TMSHelp Forum
TMSHelp Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ | Resources | Links | Policy
Username:
Password:

Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 TMSHelp
 TMSHelp General Forum
 Dr Dean Ornish's interview
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

balto

839 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2012 :  20:49:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought this is interesting to read. Dr Dean Ornish back in the 80's proved that heart disease can be reverse with the right diet, yoga, and meditation.
------------------------------------------------
Vegetarian Times: In your previous four books, you've established the role die and lifestyle play in heart health. How is your new book, Love & Survival, different

Dean Ornish: The real epidemic isn't just physical heart disease--it's what I call emotional or spiritual heart disease. In our culture, there's a pervasive sense of isolation and loneliness and alienation. The point of Love & Survival is that isolation is at the too of behavior patterns that often lead to a significantly increased risk of premature death and disease. Heart health is not just about getting our cholesterol down or preventing something bad from happening. It's about finding love and intimacy, which give our lives a sense of joy and meaning.

The premise of this book, and my work in general, is that whatever promotes a sense of loneliness and isolation-- from oneself or other people or something spiritual--predisposes us to disease and premature death. Whatever promotes a sense of intimacy is healing.

VT: What first tipped you off that love and intimacy might be as important as diet, stress and lifestyle?

DO: Throughout my 20 years of research, support groups have always been important, but they were originally designed to help people stay on the other parts of the programs--the diet, for example. But over time, what became clear was that we ended up creating, almost unwittingly, an intentional community, a place where people felt safe enough to let down their defenses and talk about what they were of really feeling and what was really happening in their lives without fear of being judged or made fun of or being given advice on how to fix it.

For many people, that sense of being heard and seen and understood was a new experience. In an early group, only one man refused to participate in the group sessions--while everyone else was talking about what was happening in their lives, he'd go to the gym and work out--and he was the only person in that study to die. While one person does not prove anything, his death really got our attention and made it clear that group support might be as important as anything else we were doing--if not more so. Many people had the greatest resistance to this part of the program, and yet once they began the process, they invariably said it was the most meaningful because it filled a basic human need that wasn't being met in other parts of their lives.

VT: In the book, you write rather confessionally about your own struggles with intimacy. Was that part of the original plan?

DO: I don't think of it as confession so much as sharing. It was the most difficult chapter to write, and I wasn't sure until the very end that I was going to include it. It's so personal, and yet I'm trying to model in the book what I'm suggesting that others do.

In my own case, I didn't want to be completely alone, because that felt like nonexistence, yet being too intimate felt overwhelming. My dilemma wasn't unique; many people believe they're the only lonely or depressed ones because it looks like everyone else has it all together. If you don't have anybody to talk to about these issues, it may seem that way. An integral part of intimacy is the ability--the willingness--to make oneself vulnerable. And the more vulnerable we can make ourselves, the more intimate we can become.

In our culture, it's often considered dangerous to be vulnerable because you can get hurt. I've struggled with these very issues in learning to open my own heart and be more intimate. By "open my heart," I mean letting down our emotional defenses. It's not that we shouldn't have emotional defenses- -you don't want to go into a job interview and talk about your deepest secrets--but if you have no one with whom you feel close enough to do that, in effect, those walls will always remain up. And the same walls that protect you can also isolate you.

VT: But how can someone who's spent a lifetime building up those walls begin to let them down?

DO: The first step in healing is awareness. So if we understand how much love, intimacy and a feeling of connectedness matter, not only in the quality of our lives but in the quantity, or the length, of them, then we can begin saying, "Well, gee, it may be scary to let down my emotional defenses, but it's worth it." And it's important to remember that this doesn't happen overnight; it's part of a lifelong process. In the book, I go into detail about ways to begin this process: meditation, compassion, altruism, group support, commitment, communication skills, psychotherapy. But the way one goes about doing this is less important than understanding what an important difference love and intimacy make in our lives. When people really get that, they begin to find their own way of incorporating it into their lives. It's funny how the universe works in that way. If you're really hungry, you tend to notice all the restaurants. If you decide you want more love and intimacy in your life, then often spiritual teachers or emotional resources appear, as does a willingness to take risks with your beloved.

