Andrew Weil: "Integrated medicine is the future

  • 2014

Dr. Weil does not appreciate any contradiction between scientific medicine and natural medicine.

There is something that remains immutable beyond death.

Andrew Weil is one of the most celebrated naturist doctors in the world. His books are translated into many languages ​​and sold by millions. Among its most successful titles are The Natural Mind (Obelisco, 2005), Do we know how to eat? (Uranus, 2001), Choose your own medicine (Uranus, 1999) and The sources of eternal youth (Ed. Topics of Today, 2006). His last work is Spontaneus Happiness (2011), which has not yet been translated into Spanish.

In addition to his work as an informant, he has taken natural medicines to the University. He is director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Weil describes the integrative medicine as one that takes into account the whole person (body, mind and spirit) and combines conventional treatments with natural and alternative treatments.


In his last book, Dr. Weil suggests that the urban way of life, surrounded by technology and away from nature, is one of the main causes of stress, depression and unhappiness ultimately. The human organism is not prepared for this kind of life.

Weil recommends practicing physical exercise of an aerobic type whenever you can, sleep the necessary hours, spend more time outdoors and in the sun, eat more fatty fish, interact more with other people and not fall into the trap of negative thoughts.

In his books he offers many recommendations, but often the author's example is very useful. What diet do you follow and what supplements do you take?
For me, the model is basically the Mediterranean diet. This means a basic diet of many fruits and vegetables, little meat, fish for their healthy fatty acids and some wine. The most important thing is not to consume too many refined foods, which are the most harmful thing in the diet that is currently followed by most people. In the most developed countries it is the most terrible. In the United States you hardly eat anything else, fast food and all that.

Do you have any fetish food, one that is never missing in your pantry?
Yes, the fish. Sardines, wild salmon, anchovies and other fish with omega-3 fatty acids, which are precisely consumed in Spain. With tuna there is a problem, the mercury content, because they accumulate it from the fish they eat.

And it also recommends taking between 10 and 16 nutritional supplements ...
It is not exactly like that. They are 4 or 5, but one of them is a multivitamin and multivitamin. Supplements are not substitutes for a nutritious diet. They should only be taken to ensure that there is no nutrient deficiency.

From Europe it seems to us that Americans may have an exaggerated fondness for pills.
I know (laughs). I know that there are those people who take 20 or 30 pills daily, but it is not necessary.

There is a controversy about the safety of supplements.
A good multivitamins and multiminerals is safe. High doses of specific nutrients may need medical control, but the underlying problem is that doctors learn nothing about prevention and nutrient treatment in college. They know almost nothing about food. In hospitals in the United States it is scandalous. 22% have fast food service for patients. And they are also a source of income for hospitals. Is incredible. It is one of the things that we are trying to change from the department of integrative medicine that I run at the University of Arizona.

He also recommends exercising, resting, taking care of personal relationships and not stop learning.
Exact. And the best part is that it costs almost nothing. You can learn to change thoughts to make them positive. We cannot control what happens but we can control our reactions to what happens. Aging involves some changes that may not be positive, but you can learn to accept them.

When should we start taking care of ourselves?
The sooner the better (laughs). Aging does not start when you turn 50. Start at the time of birth ... or before.

Doctors learn nothing about prevention and treatment with nutrients in college

Did the old centenarians you met in Okinawa care about your health, about your diet?
Not at all. They were happy and didn't seem worried. They simply lived according to their customs. In my previous books I have written a lot about the natural healing power that exists within all of us. Having more faith in this power, there is no need to worry about health.

Does the concern for the health of the body not hide that we care about spiritual health?
Yes, but it's hard to talk about that. For me, spiritual health is very important, so I have offered some recommendations to increase spiritual power. For example, surround yourself with flowers, listen to music, spend more time with friends who have a positive and optimistic attitude. All that increases spiritual strength.

Andrew Weil: "Integrated medicine is the future"

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