LKL Web Exclusive
By Dr. Deepak Chopra
The best thing that could come out of the debate on health care reform won't be the passage of a bill in Congress. It will be a shift in personal attitudes. Health care happens one person at a time. So let me speak personally to you. If you want the best possible health for yourself, the most important thing you can do today is talk to your genes.
I doubt that any doctor has ever made that recommendation. All of us, including medical students, were led to believe that genes are fixed. The ones we are born with don't change; new ones cannot be added. Those facts remain the same, but there's a huge story being overlooked. Genes have no effect unless they are switched on, and when you switch on beneficial genes, every cell in your body benefits.
Recent research by Dr. Dean Ornish and his colleagues has shown that adopting positive measures including exercise, meditation, and diet creates beneficial changes in five hundred genes.
This single finding could revolutionize your health, because what it means is that every bite of food you eat, every step on the treadmill, every moment of deep relaxation is talking to your genes. And your genes talk back by sending chemical signals to every cell indicating how your life is going.
Genes are alert, and when you change anything in your life, they respond.
Nothing is left out. Your cells are getting chemical signals right now that tell them if you are in a good or bad mood. They know if you ate trans fats at lunch, if you are in love, or if you inhale polluted air.
Now is the time to take advantage of this breakthrough by talking to your genes in a new way. Forty years ago it was an uphill battle to convince Americans that smoking was dangerous, but eventually attitudes shifted and a major health risk was dramatically diminished. At present the big risks are just as controllable. They include obesity, sedentary living, and stress.
Start to talk to your genes about these issues. This isn't just another call to get you to exercise, meditate, and diet. Those are all good things, and yet most people ignore them. Why? Because despite their best intentions, people are conditioned by old habits. Your body can't break those habits on its own, but it can become your ally.
To win your body over, take a walk when it's beautiful outside, devote five minutes to meditation or stress management, nourish yourself with healthy food, and above all, be aware that the power to change rests with you. Small beginnings can lead to major results once you know that each step is like a conversation with your body. Your genes are listening. Tell them something good as often as you can.
Deepak Chopra is the author of over 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current bestseller, "Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul," available now at http://www.deepakchopra.com.
Filed under: Health Larry King Live LKL Web Exclusive
I love your show Larry!
If Deepak Chopra were remotely correct regarding how easily your genetic coding is modified, there would be literally hundreds of thousands of heavily modified human beings in America alone in the 1950-1970's due to hundreds of atmospheric Nuclear Bomb tests which literally poisoned the air, water and food chains across America with radioactive Cesium, and radioactive Iodine.
There doesn't appear to be a huge difference in the genetic coding of the nearly 500,000 down-winders of the Chernobyl Meltdown which have been carefully studied by numerous governmental agency's.
Larry, its a great theory but it just doesn't gel with apparent results.
Perhaps Deepak Chopra is attempting to drum up some defense department funding to create the perfect soldier.
Public Option is NOT socialism
Bailing out Wall Street, the car companies, AIG and the Banks is SOCIALISM!!!
The insurance companies, the Pharmaceuticals and the AMA are afraid that the government will be able to offer health care at a much lower cost!!!
That’s not entirely true what you say here.. People in the mindset of Borak Obama for instance may feel healthy, vivacious, active, positive thinking, joyful and careful about their eating habits. But nonetheless heading towards eternal damnation of both Body “Cells included” and Spirit. So you see.. “You are not entirely correct.” Meaning you are wrong and so you should not lead masses astray because of your ego issues.
Terrific show tonight, Larry with Ron Paul and Michael Moore together! My wife and I both loved it! What a treat to challenge our complacency.
But I do think Deepak Chopra brings to our attention an incredibly important point. As a budding scientist who 50 years ago got attracted to the study of human longevity, I migrated to the field of Family Medicine where I have been taking care of patients for 30 years, and paying close attention to how to enable patients to achieve healthy vigorous old age, and have been gratified to assist multiple centenarians to reach that milestone without any clinical evidence of atherosclerosis using Dr. Ornish's principles, among others.