Forgiveness is another important pathway to learning to open our hearts. It's part of virtually every religious tradition. Forgiveness doesn't wipe the slate clean or mean that all actions are condoned. But it does free us from the anger, guilt, stress and fear that separate us from others and get in the way of true intimacy. When we can confess our darkest secrets to another person and be forgiven, then we can learn to trust them more and begin the difficult process of forgiving ourselves.

VT: How many studies on love and intimacy do you cite in the book?

DO: Around 200, but there are thousands out there. There's a vast and extensive literature that demonstrates to me beyond question that people who feel lonely and isolated and depressed and hostile have three to five to 10 times the risk of premature death and disease from virtually all causes when compared to those who have love and connection and community in their lives. I don't know anything in medicine--not drugs, not surgery, not diet, not lifestyle, not genetics-- that has a greater across-the-board powerful effect. Cholesterol has a powerful effect on heart disease, for example, but not on premature-birth complications.

One of the first studies to really impress me involved Harvard undergraduates in the early 1950s who were simply asked how close they felt to their mothers and fathers. Then, 35 years later, their medical files were checked and detailed histories taken. Those who had said they weren't close to either parent were found to have substantially higher rates of disease--in fact, in this study, 100 percent had major illnesses in midlife compared with only 47 percent of those who felt close to both parents.

Another study that fascinated me was done by Dr. David Speigel at Stanford Medical School and published in 1989. Originally he had set out to disprove the notion that psychosocial interventions, like support groups, could prolong the lives of women with breast cancer. In the study, women with metastatic breast cancer were randomly divided into two groups: Both received conventional treatment (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy), but one group also took part in a support group that met for 90 minutes, once a week for a year. Led by a psychiatrist or social worker with breast cancer in remission, the group was encouraged to share their feelings. Five years later, the women who'd been in the support group lived twice as long, on average, as the women who hadn't been. In fact, none of those women were alive after five years.


VT: You write that loneliness is the leading cause of death in this country. That's quite a claim.

DO: Yes. That these things matter is beyond question. Why they matter is a bit of a mystery. We know they matter to some degree because on a behavioral level, people who feel lonely and depressed and unhappy and isolated are more prone to smoke and overeat, drink too much, work too hard and abuse drugs--such behaviors help them just get through the day. Yet even when these factors are controlled for in studies, people who feel lonely and isolated have much higher rates of premature death and disease from virtually all causes. In the book, I interview a number of eminent scientists, healers, theologians, psychologists and therapists, each of whom provides a fascinating perspective on why love and intimacy matter so much.

VT: How do negative emotions "get into" the body?

DO: We are constantly learning new pathways through which chronic emotional stress leads to illness. In the case of heart disease, stress can cause your arteries to constrict, it can cause your blood to clot faster, it can make the blockages in your arteries build up more quickly--all of which can lead to chest pain or heart attacks. And yet it's not only through stress that loneliness and isolation affect our health and well- being. A common denominator is energy. Einstein showed that energy and matter are interconvertible. The idea that we are energy systems and that energy affects our bodies in the form of matter is a fundamental concept of most forms of healing yet not in Western medicine. When you wall yourself off emotionally, you may be literally walling yourself off from the source of energy that other people are continually exchanging with each other. It's the life force- -known as qi (pronounced chee) in Chinese medicine; kundalini, Prana or Shakti in yog. There are many things that even in conventional medicine we understand play an important role in disease, even if we don't yet understand the mechanisms underlying them. But it's not necessary to understand them to begin integrating them into our lives.

VT: What was your goal in writing this book?

DO: I'm hoping that this book will raise awareness to the extent that people will become willing to take risks and make themselves vulnerable in order to become more intimate. Social change happens one person at a time--it's not something you can legislate. Any kind of change is stressful at first. But once you understand the power of love and intimacy, then the idea of change becomes more appealing. Ultimately, it's not about a fear of dying but the joy of living. It's easy to make fun of these ideas and call them "touchy-feely" or "soft," but in many ways they are the most powerful and most healing. And if the book accomplishes that, even in a small way, then it will have been worth doing.

