thrive on their journey to good health. It’s all about what you can do to positively influence your health – and how to do it in the context of a busy life. The mission is to get people to tune into their body. To tune into its unique needs, to become fearless about attending to needed fixes, and to become confident in their ability to take care of it on their own terms.
So, how is the HTBW program laid out?
HTBW is different: it’s a no-program program with a big, whole-picture view. It’s an utterly demystified, nuts-and-bolts field guide to owning your own health, that serves up the basic recipes you need to master your own wellbeing, working with your personality and your individual preference for change, whether that’s gradual and gentle, deep and focused, or fast and furious, if that’s your style! It’s not one of those unsustainable, draconian, ‘drop everything, change everything overnight’ assaults.
What areas of wellness does HTBW focus on?
HTBW is a do-at-your-own-pace, start-anywhere-you-like non-program. The beauty of it is you can start anywhere and work on as much or as little as you can manage at a given time. At the core of HTBW is the “Good Medicine Mandala,” my 6-‘spoke’ system of steps to improve function, resilience and overall health. Simply start with any part of the wheel you want, and make the changes you need to make at your own pace, and in the order that best works for you.
1. How to EAT: master the building blocks of life – food – a source of healing and flavor-filled enjoyment
2. How to SLEEP: restoring one of your most fundamental needs – retraining yourself to, at last, truly sleep well
3. How to MOVE: ensure the body moves in all the ways that nature intended
4. How to PROTECT: prevent the invisible assaults of everyday toxins, with strategies to keep your body and surroundings as healthy as possible
5. How to UNWIND: consciously switch off to allow for complete mental and physiological respite from daily pressures
6. How to CONNECT: awaken to an enhanced, more meaningful sense of belonging and connection to your community and world
What if you’re already in good shape? Or, you’ve fallen off the wellness wagon?
I wrote HTBW to benefit everyone, no matter what their current state of wellbeing may be. The book provides seekers of all shapes, ages and sizes the tools they need to develop the habits that will, over time, ensure life-long vitality – looking good, feeling good, dodging dysfunction – and enjoying life!
What do you want readers to take-away from HTBW?
My goal is to show people the extraordinary power of actions, both small and large, done on a daily basis Even just one new habit can have a surprisingly wide reach when it comes to the interconnected system that is our human body. Once established, each new habit creates a ripple effect, making the next new habit easier to embrace and ingrain. Build on that foundation and the wellness sky is the limit!