We do now know that epigenetic influences are not only powerful influences on the individual's ability to achieve his true health potential, but also are transmissable to future generations. For example, Grandma's smoking habit measurably affects the grandchild's potential to express good health genetically (through methylation of DNA and epigenetic reprogramming, check it out online).
Dr. Ornish's program was one I espoused early on, and appeared on local TV to laud as the most effective program ever reported in the peer-reviewed medical literature to reverse heart disease. We need more attention to effectively promoting the one-on-one interaction between doctors and patients in our health care reform debate to keep the goal of healthful longevity clearly in sight, and remove the fear-based third party "review and sanction" plan from the equation.
Government contracted auditors are still a below-the horizon menace that threaten the access of Medicare patients to the doctor of their choice and they are rolling out their pilot program nationwide Jan. 1, 2010. Democrats are set up to be blindsided soon after the Jan. 1, 2010 start date as the Recovery Audit Contractor pilot program which is quickly pushing Medicare participating physicians out of Medicare, gets rolled out to all U.S participating Medicare physicians.
The more time that a doctor spends with his patients to educate them on achieving true healthfulness, the more likely he is to be an "outlier" at high risk of sanction. "Smart doctors" limit their time with patients, limit their goals, and limit their results, but survive to practice another day.
It is sad that the only true freedom is for those doctors who choose to leave the system, "opt out", and provide reasonably priced care to all comers, and continue the tradition of participating in unreimbursed" charity" care, as well, as Ron Paul has described.
The "Rise and Fall of a Medical Camelot" was described 30 years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine in Hunterdon, New Jersey,and with this type of one-on-one medical attention, the Hunterdon doctors soundly beat out the premier HMO of its day, Kaiser-Permanente, in health care success, for dollars spent.
We need a new "Medical Camelot" where doctors volunteer to take on a certain number of robust public option patients, rejected for their "pre-existing conditions" by the traditional third-party payers, for a simple monthly stipend with a modest copay for scheduled appointments, and keep out the third-party reviewers, and payers.
This would let the patients or the government "directly contract" for medical services with a doctor, and typically get primary coverage for about 90% of their medical needs for $50 to $100 per month, not $500 to $1,000 per month, with a true catastrophic coverage plan for those more rare medical necessities.
But this is too simple, too directed towards fixing the doctor-patient connection, and has too little profit in it for the big dogs in the health care industry that dominate today. Too bad!
J. Kelly, MD,
I totally agree with Dr. Chopra! And, thanks to Dr. Chopra, I am a (6) year cancer survivor. We are what we "think" we are! Any "negative" thoughts only damage our body, mind and Spirit! It's too bad the Republicans "just don't get it"! If they were on board the healthcare reform and practicing integrity, honesty and "positive thoughts", instead of saying NO to EVERY piece of legislature that is passing through Congress, they just might live longer! As it is now, the karma that they are creating and generating for themselves will one day come back to them. So, NO DOUBT, in time, ALL of them will display some form of illness, which will need to be addresssed by medical personnel. Do you supose they will USE their Healthcare coverage provided by the Government??????????? Of Course they will!! Never mind ALL of the rest of America's citizens!! The Republicans could care less what happens to millions of people!! So, I would certainly take the advice of Deepak Chopra. Visit his website, and find some real "evidence" in support of diet, meditation, and body/mind/Spirit living! For after all, the Universe is VERY INTELLIGENT, and knows exactly what EACH of us needs at this very moment!! And what the WORLD really needs right now, is LOVE AND PEACE!!! I have every reason to believe I am alive and well today because of Deepak Chopra!!
Thank you, Dr. Kelly for your excellent response. A GREAT READ!!
Well said, Dr. Kelly! As we get deeper and deeper into this hole that we call our current health care system, it becomes clearer and clearer that we need immediate and drastic change. Great ideas. If only they'd put real people with real health issues and real doctors into the negotiation room.
So now that your lies about Michael Jackson have been exposed, you turn to health care?
Nothing you say holds any value to me Chopra!
