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Too many of our medical doctors do not take the time to take good care of themselves. I know only
one doctor who comes to the y in the morning on a regular basis before taking the time to care for his patients. If I forget to tell him " to take care of himself" he reminds me of my unwritten obligations.

Recently I learned about Dr Shigeaki Hinohara, a Japanese Physician ,who died at the age of 105. He walked the talk and lived his long life to the fullest. When he was born in 1911 the average life span of men in Japan did not exceed age 40. The doctor never wasted a day in defying the odds.

The doc worked pro bono until six months before he died doing what he loved; sharing his life time love of health and happiness.

He had some wise health advise for his patients: "remember that doctors cannot heal cure everything, donít underestimate the beneficial effects of music and the company of animals. He cautioned against gluttony and early retirement. Annual check ups, climbing stairs regularly and just having fun was his prescription for a healthy life.

He maintained his weight at about 130 pounds. His diet was Spartan, "coffee, milk and orange juice
with a tablespoon of olive oil for breakfast. Milk and few biscuits for lunch, vegetables with a small
portion of fish and rice for supper."

Hinohara wrote a musical for children when he was 88 and a best selling book at the age of 101. To
keep active he recently took up the game of golf. I found amazing that he was still taking care of his patients six months before he died and kept a date book with open spaces for five more years of
medical appointments.

"He sincerely believed that he was privileged to live; " my life must be dedicated to the welfare of other people."

Hinohara is not an anomaly for many Japanese citizens, The people of the Island of Okinawa are
among the longest living healthy Centurions in the world. They too live a simple life eating mostly fruit and vegetables and very little meat focusing on small nutritious meals. Physical daily activity of walking and working in the garden to grow their own food is part of their daily routine.

Being social and enjoying cups of fragrant tea with friends keeps the people connected with the being appreciated and needed.

A Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, Urologist, Neurologist, Psychologist, Dermatologist and a host of other specialists would be not needed by the seniors living in Okinawa. Those who move to the US or
Canada have very similar rates of illness as the general population. It is not a matter of genetics but rather life style that makes a difference in the good health of the people. They sure do not replicate the vast majority of people we see on a daily basis in the super market; most of whom are overweight- obese. Fast food is so available and for the most part very reasonable (cheap). No reason to take time
to prepare a healthy meal when you know how to dial or use your cell phone to order.

Sad that the majority of our young people have never ever wanted to learn to actually cook a meal from scratch. Check out the concentrated fat contents in ready made pizza or hamburger that the
government has made mandatory for the suppliers for us to pay attention to.

A Big Mack nutritional numbers has a whopping 28 grams of fat to be washed down by a Coke with 15 table spoons of sugar. Where is the nutrition you ask?

We all make choices of how we are going to live our lives. Medical practitioners and the rest of society should heed the wise words of Hinohara:

" doctor heal thyself."

Len Lesser is an education/career counsellor in Dorchester. I am interested in your opinion lenlesser@hotmail.com

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com