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Jaime Galvez Tan’s zero-cost prescription for a healthy, long life
The secrets to a healthy, long life come free if one follows Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan’s zero-cost prescription.
An advocate of primary health care, sound nutrition and integrative medicine who had taken the road less travelled when he served in rural areas for a decade, Tan said the most number of centenarians in the world can be found in Asia. The Philippines doesn’t figure in those statistics, he said, because “we have internalized the North American diet.”
A centenarian does not have to be stooped and shuffling on his/her feet. He cited actor George Burns who starred in movies at ages 79, 89 and 99. All were box-office hits. When he felt it was time to go, Burns willed himself to die and simply said goodbye.
Tan cited former senator Helena Benitez who, at 97, walks unassisted. Although blind in one eye, she can repeat the three essential messages of Tan’s lecture after hearing him and expound them into her own speeches.
Tan challenged the Diliman Book Club members at his lecture at the University Hotel, University of the Philippines campus: “Are you ready to be a hundred years old?”
Tan wrote with his wife Rebecca the best-seller Medicinal Fruits and Vegetables (published by The Natural Shelf).
Tan said his prescription does not cost anything, but people find his recommendations hard to follow and prefer a real prescription for over-the-counter medicines at drugstores.
One recommendation is to think positively by waking up ahead of one’s alarm clock, eager to face the day and affirming that it be full of prosperity and abundance. He said the attitude one should take upon waking is “Wow! Thank you for another day to serve. I could’ve died last night of a stroke or a heart attack because these happen usually at 4 a.m. Each day is a blessing.”
Tan said one must go up the mirror and tell one’s image, “Good morning, handsome” or “Good morning, beautiful,” then declare, “I am healthy, I am full of wellness, I am prosperous.” Do not use the future tense: “I will be…”
He said it is vital to “claim the present.”
“Whatever you declare will manifest because this is the universal law of attraction,” he added.
Tan cited “impossible (medical) cases” that are brought to him. As soon as he teaches the patient to chant “I am healed, I am completely healed, I am totally healed,” miracles often happen—tumors disappear or a patient with life-threatening cancer requires no more chemotherapy.
Tan said the World Health Organization made a breakthrough when it recognized that health is not only measured by physical or biological parameters but also takes in mental and social well-being. The social aspect includes all types of relationships from the personal to the community level.
He learned from his immersion with herbolarios (traditional medicine men) that health is a body-mind-spirit confluence with the divine, with nature and with others or, in longer words, spiritual, emotional, environmental and national well-being.
Tan said sleep in total darkness from seven to eight hours. “Darkness was created to make us rest,” he said, adding that it helps produce melatonin that promotes youthfulness. He said, “Those able to take afternoon naps live longer than those who don’t.”
If one wakes in the middle of the night, never be tempted to read or log on to the Internet. Another reminder is to keep digital gadgets like watches and cell phones at least a meter away from the bed as “their electromagnetic waves interfere with the brain waves,” he said.
Tan ran down the other healthy pointers to remember:
Physical activity or exercise 20-30 minutes daily. An hour’s walk is equal to 10,000 steps a day, even if not continuous. Tan said, “Taking the tricycle has destroyed the body of the Filipino.”
Maintain friendships. Follow the adage of to love and be loved. Keep ties with kindred spirits throughout life. Even donating to charity releases happy hormones called endorphins.
Forgive and ask forgiveness. He said social medicine evidence shows that this works although it may be the hardest act. If the hurting person lets 10 weeks or even six months pass, then meets the offender casually without evading him/her, forgiveness has taken place.
Laughter and sex reduce aging. Watch funny films or videos. Take forced leaves and vacation. A happy life, Tan said, is one where “every pregnancy is planned, every baby is wanted and a person is free of sexually transmitted diseases.”
Have time for stillness, meditation and prayer.
Eat lots of plant-based food (vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lentils) apart from complex carbohydrates and deep-sea fish. Avoid white sugar, white bread, processed meat (tocino and longganisa). Go on a monthly fast by eating fruits and vegetable for three days, something other living creatures do naturally.
Drink warm or room-temperature liquids, mineral water, dark chocolate (tablea), green tea. He advised against distilled water which is “dead water” as it has no minerals and doesn’t rehydrate the body.
Free oneself from addictions to smoking, alcohol, gambling, drugs and sex. Also toxic are secondhand smoke, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and heavy metals.
By Elizabeth Lolarga, Vera Files
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