It's tragic that people in a country as rich as ours face financial ruin because of health issues. Health care is a right, not a luxury. We need to start treating it as such and come up with real answers to fix this decades-old problem.
We are all in this together. If your arm breaks your whole body is effected. I am your right arm and you are my left. How can we say that only some people are entitle to medical help. There are enough finances, wisdom and resources on this globe for every single person to be sheltered, fed and attended to in wellness. What kind of priorities do we have? If we would put our intention on ways to make sure that all people are treated properly, we will create a globe of care, health, fulfillment and peace for all. Wellness assistance available to everyone will increase planetary peace, health, love , productivity, new solutions and joy.
I am in agreement with Deepak. Research shows that thought effects the make up of water. (Dr. Emoto). As the human body is primarily made of water, thought will effect the wellness of the body.
"The tooth of the matter;"is the good dr. is right ,to a certain degree.We live in a world of assembled embisile lines!"I,"being one of them!We,and only we,"can change that!"It's a matter of using the suggestions of the wise dr.&mr.moore,to challenge the hard lines that are thus currently defined by our systems.set forth by those who 's prospective are utterly errelavant to todays dynamics;"In the World Markets!" "Wake-Up America!"It's our ennibility to change the hard wiring that keeps dumbing us down! I am a mother of five,"all much smarter than I !"As well as,a cousin in the White House!Who helped my oldest son decide to become a teacher .He is still in Chicago,teaching inner city kids,at risk.That's one to the good side,my son is a tripple minorty!!Thank You,Cousin Barack!
Wake up America...... This health care is good. I live in Canada, have never paid a hospital or doctor in my life(60 yrs.) Extra health insurance costs about 200.00 per YEAR. What is wrong with this!
Obama is working hard for You!
The beginning of any journey imply's planting a seed called good health.Love is delicate and sensitive,requires nurturing and discipline to prosper......Freedom is at the beginning not at the end.....
I think CNN could have put up a better pic of 'ol dr. chopra dont u? I mean think about the article he just wrote on talking to your genes and how it can make u come alive... his pic looks like he hasnt talked to his genes in several several days!!
Chopra is just another anti-science quack who pushes crazy ideas with absolute certainty. He is wrong – period. He has no idea how genetics works.
You are more like the tabloids rather than legitimate journalism.
Talk to my genes? Maybe I can talk to an eye infection or a cancer cell and hopefully, it'll "hear" me and go away. People will believe ANYTHING these days. Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
Yes – heeding the advice in the above article will go a long way to helping oneself. The hardest thing will be sticking to it. Staying disciplined.
Very interesting.....I believe it and I am going to work more on it!!! This also goes along with the thoughts and studies that the brain can actually control what happens in our bodies. For instance – laughing and thinking positive!! Thanks!!
I really love this! What a public service, thank you Dr. Chopra! I read in the book "Ultrametabolism" about how the food we ingest sends signals to our genes. That was powerful for me, and this is a very beneficial amplification of that image. Thanks- very strong stuff.
A public option or revised medical system is not going to be the ultimate solution to the nation's health problems, its just another way to fix problems that occur, not targeting the source of the problem itself. Yes, some people who could not get coverage for basic things will get it now. But more serious medical conditions such as cancer will still cost a large amount of money to treat. When you look at the big picture of whats involved to treat serious diseases, it doesnt take a genius to figure out why its so expensive. The doctors, the specialists, the assistants, the equipment, the months of treatment, the actual medicine itself. And someone has to pay for all that, all that for one person. If the HMOs or health insurance companies dont pay for it, we sure as hell will with taxes.
America needs to ditch the sedentary lifestyle and get on a diet and get on the road to a more healthy way to live. Just because you choose to be blissful in your ignorance doesnt mean cancer and disease is magically going to go away when you go to the doctor and say "hey doctor fix me". Cancer can be prevented, we will find out what it is one day, as we are beginning to now - just as we did with smoking and lung cancer. But people still smoke, regardless of the fact that they know it is extremely unhealthy.
