We are finally at the end of a long road, and at the same time at the beginning of something wonderful. I am thrilled to have you join our community of patients and practitioners, all deeply engaged in sustainable practice of integrative, functional and holistic medicine! Together, we will impact one of the deadliest diseases known to humanity: cardiovascular disease. Every year, about 1 million people die of heart disease in the USA, with 525,000 dying during their first heart attack, many in the midst of their most productive years. To give a point of reference for this number, consider this: a 747 jumbo jet may carry up to 500 people per flight. The first heart attack mortality rate is equivalent to 1,050 crashes, or 2.87 crashes per day. Worldwide, ischemic heart disease and stroke claimed a combined 17. 7 million lives in 2015, representing 31% of all global deaths.
So it seems shocking that amidst this unfolding epidemic of chronic and lethal disease, we are seldom using scientifically proven, and highly effective interventions to deter it. The World Health Organization recently focused on preventing chronic diseases as a vital investment, especially in the low to middle income countries where such diseases are under appreciated because of poverty, and are hindering the economic development.
In the US, we have an abundance of highly effective and expensive cardiovascular interventions, including medications and life-saving procedures. However, as our efforts resulted in lowering the mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases, we have not been able to stem its rising prevalence, fueled by diabetes, obesity, stress, and toxic exposures. Moreover, any new interventions appear to be incrementally less effective, and more expensive. Case in point: PCSK9 inhibitor medications used on top of statin and other guideline-driven therapy in patients with high-risk cardiovascular disease, with modest event reduction noted.
I am often asked as to why, how, and when I have embraced a holistic approach to cardiology, and the effect it had on my practice. To find a long answer, you will have to read my book, still in progress. But to find a short answer, you will simply need to finish this post.
Why: because I want to be well, and to live well, not just to be "not sick". I want my family to be well, and to be there with them, vital and energetic, enjoying life.
How: through observation, trial and error, hundreds of hours of education, and lots of soul-searching.
When: I was ready to get off the procedural merry-go-around, just doing things for the sake of doing things to get paid.
Effect on my practice: was miraculous. I am a better cardiologist today than I have ever been, even when I treat a simple issue. Once you develop a holistic mindset, it is powerful and all encompassing.
Holistic Heart Centers of America is a paradigm shifting concept. We are truly building a bridge between a traditional, guideline-driven practice of medicine, emphasizing procedures and medications, and a less prominent but in many ways more powerful lifestyle medicine approach that can drastically change our patients' trajectory of health and illness, and the trajectory of your practice. As a traditional cardiologist, my venture into a world of functional and integrative medicine in 2014 initially left me...confused and dismayed. The functional and integrative medicine field was drastically different from any traditional medical matrix. The experience was comparable to landing in a foreign country, with no knowledge of its language or customs, and trying to find your way around to an obscure, non-touristy spot that only a few locals may know about. There were no guidelines, no long-term, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, no mega pharma or device companies, and no fanfare. Yet the practitioners I encountered were healthy, happy, passionate, and brilliant. And the quiet success of their interventions was evident, first in my own efforts toward my health, the effect it had on my children journey to a healthier lifestyle, and the benefit it had for so many of my patients. Becoming a holistic cardiologist has been, and continues to be, the best thing that happened to me in my medical career.
And this is exactly why I invite you to come along. Like in a photo below, a splash of colored umbrellas, unexpected and wonderful, over an old street in one of the oldest cities on Earth, marks a beginning of something new and beautiful. Perhaps today, as you become a part of our community, will mark a new beginning for you!
Photo: Yoel Moshe Salomon, Jerusalem, July 2015