I believe that we all have the ability to live a healthy and vital life. As a leader in Functional Medicine, I practice what I call Good Medicine; an appropriate blend of cutting-edge, modern medicine with age-old healing techniques from the East so that together we can create your own personal health care plan. My method is simple – remove what is harmful and add what is beneficial. This integrative approach takes into account your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing.
For almost 40 years, I have guided and helped thousands of patients feel healthier, look great, and increase energy and resiliency to better deal with life’s stresses. Passionate about helping others, my mission is to provide trusted guidance and information to make Good Medicine more accessible and attainable to all.
After my initial medical training in my native South Africa, I spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. There I became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled my interest in non-Western healing modalities.
In 1984, I immigrated to the United States, and became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, I became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made me even more aware of the potential of implementing non- Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, I was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and as a doctor I found myself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of my training, and the limitations in helping patients regain true health, I began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness.
I began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga.
In 1992, I founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in the heart of downtown Manhattan – one of the first-of-its- kind clinics to integrate these varied modalities. As one of my patients, the chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, “If antibiotics are right, he’ll try it. If it’s an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things.”
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to support projects that I’m excited about. Currently, I’m the Chief Medical Officer for Hearty, a digital clinic offering a tailor-made health program providing in-depth health insights through in-home testing and monitoring. Members receive an individually tailored program available through the Hearty app. I’m also a member of the Clinical Advisory Board for Salvo Health, a virtual health clinic focusing on specialty care for chronic conditions, starting with GI/Gastro issues.
I believe that true health is much more than the absence of disease. It is a total state of wellbeing, including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social components. Therefore, when considering how to heal the body and create sustainable wellness, it is essential to consider all areas of life that can be influential, along with how those factors may differ from person to person.
Just as we all have unique physical features and personalities, we also have unique internal and biochemical make-ups. Each of us differs in how we digest food, how our bodies detoxify, and which foods nourish or inflame our systems. This explains why some diets and lifestyle changes work wonders for some, but can be harmful to others – confirming that honoring each person’s individuality is essential.
My goal is to help others achieve and maintain optimal wellbeing, and to do so, I believe in identifying the root causes of illness, treating the underlying disturbances, and restoring balance in the body, mind and environment. We are fortunate to have the knowledge to look beyond the current medical model, which emphasizes acute and crisis care. Rather than treating the symptoms, I utilize diet, lifestyle changes, supplements, exercise, stress management practices, sleep and more to improve the functioning of the body as a means of preventing disease and creating vibrant, sustainable health.