I will admit though that it is currently costly to eat healthy. For one decent size steak of about 10 ounces (that feeds one person), it is about $7. You could feed a whole family with cheap fast food for the same price. If there was a way to get the healthy food at more affordable prices, we'd be much better off.
To the person that said:
"...it is currently costly to eat healthy. For one decent size steak of about 10 ounces (that feeds one person), it is about $7. You could feed a whole family with cheap fast food for the same price"
Steak is not a health food! Eat beans instead! No saturated fat, no hormones and antibiotics from factory farming! Get your nutrients and fiber from beans – inexpensively! Also, dollar menus and fast food places will always be a cheap and easy alternative to "slow food", but hey – You can't put a price on Health!!
In response to A. Smith: I am sure what you say is true and apparently you have evidence to support that; however, it does not really change the fact that it is because you and millions of others believe that power, cause and effect happen OUTSIDE of you; in that case one is always looking outside of themselves in order to have an effect on the circumstances of their life; actually, it is happening INSIDE of you; this is the understanding of the mind/body/spirit movement. Don't be hard on yourself, tho, it was difficult to switch from the "world is flat" belief too. Think in terms of "both/and" rather than "either/or". Blessings
wow, dr. chopra clearly doesn't not even have minimal knowledge of genetics
J. kelly is right on and knows his stuff. Salute!
"talk to your genes" is not only a sound quantum principle, in fact peopel can grown new neural net cells by "thinking" in ways and using the brain in new ways that the person has not yet done. So if you can teach your brain to grown new cells by utilizing mind training (games) why is it sci-fi that you can activate benefit in genes by thinking about them? Most people are only using a tenth of the brain. When you apply effort to push into new realms the outcome can be more than was ever thought possible.
Try it – really try it before you discount this so easily. Dr. kelly, if there were a way to get physicians nationwide to do as you suggested with the personal pay options, health care would be reformed 'overnight. '
Hmmm...while I will agree that our emotional state may have some correlation on our health (as in a supressed immune system, for example) I find that the good doctor is on relatively shaky ground on this issue. It seems as though he is proposing that if we simply told our genes what to do, they would magically turn on and our problems would be solved in a snap! I'm sure it will sell a lot of books, but the real life application is that some people have won the genetic lottery and some were left the scrape the barrell. Can genes be overcome, of course they can, but it takes a lot of work. More than just "having a conversation with your genes."
Where are the facts? the studies? I would like to see the research behind what he is saying. Is this science or pseudo-science?
as to this debate on 'health care'....wouldn't it make sense to provide people with the means, education, and otherwise to STAY healthy in the first place, rather than trying to MAKE them healthy after they become ill? we need to completely change our mindset about health and wellness to a more preventative strategy. people need to be educated on wellness issues and then take responsibilty for doing what they can to keep themselves healthy.
What Deepak Chopra is referring to has been used by the old cultures in Asia for thousands of years. Taiji and Qi Gong spun out from Taoism and is belived that if we oxygenate and exercise our internal organs, we can lead a long and healthy life. I study with a grand master in China and he is 101 years old and can still walk very quickly up 4 flights of stairs. How many of you can do that? He is testament, that this philosophy does work. Will it work for everyone? I don't have the answer to that, but I do know I have been healthy since I started studying this.
I'm not a chopra fan but he's not espousing anything HE discovered, he's writing a book to make money and he's using the discoveries of others, I "talk to my genes" everyday. I was told I was dieing from heart disease 12 years ago, the AMA doctors where putting me on a path to fulfill their diagnosis, I removed myself from care and went about learning about alternatives and WORKING on my health, I now have clear EKGs (yeah I know that's not "supposed" to happen) and people who know me have no idea of my former health problems, it is NOT that ornish, chopra and others don't understand how genes work, is is more that doctors and scientists (who I and most others respect greatly) only have 1/2 the story, there is more to it and they just haven't quantified it yet, they will! remember "doctors" where bleeding people to remove bad humors 200 years ago, do you really think that they have complete finished understanding now??? NO there is more to learn and if you have an open mind you will almost intuitively know that this area of work has real value. it saved my life!!
Dr Chopra makes some very good points!
