Health and wellness stories from our house to yours

We were meant to live in our bodies, interact through our
souls and commune through our spirits.

Hello everyone! Spring is almost here; hooray! It’s a good time to prepare for a new and healthier life after a long winter.

The following success stories from The Doctor’s House emphasize how important it is to address your health and wellness from a holistic point of view. They illustrate how important it is to take time to not only nurture your own spirit, but to healthfully create time for your family, friends and social networks.


Our first story is about a woman we will call “L”. She came in to see me at TDH. This patient was from an ethnic background that tends to have a fatalistic outlook. Which makes it difficult to admit that they are dealing with mental health issues like depression. “L” told me that she felt very anxious and depressed. She came in saying she was so “down” she thought she needed to get on antidepressants.

Because “L” is normally a very happy woman I knew that something pretty drastic must have recently changed in her life to make her feel so depressed. In order to get to the root of the problem. I started asking her questions. In the course of our discussion, the cause of her symptoms came to light.

“I have family staying with me on a 6 week stay and during their stay I am trying to please everyone. Because of this, my children, husband and my visiting family all feel neglected and are angry with me.”

“L” revealed that the visiting family was taking up virtually all of her time, yet they were still not satisfied. Her teenage children were upset that mom was ignoring them and not doing what she would normally do such as making their food, ironing their clothes and waiting on them. Her husband was very unhappy with all the turmoil in the normally serene house. “L” felt like everyone was against her even though she was trying her best.

It took quite a while to get her to open up, but after a lot of discussion, we were able to come up with some things to help her cope with the situation at home.

During her appointment I gave her the following advice:

  1. Hospitality and care is what you owe your visiting family. I told her she should not feel obligated to do everything they demanded to the exclusion of spending time with her children and husband. We also discussed the need to politely but firmly reset their expectations by discussing reasonable boundaries.

  2. Looking at “L’s” life, her teenage children had unrealistic expectations of what to expect from their mother because they were used to having her do virtually everything for them. I was able to make her appreciate that it was time for her to start letting go of those responsibilities so her children would become more independent in dealing with life situations.

  3. I also emphasized that within the family unit communication is key. Because of “L’s” ethnic background, communicating her own needs were not really a part of her family structure. I encouraged her to let her children and her husband know that they are loved and that the current stressful situation with the visiting family is only temporary. I told her to use this opportunity to enlist her family’s help. I pointed out that it could actually help them bond together more as a family by looking at this as a “family project”.

  4. Most importantly, I stressed to “L” the need to prioritize and take time for herself. I encouraged her to get out of the house for a few hours every few days for some quiet time for a cup of coffee, going to a movie or out with her friends. This is a very crucial step that will give her breathing space to recharge her own inner energies.  

At the end of the appointment I told “L” that I would write her a prescription for an antidepressant because she was exhibiting some of the symptoms. She said “No; no no no no. I’m good. I don’t want any prescription now. It was very good for me to have this talk with you. You gave me great ideas on how to deal with this situation. Until our conversation today I did not realize that the symptoms that I was experiencing were stress-related from having everyone trying to pull me in different directions. Now I have something to work with and if I start feeling like this again I’ll make another appointment, but talking to you has truly been better than any anti-depressant.”


For our second story, a woman patient (“Girlfriend”) came to see me about developing a plan to lose weight. She did not have any other urgent health concerns, but was very unhappy about her weight and the fact that she wasn’t able to participate in activities with her friends and family because of her inability to keep up. 

I truly enjoy helping people with weight loss issues, not only because people feel better when they look better, but also because of the health benefits that go along with weight loss in terms of reduced cardiovascular risk and decreased chances of developing diabetes and other medical issues.

As in everything else health-related, I like to approach weight loss from a holistic point of view. I believe there are many factors that contribute to a patient gaining weight or being able to lose weight. So I asked her “Girlfriend, why do you want to lose weight?” She replied, “I hate the way I look”. I then asked her “How do you see yourself when you look in the mirror?” “Girlfriend” said “I see a big fat cow.”

