Most of the illnesses we are suffering from today, according to Dr. Hyman, were brought by poor eating habits and our tendency to join the bandwagon. So he figured, why not use the same approach to promote better eating habits? If people can be encouraged to exercise and be conscious of their health by creating a community which will push them to become accountable, then they might succeed in reforming and realigning how people view healthy living.
Dr. Mark Hyman started out as a private physician but ever since he involved himself in humanitarian outreach during the Haiti earthquake, life became more than just treating people’s disease. More than just curing the illness and getting rid of the symptoms, Dr. Hyman wants to heal the person. Once a person is living a happy and content life, it will make him/her less susceptible to common illnesses and is most likely to live longer.
Using that premise, Dr. Mark Hyman has been helping thousands of people conquer the impossible—say no to junk food and say yes to exercise.
Those who are struggling with health issues might as well fill their minds with the teachings of this doctor who isn’t all for pharmaceutical drugs. He’s a breath of fresh air and a living proof that doctors can make a difference without having to leave their profession; that doctors can flourish in a society where people are healthy; that doctors can be genuinely concerned for their patients.
People who has conquered weight and health issues can also be inspired by Dr. Hyman to start a revolution to help those who are yet to succeed in their battle against sickness and poor nutrition. Just because we have arrived doesn’t mean we can just bask in our success and turn a deaf ear to others’ plea for help.
Prepare to be inspired as you get to know Dr. Hyman, the physician who’s in the business of curing the person and not the illness, and a key figure in crafting the Take Back Your Health Act of 2009 into the United States Senate along with Drs. Dean Ornish and Michael Roizen.
Mark Hyman’s Early Life
Not much has been said about Mark Hyman’s early life except for where he studied. He was born in 1959 and attended Cornell University where he completed his bachelor’s degree. Mark is an outstanding medical student in Ottawa University School of Medicine. In fact, he graduated magna cum laude. He practiced his residency at the University of San Francisco’s program in Family Medicine at the Community Hospital of Santa Rosa.
Career in Medicine
He then became a private family doctor in Idaho where he spent a good number of his early career as a physician. Later, he became an emergency room doctor in Massachusetts. It’s his tenure in that hospital as an emergency doctor where he began experiencing chronic fatigue. He spent a year in China where pollution is intoxicating. When he came back to the US to head the Emergency Room of a hospital, he felt his body crumbling. Under the pressure and stress he constantly felt, Dr. Hyman was forced to take a step backwards and re-examine the kind of life he’s led since he began practicing up to that point of his career.
He started feeling sickly. As a doctor, he knew he wasn’t like his old “healthy” self and so he sought comfort in pharmaceutical drugs.
Just like ordinary people, doctors react to stress and fatigue in many ways. The good thing about Dr. Hyman is that he never allowed his desperate need for relief to get the better of him. Most doctors fall prey to drugs and uppers just to make sure that their bodies don’t give in to pressure.
"After working hard as a family doctor in a small town in Idaho, and then as an emergency physician in the inner city, I was hit with chronic fatigue syndrome. It made me stop, look at everything I had learned, and rethink disease, medicine, and health. That started me on my journey of self-healing and discovery of functional medicine, a powerful roadmap for solving the puzzle of chronic disease." (Source: Kripalu.org)
Mark served as co-medical director at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts from 1996 to 2000. It’s during this part of his life when he finally got the time to sit down and co-author a book titled "Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Program That Will Make You Healthy for Life." The book ended up as a New York Times bestseller and inspired Dr. Hyman to write more.
According to his website:
Functional Medicine and helped thousands achieve relief from treatment-resistant chronic health problems, and discover optimal health and vitality–in a word, UltraWellness.
The UltraWellness Center was opened with two key goals in mind:
- First and foremost, to create a place where people could come to regain their health and find access to and benefit from medical science and information that has not yet been incorporated into conventional medical care; to experience the medicine of the future, today.
- Second to become part of a collaborative research and practice network in Functional Medicine. If medicine is to change, three things must occur. First, physicians must be re-educated in a new model of care. Then, a reproducible clinical model must be developed so that other physicians can practice Functional Medicine. Lastly, leading clinical centers of Functional Medicine must participate in research to advance the science and demonstrate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this model so it can become widespread.