Dr. Kelly and Dr. Moore also makes some great points. However, I believe a healthful approach to life- as well as- a universal healthcare system means healthy children, families, seniors and communities. The work force must be well enough to live and work and prosper and buy those items that the free market is dependent upon for its health. A healthy, happy society means a prosperous nation. Squabbling over who pays for it hurts everyone!
hey i'm a fan of the show ghost lab! I have question how do you see a shadow in pitch black darkness
What does talking to one's genes mean to the millions of impoverished people all over the world? Is that going to house the people living in shacks in India that the government occasionally bulldozes? Or the African people who are suffering from 3 years of drought and have lost everything? How will it help the many eco-refugrees now and into the future? Will their genes help those who are losing their homes due to floods and rising seas because of global warming? I suggest we start thinking about overpopulation, illiteracy and the abuse of the women all over the world. The enitire population of the world is the accumulated genes of planet Earth.
TALK TO MY GENES...I TELL THEM WHAT I WANT THEM TO DO. IT WORKS! WHEN I WAS GETTING HOT FLASHES THE COOL DOWN PERIOD WAS HORRENDES.I WOULD FREEZE AND CHATTER AND SHIVER. IT WOKE ME UP AT NIGHT AND EXHAUSTED ME DURING THE DAY. I GOT SO ANGRY I YELLED OUT LOUD "YOU WILL STOP NOW!"...AND IT DID. NEVER HAD ANOTHER ATTACK.
I CAN RAISE OR LOWER MY BLOOD PRESSURE ON COMMAND.
MY BODY IS MY FRIEND AND I TREAT IT AS SUCH.
I will not talk to my genes, but I do take excellent care of my body. I have cured the RA diagnosed by Stanford doctors. They told me without steroids I would be crippled and in agony. I know more than they do, so I cured myself without their toxins. I was diagnosed with lupus and again, told I needed drugs. Of course, I ignore them and I am fine. When my energy failed me to the point I was too fatigued to move, talk and could barely breathe, I decided it was heart related at the mitochondrial level and take ribose every single day so I can live normally. Been better than ever with the ribose.
I would love to purchase catastrophic health insurance. As to the rest, I am my own doctor. I am 60. I don't want govt health care. It is going to be just awful...a national formulary. You know it will not have ribose for heart, and low dose naltrexone for autoimmune, and MSM and dmso and and Vit A and B complex and C and all the things I use therapeutically that they have no idea what the hell I am talking about.
I'm not sure how some people commenting here misunderstood what Chopra is saying about "talking to your genes". He's not talking about literally verbally talking to your genes. Though I'm not a big fan of some of Chopra's more ethereal beliefs, he's accurate when he says that what you put into your body, what you're exposed to, and what you do and think, influences what your genes do in response. That's one of the major things genes do–they react to what's going on in the body, in order to figure out where the body needs repair, rest, various substances created and circulated to deal with inflammation, genetic damage, release of various hormones, etc. Some substances "talk" to some genes in a way that causes them to switch on their original stem cell behavior, making the cells they're in replicate out of control–in other words, cancer. If you're too sedentary, as Chopra says, you can gain weight, suffer various kinds of damage, etc., because too little exercise signals various things to the body, as well as preventing various signals from being sent to the genes–without enough exercise, the genes aren't "told" to burn calories. So his basic premise is sound.
Hi Larry! I love your show, and watch all the time. I also love Deepak Chopra and his books! I have read many of his books, in fact I am almost done reading his latest book reinventing the body resurrecting the soul. I am so grateful for Deepak's knowledge and wisdom, He has been a spiritual mentor in my life. I hope everyone who reads his books or hears him on your show, which I thankyou Larry so much for being openminded and having him on, opens their minds and hearts to his beautiful God-given gifts he shares with us! I pass on as much as I can to others from the books he has written. I feel we are evolving and because of beautifull souls like Deepak, we can learn and evolve and create paradise on earth if we so choose!! Again Larry I love you and your show and have been watching forever!! Keep up your great work and hope to see Deepak again soon on your show!!;)
I DON'T BUY IT – all of my dad's blue collar friends were very active but smoked, drank a lot daily, watched TV,ate a lot of sugar, etc. and they all lived into their 80's and 90's. My stocker broker and financial friends are dying in their 40's and 50's, and 60's. They eat like nutritionists,exercise like athletes,don't smoke and rarely drink. The only differences in my opinion is the unrelenting drive and self-imposed stress of the typical achiever mind-set. My conclusion, the success ladder is a joke. You make more money and die 25 years too early. Mellow out, make a lot less, enjoy life, eat and drink what you want.
