Title is From Operating Table to Dining Room Table: Evolution of a Nutritionally Aware Physician.
“Michael Klaper, M.D. is one of the pre-eminent teaching physicians of today.
His understanding of the body’s systems and experience in helping others
create better health naturally is unparalleled.”
John Robbins, Author of Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution
Dr. Michael Klaper’s Philosophy
Practicing primary care medicine for over forty years has taught me many things, but chief among them is that health and disease are not a matter of chance. As a wise professor told me in medical school, “People do not get diseases, they earn them!” With few exceptions, (accidents do happen!) our daily choices—the foods we eat (or don’t eat), the activities we do (or don’t do), the thoughts we harbor (or release), the actions we take (or don’t take) are what create the body in which we reside, and determine if it is healthy or diseased. The adage “By age 20 you have the face that Nature gave you; by age 50, you have the face your choices gave you” is, indeed, true—and holds throughout the body. By age 50, we have the arteries, the heart, the skin, the colon and the brain that our choices have given us.
From my earliest years, I have been fascinated by the human body—its inherent beauty of form and function, the elegant simplicity of its mechanics and movement, the infinite complexity of its inner functions, and its mysterious powers to heal itself and grow. Though complex almost beyond comprehension, I knew the same natural laws that govern the familiar world around us were also at work within us. So my journey as a healer has been one of observing how those forces flow within us and through us, and how we interact with them to create health and disease.
In any moment, our decisions move us toward health and vigor or toward disease and dysfunction. The good news is the human body has powerful forces within it that, when supported, help us heal from injuries and illnesses and sustain us in good health. Our body wants to be healthy; it doesn’t want to be inflamed, infected or in pain. In fact, it knows how to heal every one of its tissues and organs and is constantly doing so in order to repair the daily damage from the athletic event we call “Life.”
These healing forces ask few things of us: nourishing food, sufficient rest and sleep, pure water, and frequent physical activity, along with meaningful work and stable, loving relationships. The vast majority of diseases I see, whether obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension,) clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), diabetes and a host of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are caused by short-changing our body (ourselves, really) in one or more of these vital areas.
My medical practice is focused, therefore, on identifying discord in my patient’s body (and, often, in their life, as well) and explaining how it has produced the signs and symptoms that have brought the person to my office. I then work with them to find practical solutions that will most effectively help their body re-establish its natural state of well-being.
One of my favorite quotes from Dr Klaper is: "Being gentle with yourself and others, taking time to rejoice in life's daily pleasures, regularly exercising your body, walking in nature, releasing stress in a healthy manner, and letting love, laughter, and gratitude flow through your daily thoughts and actions, are as essential for a long healthy life as are fresh fruits and vegetables - probably even more so."