The 5 Points of Wellness That Are Essential for Longevity and Optimal Health
– Dr. Derrick DeSilva, MD
Born in Sri Lanka, I grew up in a family that considered natural medicine a way of life.
Whenever I had a test in school my grandmother would make me Gotu Kola and give that to me for breakfast with brown rice. Gotu Kola is a brain nutrient. Throughout my life, I have always taken vitamins and supplements, and I believe there is more than one way to treat chronic disease. My goal is to teach and introduce people to various modalities to prevent disease.
With this mindset, I designed my medical practice around Five Points of Wellness that must be incorporated into your lifestyle for longevity and optimal health. Here is a brief description of each:
I tell all of my patients – I want you to do something every day for movement, and you have to enjoy it. If you don’t like going to the gym, don’t go to the gym. If you hate to run, don’t run. But find some type of exercise you love to do. Everybody can find 20 minutes per day. The sweet spot is 30-45 minutes of sustained heartrate for a sustained period of time. New data is showing you shouldn’t exercise for more than an hour, it causes too much damage to the body, creating a pro-inflammatory state. If you have not exercised for a long time, make sure you see your physician and get a check-up before starting an exercise program.
I love intermittent fasting and I fast for 16 hours per day. There are so many advantages including cellular cleaning, reduced insulin levels, increased metabolism and a host of other benefits. Find what works for you. If you don’t put the right fuel in your body, you’re not going to get the performance out. Whenever you open the refrigerator think, “Is this the right fuel for this body that does so many amazing things.” You instinctively know what you should and shouldn’t be eating. When you pull out ice cream at night, you know that’s really not a good idea even if you rationalize it. But most of all, everything in moderation.
What are the basic nutrients everyone needs? 1. Probiotic – 80% of your immune system resides in your intestines. Prepare yourself for if and when you are exposed to COVID-19. If your body is ready and you have the right the nutrients, you’re not going to wind up in the hospital, your body can fight off these invaders. All three of my grandchildren were started on probiotics from day one of birth. 2. Vitamin D – get your blood levels checked. I do extensive blood testing on all of my patients as well as genetic and hormone testing. Nutrients are the things that make the engine run. You would have to eat 12 bowls of spinach today to equal the concentration of 1 bowl in the 1930s. We’re really not able to get enough of the right nutrients from our food these days, so supplement where needed. Thirty years ago, when I started talking about probiotics and supplements, people would look at me like I was crazy. As time evolved, it’s amazing how many doctors from our hospital are now patients of mine.
This is such an area of controversy. In the 1980s there was a study called WHI (Women’s Health Initiative) that destroyed our generation of women. They were told that if they used hormones they were going to get breast cancer. Our generation of women in their 60s either have never taken hormones or they were given synthetic hormones. What does bioidentical mean? It means the body recognizes what you’re taking because it’s identical biologically to what your body makes. If your body doesn’t recognize it, you’re going to react to it in a negative way. If your body knows what it is it utilizes it. Estrogen doesn’t cause breast cancer; the wrong form of estrogen causes breast disease. These hormones are needed in the body to protect your heart, your brain, your skin, your bones, and even your breast tissue. Using the right form of these hormones is the key and you will feel better. I’m 63 and I feel fantastic.
This is my favorite. I have my patients do one good deed a day. It boosts your immune system by 40%. It also boosts the other person’s immune system along with every single person who witnesses it. That good deed is your spirit. We have got to change our spirit. Our genetics don’t change but our genes can get turned on or off to facilitate or prevent disease. We look at what is turning on and turning off your genes. This encompasses who you are, what you believe and what your attitude is. Do you have a good attitude? What is your outlook in life? I don’t agree with Billy Joel – the good don’t die young, they really don’t. Do one good deed a day, it’s so important for your physical and spiritual health, because it really can increase your longevity if you’re a good person. Have a gratitude practice. Think of one thing daily that you’re thankful for. You will actually feel better. When I graduated from medical school, the Dean said, “Make a difference in one person’s life and you will be considered a success in medicine.” I never forgot that. So, my goal has always been to make that difference in one person’s life throughout my practice.
Programs are based on a unique approach to wellness. Data has shown that people are very comfortable in their own environment (their home). Based on this concept, I see people in their homes and go through the 5-point plan with them. Prior to the 2-hour session, a prescription for extensive lab and genetic testing is sent to the patient. The majority of the treatment plan is based on the genetics of the individual. Based on this data, I am able to truly develop a customized program for the individual from weight loss to the exact nutrients they need to maintain optimal health.
Dr. Derrick DeSilva, MD brings together Eastern and Western medicine and gives his patients, “The Best of Both Worlds”. He is the recipient of Best Doctor Award in NJ/NY by Castle Connolly for the past 19 consecutive years. His media exposure has included numerous television appearances on CNN, EXTRA, and Larry King. He has lectured at numerous national and international medical conferences. 908.256.5560.