Deepak doesn't look too healthy in that picture!! Most vegetarians look close to death. There's something to be said for avoiding these extremes.
Is there any way we can STOP HEARING what this ubiquitous New Age idiot thinks about disease? He is more dangerous to sick people than the diseases which plague them.
love your show–i agree with deepak–life is a race that will never be won–but the length of time we have and the quality of time can be improved and following deepak will assist you in bettering you life's journey. i was in hospice and i saw that those who used the deepak principles to the best of their ability had better relations with people and lengthened the time alloted to them.
deepak chopra should talk to those genes in him that are making those eye bags on him way too "baggy" –he needs to tell them not to make him look so goofy
only more open minded & more experienced & observant people understand that Chopra is right..........it helps a great deal to your health & life if one believes in God & has positive thoughts & communicates with ones inner self or genes or body or all.
"This isn't just another call to get you to exercise, meditate, and diet." -Chopra
No. This is exactly that. Another call to get people to exercise, meditate, diet, with that sneaky link at the bottom to his marketing machinery.
even Jesus couldn't convince idiots. so today how can chopra put sense in the minds of the idiotic majority of americans & the world.
The majority of the Americans or people in the world may not be very intelligent or learned, but Dr. Chopra is not right on all accounts too. He is is also wrong in certain things & doesn't have the right answers so he comes up with some concepts or theories inadvertently which are not really correct.
But I don't doubt his intentions & find him as a very nice intellectual & writer, & a very decent & compassionate man.
I would like to ask Dr.Chopra what on earth he found to discuss with his "friend" Michael Jackson? While certainly talented, judging from any conversations of his I have ever heard (especially the latest taped by the rabbi), he had an uneducated and airheaded intellect .
Be careful what you wish for
is NO JOKE!
It has affected my life so many twists and turns over decades
FORTUNATELY! I have been wishing for positive results
I LIKE to be REMINDED to BE UPBEAT
STAY TUNED IN! Listen to the hum of the engine, do walk arounds,
when I was a teen ager, I thought having a broken leg might be a good excuse for a predicament I was in. Within 2 hrs I had a broken leg. From that point on (the rest of my life!) I have wished for MUCH BETTER SOLUTIONS!
To the person from Canada, you say you haven't paid a dime for your healthcare – you are incorrect. Have you thought about the high taxes Canadians pay. Where do you think this coverage comes from? It certainly does not magically appear. Basically, the Canadian government takes what it thinks it needs to cover for healthcare. So, you're only getting about 50% of what you make.
what's the harm in *trying* to be better, thinking more positive, exercising more, eating better, spicing up our western medicine with a little ancient eastern thought? some of you are so rigid in your need of proof ideals that it won't ever work for you. you must see beyond your tangible science which not only changes everyday but consistently disproves its previous theories. and since science hasn't cured cancer or AIDS yet, or paranoid schizophrenia or heartbreak, i'll choose to try b/c I have nothing to loose by simple believing that I don't know everything. after all, open mindedness is what created science to begin with.
I used to like some of the stuff Chopra talked about, but this is pure BS. He's now lost my respect completely.
I very much agreed with what Dr. Kelly had to say.
The Doctor/patient relationship and the ability to realize the goals of heath and longevity through keeping up with the advances in the field as well as having a secure one on one relationship.
Follow him on Twitter
Become a fan on Facebook
LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.
Barnes & Noble
Saving a heart a day is the goal! Learn more about the Foundation and it's efforts to help the uninsured
Visit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.