I was very sorry to hear her response. Honestly, it broke my heart because I could appreciate how helpless she felt. It was very sad to hear such hopelessness reflected in her statement. I gently lead her to the mirror and I told her to take a good look at the image she saw there. I told her that unless she likes the person that she is seeing in the mirror, or learns to like that person, she will never be able to see herself in a positive light and will never be able to lose weight.

This comment clearly and understandably upset her. She turned to me and said “Does that mean that you can’t help me?” “No,” I said, “but before I can help you, you need to see yourself as you truly are. And the truth is that you are a beautiful lady who is motivated about becoming healthy. If you continue to see yourself as a big fat cow you will not lose weight. Because it is a scientific fact that the image that you see becomes a reflection that dictates who you are. Ultimately what you see in your mind is what you will always be. So in addition to putting in place a nutrition plan, exercise regime and medications, we are going to discuss what we need to work on to change your own opinion about you.“

“Girlfriend” and I started taking steps towards improving her self-image. I told her to go home and say some kind and positive words to herself. When we say complementary things about ourselves while looking at our reflection in the mirror, it forms a positive image in our mind which is very powerful and is instrumental to weight loss success.

Science has discovered that every change that we make originates from a change in mindset or what we call a “paradigm shift”. Paradoxically, what we all think about when we start to lose weight is that we try to change our bodies. However, because we are going against the grain of how we are designed, we are usually unable to achieve our goals. And even when we finally achieve our goals. the change is usually not permanent. Over many years of studying my patients, I have found this principle to be very true. The patients who work hard with me to begin to see themselves in a different light and come to love the person that they are, usually end up with success stories.

Here are some of the positive things I told “Girlfriend” to say to herself:

  • I have a small waist
  • I have great skin
  • Overall I have a nice shape/good figure
  • I’m committed to getting healthier

The net result of Girlfriend’s journey was that she started changing her image in her mind and slowly but surely her body followed. She has not met her overall weight loss goal yet but she has lost more than 50 pounds which is a great accomplishment. 


It is surprising to me how often my female patients complain that they are growing apart from their husbands because they don’t have time to spend with them; either because of work schedules or family demands. Some have large families and many financial stresses. These women feel like they are on a constant roller coaster and don’t have any time during the day to “just breathe”.

My third story is about a female patient that we will call “S” and her husband. They both work full time and have four active children. “S’s” husband is constantly complaining that she doesn’t have time for him because she is always with the kids. At the same time, “S” feels burned out because she doesn’t have any quality time for herself nonetheless time to spend with her complaining husband.

This is a very common issue in our world as we know it. In trying to find a solution for my patients (and myself) I developed some mathematical time equations that help set realistic goals to spend our time.


ME TIME: Everyone needs to value the importance of taking time for themselves. Every week has about 98 waking hours. One quarter of that amount is about 26 hours. One quarter of that is about 6 hours. I suggest that people allocate “a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of time to themselves”. That means 6 hours a week. This breaks down to about 45 minutes a day. Read a book, go for a walk, meet a friend, take a bubble bath. People who take this time will feel recharged. This “shut the door time” is a necessary component for mental and physical health.

WE TIME: I suggest that patients take half the amount of time they take for ME each week and allocate that for WE TIME. Half of the 6 hours of ME TIME is 3 hours a week. Which is equal to 5 days every 3 months. 20 days a year. This is time you get to spend with your partner and family or just your partner or split it with your family and your partner. WE TIME allows the time to look into your partner or family’s eyes and say “Where are you?” and have them answer “Here I am.” For spouses it may mean time for meaningful time with no phones, no social media; just time for the two of you. Ask “How was your day? How are you really feeling?” This time can be used to truly check in with each other and to listen, respond and intimately interact.

Getting used to this “time away formula” can be a struggle and people won’t always be able to adhere to these principles perfectly, but I believe that having a simple formula like this can really help make it a reality.

Using myself as an example, I work four days a week in my practice. I work more than 8 hours on the four days that I’m in the clinic in order to allow myself that one weekday open. It helps me immensely to have this one day all to myself and has been invaluable in helping to make sure that I don’t experience physician burnout which is very common in the medical field.

I hope you have enjoyed spending time with me today and reading these successful wellness stories. Have a happy and healthful “quarter of a quarter”.