VT: What was your goal in writing this book?

DO: I'm hoping that this book will raise awareness to the extent that people will become willing to take risks and make themselves vulnerable in order to become more intimate. Social change happens one person at a time--it's not something you can legislate. Any kind of change is stressful at first. But once you understand the power of love and intimacy, then the idea of change becomes more appealing. Ultimately, it's not about a fear of dying but the joy of living. It's easy to make fun of these ideas and call them "touchy-feely" or "soft," but in many ways they are the most powerful and most healing. And if the book accomplishes that, even in a small way, then it will have been worth doing.

Suzanne Gerber is the senior health editor of Vegetarian Times.


------------------------
No, I don't know everything. I'm just here to share my experience.

Edited by - balto on 11/15/2012 08:45:35

MatthewNJ

USA
526 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  18:59:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Balto,

This is so HUGE! It really resonated with me. Maybe you should rename this "Heart Disease as TMS". I can not believe no one has responded to this post. I am familiar with Dean Ornish from many years back when I was on The Atkins Diet. This guy used to "beat up" on Atkins, because Atkins wouldn't spend the time and money on the science to prove or disprove if his diet was affective. Dean Ornish took it to that level. My understanding is because of his medical proof, Insurance companies will pay for his program. Just like they will pay for open heart surgery. EXCEPT Dr. Ornish's process fixes the cause!

More proof that is is Mind and body and spirit!

Thanks for this post.


Matthew
Ferretsx3@comcast.net
--------------------
Less activated, more regulated and more resilient.
Go to Top of Page

Peregrinus

250 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2012 :  07:08:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MathewNJ:
Are you from Joisey?
I understand that Ornish's "scientific" study involved only about a dozen subjects seperated according to their high fat or vegitarian diets. Midway in the study he decided that two or three of the high fat diet subjects were really vegitarians: that brought the study results into line with his theory.
There have been many studies that have shown that eating carbohydrates is detrimental to your health. How do you explain the fact that virtually all patients getting bypass operations (and forced to curtail comsumption of large amounts of carbs) experience remission of their diabetes?
The best thing about Joisey is leaving!
Go to Top of Page

bryan3000

USA
513 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2012 :  01:01:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice post Balto. You've been talking about a lot of these issues here for quite a while. (negative effects of solitude, etc.) Kudos on finding this.
Go to Top of Page

balto

839 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2012 :  08:24:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Matthew, I'm glad you enjoy the post.

Peregrinus, I do think a peaceful mind and healthy diet are both important to our well being. If we poison our mind and our stomach we're going to be sick for sure.

Bryan, yes, I think a lonely heart is a sick heart. Meaningful relationship, even with a dog is sure helpful to our health.

------------------------
No, I don't know everything. I'm just here to share my experience.
Go to Top of Page

andy64tms

USA
589 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2012 :  10:26:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Balto,

I have just read the article, thank you for posting it. It captures the essence of TMS. I was surprised because I expected to read about dietary issues and instead the article focused for the most part on emotional and spiritual, and the inability for people to open up, thus becoming more vulnerable. I think Dean Ornish who specialized in coronary disease must have eventually realized there was more to health issues than just diet.

Peregrinus, what did you think of the Balto’s post from the standpoint of TMS?



Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Back on Wiki Edu Program day 15
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years. (to be evicted later.)
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception

Edited by - andy64tms on 11/13/2012 10:28:33
Go to Top of Page

Peregrinus

250 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2012 :  07:15:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Personal relationships are like mushrooms. Some taste good and are good for you. Some make you crazy. Some make you sick and a lot of them kill you. What would you think of someone who recommends eating lots of mushrooms of all kinds as a panacea?
Before you buy Ornish’s latest book take a look a Judge Judy (the TV show). The people there are not lonely or isolated: they have a lot of intimacy and personal relationships.
Ornish is a charlatan and a pseudo scientist. I loved his anecdotal evidence that involved one patient! He has ridden the vegetarian horse as far as it will go: all that nonsense about low fat high carbohydrate diets has been completely discredited. Now he is peddling love and intimacy: exactly what the stupid talk shows, like Dr. Phil, love to hear.
Do you think there were times when Dr. Sarno felt lonely and isolated? Should he have chucked his knowledge and understanding of the human body to fit in and make some friends?
Go to Top of Page

andy64tms

USA
589 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2012 :  11:28:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Peregrinus,

May I ask what is wrong with love and intimacy?


Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Back on Wiki Edu Program day 15
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years. (to be evicted later.)
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception
Go to Top of Page

Peregrinus

250 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2012 :  15:18:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andy:
Nothing is wrong with intimacy and love as there is nothing wrong with truth, justice and the American way but (creepy) Ornish is no Superman!
Regards
Go to Top of Page

balto

839 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2012 :  16:27:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know much about Dr Dean Ornish so I don't have any opinion about his treatment or program. Just thought that the article is interesting and it made sense to me so I share it here. The benefit of love and intimacy have been study by different researchers many times in this country and many other countries around the world. Dr. Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin found in a study that covered eight decades what the single strongest social predictor of long healthy life was. Their unhesitating answer: a strong social network. happier marriages, better friendships, healthier work situations are important to our well being.

Dr Kevin J. Tracey, MD, discovered the reason why Buddhist and Hindu monks tend to live longer and healthier lives. He credit their meditation practice, communal life style, and a vegetarian diet.

Use whatever information make sense to you. I share what I found benefited my well being. It may or it may not work for all.

"Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -- that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide." Buddha.

------------------------
No, I don't know everything. I'm just here to share my experience.
Go to Top of Page

andy64tms

USA
589 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2012 :  20:51:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Peregrinus,

As a proud naturalized citizen, I notice that not all is right with the ‘American way’, many people have TMS because of it. No matter where Balto’s post came from it contains many TMS truths. I encourage you to read it, or is your TMS distracting you from its message?

Respectfully


Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Back on Wiki Edu Program day 15
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years. (to be evicted later.)
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception
Go to Top of Page

mk6283

USA
272 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2012 :  20:51:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Peregrinus

Personal relationships are like mushrooms. Some taste good and are good for you. Some make you crazy. Some make you sick and a lot of them kill you. What would you think of someone who recommends eating lots of mushrooms of all kinds as a panacea?
Before you buy Ornish’s latest book take a look a Judge Judy (the TV show). The people there are not lonely or isolated: they have a lot of intimacy and personal relationships.
Ornish is a charlatan and a pseudo scientist. I loved his anecdotal evidence that involved one patient! He has ridden the vegetarian horse as far as it will go: all that nonsense about low fat high carbohydrate diets has been completely discredited. Now he is peddling love and intimacy: exactly what the stupid talk shows, like Dr. Phil, love to hear.
Do you think there were times when Dr. Sarno felt lonely and isolated? Should he have chucked his knowledge and understanding of the human body to fit in and make some friends?




Dean Ornish is far from a pseudoscientist. As a matter of fact, he probably deserves the Nobel prize in medicine. He was the first person to demonstrate that atherosclerosis, the leading cause of death in the world, could be regressed in man. And he did it without surgery or medication. Heart disease is far more about diet than TMS, but kudos to Dr. Ornish for still recognizing the important role that emotions can play in the healing process. His greatness doesn't stop there either. A few years ago he even demonstrated regression of prostate cancer with his program. Again a first and again without surgery or medication. Dr. Ornish is one of the good guys.

Best,
MK
Go to Top of Page

andy64tms

USA
589 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2012 :  21:17:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mk6283,

I think he deserves a “nobby” prize too, for his interview comments above.

From a fellow former back sufferer.


Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Back on Wiki Edu Program day 15
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years. (to be evicted later.)
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
TMSHelp Forum © TMSHelp.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000