Doctor, heal thyself. That was what Mark Hyman, MD, set out to do when he was flattened by chronic fatigue syndrome. What he discovered what that information isn’t the solution—connection is.
Q Describe what you do in 15 words or less.
A Empower self-healing by addressing the root causes of illness using food as medicine.
Q Tell us about a turning point in your life.
A 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.
Q What do you love about teaching?
A I deeply believe that we can each be empowered to take back our health, to learn how our bodies function, the miraculous ways in which they were created, and how to work with them to optimize and enhance their natural functioning.
Q What are you passionate about right now?
A I have come to understand that information is not enough for change. Connection is the catalyst. Our society is suffering from a social disease, and we need a social cure. One in two Americans suffers from one or more chronic illnesses resulting from our environment (our way of eating, moving, thinking, and being as well as environmental toxins). Yet creating change depends on working together. Getting healthy together in community, supporting each other and working to change the social, environmental, and political conditions that drive illness is necessary if we are to take back our health. My new book, The Blood Sugar Solution, addresses the personal, community, and social solution to our obesity, diabetes, and chronic-disease epidemic.
Q What do you do in your downtime?
A Yoga is my first passion—it’s a way for me to restore, reset, and renew. A pastor friend of mine told me that those who work with their minds should rest with their hands, and those who work with their hands should rest with their minds. My rest comes in movement: hiking, playing, biking, tennis. My next favorite thing is to create delicious meals for family and friends.
Find out about upcoming programs with Mark Hyman, MD.
Have you ever suffered from a chronic illness related to diet or environmental toxins? If so, what tools did you use to heal—Western medicine, alternative therapies, community support?