Part I: Would You Follow the Advice You Give to Your Own Patients?

Doctors Following Their Own Advice

By Howard G. Hindin, DDS

Installment 1 – August 1, 2017

I am beginning a journey to see if I can follow my own advice.

For the next six weeks, I invite you to join me and as I openly and honestly share my successes and failures with you. Allow me to explain…

In my 50 years of practice, I have preached the importance of the “Four Pillars of Health”: Airway, Nutrition, Exercise and Nurturing Relationships.

In recent years, more and more evidence is being uncovered to support that attention to these Four Pillars may be the best way to prevent, manage and reverse the growing epidemic of chronic disease.

As a Founder of the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry (AAPMD), and the Foundation for Airway Health (FAH), I have strongly advocated an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach for optimal health.

In our office, patients are screened for airway and sleep problems, chronic inflammation, systemic conditions with oral connections, nasal and myofunctionalirregularities, posture, nutrition and more.

We monitor patients’ physiological function using heart rate variability, a strong indicator of autonomic function, resiliency, and a predictor of future health or
disease. We work with a variety of physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors and myofunctional therapists.

Yet with all we can offer, there is disappointment and frustration when patients do not listen and follow what could be life-changing advice.

At the same time, I notice many of my colleagues have recognizable airway issues, eat poorly, and don’t exercise. Are you a healthcare practitioner? Have you ever glanced around the room during a conference and noticed what kind of shape your colleagues are in?  Or how you, yourself, look or feel? We may not even live as long as our patients.

The 2017 AAPMD Airway Summit and the 2nd FAH White Flag Event, along with the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 13 – 16. Our meetings focus on “Collaboration for Optimal Health”. So much wonderful information will be disseminated – but can we use what we learn to help our patients AND ourselves?

As a doctor, can I follow my own advice?

I am an excellent example of damaged pillars – 76 years old, 50 years in dental practice, a sleep apnea sufferer, overweight, under-exercised. I am guilty of overwork, with a poor concept of time. I developed pulmonary vein stenosis as a result of a bad outcome following an ablation for atrial fibrillation 15 years ago. And I exceed at being nurturing, but suck at being nurtured.

Join me, practitioner and patient, as I share my history and my successes and failures in my attempt to reconstruct my own Four Pillars of Health: Airway, Nutrition, Exercise, and Nurturing Relationships.

I welcome your comments, your thoughts and most certainly, your support.