The UltraWellness Center was created as a place where all of this can happen.(Source: The Ultra Wellness Center)
Instead of treating the disease, Dr. Hyman became a proponent of treating the person. It was borne out of his disillusion with drugs that have side effects that put one’s life on the line instead of bringing cure.
The Earthquake that Awakened a New Purpose
With his new perspective in healing using functional medicine, everything was going well with Dr. Hyman. Unknown to him, his life was about to change forever in less than a couple of weeks’ time.
In 1 January 2010, Dr. Hyman was having breakfast and reading a journal. According to the study, of Paul Framer, a respected doctor, people’s illnesses—even those we thought are incurable—can be cured by the community. The moment we start caring for each other, we will get rid of illnesses. If most people tend to eat poorly and become obese, chances are, most people will find it OK to lead the same lifestyle. The domino effect of poor eating habits became an eye-opener for a doctor like him whose primary function is to save lives. Since the advent of technology, people are given more chances at getting treated for diseases previously considered impossible to cure.
However, a chasm between more alternatives to healing and extending the lifespan seems to exist. This, as Dr. Hyman later on discovered, is due to the way people eat and stay disjointed nowadays. As life becomes more convenient for us, people no longer move and interact as much. How we procure food has also changed. Now, everything is processed. Problem is, anything processed is not natural. And the body has its own way of reacting to anything we feed it.
This change in lifestyle has contributed to the sudden increase in the occurrences of diabetes and obesity. So much so that even in countries that are poor, people still battle with such illnesses. According to the doctor who wrote the book, it will be easier to improve our lifestyle when the community imposes it. Dr. Hyman thought it was a cool way of looking at it but wasn’t prepared at all to meet the very author of that book in a very tragic incident.
Mision and Vision of The UltraWellness Center Explained in their Website
Twelve days after reading Paul Framer’s book, Haiti experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. At least three million people were affected by one of the strongest earthquakes in the history of the poor nation. Up until 24 January 2010, Haiti was plagued by aftershocks that are estimated to be within the magnitude of 4.5 and up.
The whole place was in chaos. Haiti’s economy crashed and exacerbated the country’s poverty and the people’s suffering. The victims of the catastrophe mainly depended on relief and international aid. Dr. Hyman was one of the first who volunteered to join the medical team. He made his services available for Partners in Health. Along with Paul Framer, the author of the book he read less than a couple of weeks before the earthquake, Mark and his wife went to the people’s recue.
Working together amidst the ruins of Haiti and seeing the suffering of the people, Dr. Hyman was overwhelmed. There weren’t even decent facilities, so they had to innovate. His wife is a surgeon and in order to amputate limbs, she used a hacksaw. They depended on vodka to sterilize their tools. It was a sorry sight—people are lined up, gnashing in pain or grief upon losing a loved one.
When he was finally able to sit down and talk to Dr. Farmer, he asked him about the most common diagnosis in that hospital. Now, Dr. Farmer has worked in Haiti for years. Dr. Hyman was expecting Dr. Framer to give TB, AIDS, and other chronic diseases. When he said that most people seeing the doctors have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart problems, and other lifestyle-related diseases, he was startled. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and it’s shocking for him to discover that a country suffering from poverty and famine could be gripped by the same health issues plaguing rich nations worldwide.
Then he just began to think that regardless of race and status, today’s generation is haunted by diseases that are easily reversible with proper diet and regular exercise. He went back to his country full of renewed energy to try out and share his new findings.
He founded the The UltraWellness Center in the same year he realized just how important changing the system is in order to avoid illnesses. He found that the answer to most of our health problems is not aggressive treatment, but rather a simpler and less toxic method. In his UltraWellness website, he enumerated their mission and vision as the following:
- Our Commitment is to be a trusted source of education and information about the radical transformation occurring in our health care system, and provide the tools for people to take advantage of the medicine of the future, today.
- Our Desire is to break down the barriers between alternative, complementary, integrative and conventional medicine and to create just good medicine. We can do this by having all health care practitioners utilize the appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic tools that match the problem, not just those applied by a particular discipline such as conventional medicine, herbal medicine, Chinese medicine or energy medicine.
- Our Goal is to provide a road map to help you navigate through health problems within an entirely new frame of reference, one that allows you to understand and address the causes of disease and ill health rather than just treating symptoms.
- Our Wish is to have everyone say, “I didn’t know I could feel this good.”
- We are committed to making this new science of health available to both physicians and health care consumers as quickly as possible so that no one will have to suffer for lack of knowledge or access.
(Source: The Ultra Wellness Center)
A Bestselling Author
To further help people with diabesity, he wrote “The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!” in 2012. It became a bestseller, which proved just how people want to get out of poor diet. He reprised the role of doctors in society—rather than prescribe cure, he educates people to avoid having to go into treatment or medication.
Two years before his third book became a bestseller, he has published “The UltraMind Solution: The Simple Way to Defeat Depression, Overcome Anxiety, and Sharpen Your Mind.” It started the Ultra series. What came after that are “The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days,” “Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss,” “The UltraMetabolism Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes that Will Turn on Your Fat-Burning DNA,” “Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Program That Will Make You Healthy for Life.”
If you take a closer look at what Dr. Hyman advocates, it’s consciously knowing what food to consume for our own sake. He’s also big on community support, which made the Daniel Plan, a diet he began with Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, a success. Instead of changing your lifestyle by ourselves and on our own, it’s best that we do it with a support group, making us feel more accountable.
As far as Dr. Hyman is concerned, food is not just sustenance; it’s information. It tells the body how to react so it’s up to the person which food to consume. However one is feeling is a result of the “information” their body is getting.
So, are you feeling all right?
Organizations and Programmes Supported
- The Daniel Plan
- The UltraWellness Center
- The Institute for Functional Medicine (Chairman, Board of Directors)
- The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (Board of Directors)
- Food As Medicine
- HealthCorps (Board of Advisors)
- Partners in Health (Volunteer)
- Clinton Foundation
- Veterans Administration
- Saddleback Church
- Medical Advisory Board Integrative Practitioner and Integrative Health Symposium
- Huffington Post (Medical editor)
- Katie Couric Show
Awards and Achievements
- 1996-2004: Served as co-medical director at Canyon Ranch
- 2004: Founded The UltraWellness Center
- 2009: Received the Linus Pauling Award for Leadership in Functional Medicine
- 2009: Participated in the White House Forum on Prevention and Wellness
- 2009: Received The American College of Nutrition 2009 Communication and Media Award
- 2009: Released "The UltraMind Solution"
- 2010: Awarded The Council on Litigation Management’s 2010 Professionalism Award
- 2012: Published "Blood Sugar Solution"
- Nominated as the President’s Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health by Senator Tom Harkin
- Crafted and helped to introduce the Take Back Your Health Act of 2009 into the United States Senate along with Drs. Dean Ornish and Michael Roizen
- Featured on The Dr. Oz Show, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, CNN, and MSNBC
- Co-authored the New York Times bestseller "Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Program That Will Make You Healthy for Life"
- "Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Program That Will Make You Healthy for Life" won the Books for a Better Life Award
- Wrote "UltraMetabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss"
- Graduated magna cum laude degree from the Ottawa University School of Medicine
- The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!
- The UltraMind Solution: The Simple Way to Defeat Depression, Overcome Anxiety, and Sharpen Your Mind
- The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days
- Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss
- The UltraMetabolism Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes that Will Turn on Your Fat-Burning DNA
- Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Program That Will Make You Healthy for Life
Facebook (Mark Hyman MD)
DrHyman.com (About Dr. Mark Hyman)
The Ultra Wellness Center (The Center’s History)
The Ultra Wellness Center (The Center’s Mission)
YouTube (UltraWellness TV with Mark Hyman, M.D.)
The Huffington Post (Mark Hyman, MD)
Wikipedia (Dr. Mark Hyman MD)
PageSix.com (Hillary gets healthy)
KatieCouric.com (Dr Mark Hyman)
Kripalu (Turning Point Q&A With Mark Hyman HD)
The Daniel Plan (Meet Dr. Mark Hyman)
Wikipedia (2010 Haiti Earthquake)
DrHyman.com (The One Diet That Can Cure Most Disease: Part I)
DrHyman.com (The One Diet That Can Cure Most Disease: Part II)