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Breaking the Shackles of Apartheid in Medicine

By February 17, 2014August 10th, 20237 Comments

We need more doctors in the world like Dr. Frank Lipman.

Western medicine is astounding when it comes to treating acute, isolated conditions — a catastrophic injury, an arterial blockage or a serious infection, for example.  But how does it fare when it comes to preventing disease, particularly chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and countless other conditions sweeping the globe like a modern day plague? Well, not so well. On this I think we can all agree.

On that note, when was the last time your doctor focused his inquiry on things like increasing energy levels and general vitality, elevating mood, sustaining optimal body weight, or enhancing mental acuity and focus?  Not recently I would imagine, if ever.  He or she might advise you to reduce the stress in your life, “eat better” and/or “start taking care of yourself” — but these proclamations are rarely combined with an actual specific protocol to implement. And that, my friends is a shame.

Dr. Lipman is working to break this paradigm.  Early in his medical career, he began to see that the polarization between western modalities and other healing philosophies merely negated positive attributes of both. He began to see that true healing lay in a blend between the two. He now practices his unique method of what he calls “Good Medicine”, which merges the best of the west with many traditions more eastern or alternative in origin — a holistic form of medicine that is truly unique and integrative in its approach to patients.  It’s for this reason he has become the go-to, in-demand doctor for the celebrated — people like Donna Karan, Kevin Bacon, Gwenyth Paltrow, Peter Sarsgaard & Maggie Gyllenhaal.

If pharmaceuticals are truly in order to rectify an acute medical issue, he is happy to prescribe. But disease management isn’t what gets him out of bed every morning excited about life. Instead, it’s taking the time to evaluate each patient as a complex web of interdependent systems, with a keen lens focused on disease prevention.  The idea is to optimize the quality of his patients’ lives through implementing techniques such as acupuncture; Chinese, herbal & functional medicine; nutrition; biofeedback; meditation; and yoga.

When was the last time your doctor prescribed you to go to yoga? It’s never happened to me, and I live in LA.

In short, Dr. Lipman’s ultimate goal for all his patients is simple: sustained, long-term, optimal wellness.

Sustained, long-term, optimal wellness.

If you know me, then you know I’m all about this subject.  So it was an honor and a treat to sit down with Dr. Lipman in his office at Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in the Flatiron District of Manhattan — with its soothing meditation retreat / yoga studio vibe — where he generously offered up his perspective on medicine & the medical profession, nutrition & food allergies, and the types of things we can and should all focus on more intently if we want to maximize our “wellness” in the truest sense of this all-too often over-hyped word.

I hope you enjoy the enlightening conversation.  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.  And don’t forget to give Tyler — my trusty podcast producer and stepson — a nice shoutout for all his hard work not just putting today’s show together, but for all his amazing original music compositions that accompany the interview. Thanks Ty!


Connect With Dr. Frank Lipman: Website  | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Thanks for listening and thanks for the support!


  • Elaine Springer says:

    This conversation is a precious gift to our world. It reveals a human story filled with life-enhancing information. Thank you so much for creating & sharing it ! Stay well.

  • Maggie Savage says:

    Rich I feel like I was privy to a conversation between you and Dr. Lipman. This was amazing! What a treat to be able to listen to him in this relaxed format. Thanks to you and Tyler for making this possible. Another fabulous podcast!

  • viii_ball says:

    So much great information. I have made a shift in my lifestyle which is showing health benefits. I am not all the way there yet but working in that direction. My biggest struggle is my wife. While I have tried to set the example of healthy eating she subsists on the 3 things Dr Lipman says to remove; sugar, gluten and dairy. A flour tortilla with Cracker Barrel cheese and some chicken is a typical dinner. Followed by a handful of Skittles for dessert. She has always been this kind of eater, very little fruits and vegetables. She’s also experienced quite a bit of health problems the most recent being treatment for thyroid cancer. She’s not over weight so she cannot (or does not) make the connection of sickness and poor nutrition. I love her so much and want her to be around for a long time so I want her to understand the things that Rich and Dr. Lipman profess. But she won’t change. She won’t even entertain the idea of a diet change. Its not that she’s stubborn, she tells me she knows she can’t eat the way I do so she’s not going to even try. Why fool herself. As Rich is often to say, this sounds just like substance addiction (I know, for 30+ years I was a raging, functional alcoholic). I guess this is a long winded way of asking for help. What do I do with my wife? There is no AA for Skittles. There is no Al-Anon for husbands concerned about their wife’s eating habits.

  • Bri Tri says:

    Great interview Rich! I wish there were more Dr’s around like him. I also agree with him that no one way of eating is right for everyone. Plant-based works for me, but doesn’t for my wife. She wants to be plant-based and tried many times.

    Also could you use the word “zeitgeist” a few more times in the podcast? LOL! Just giving you crap! 🙂 You should create a new #zeitgeist t-shirt too? I actually had to go look it up the first time i heard it.

  • Rick says:

    As usual, great interview with a visionary doc. Yes- prevent disease. In that vein, Dr. Esselstyn’s approach after 4 1/2 years is yielding nice results. Today’s blood numbers at the Wellness Center: total cholesterol 100, ldl 47, hdl 50, triglycerides 76.

  • KenZ says:

    Loved this one, another great podcast. I will note that I am not as optimistic as you are that things are changing for the better for society in general.
    I think the INFORMATION that is out there is changing for the better, and thus the motivated people who want to access and utilize it without getting confused is getting better. That’s a good thing. But I don’t see much of a chance of America/The World getting healthier as a whole. It’ll stabilize for sure (reference obesity rates/weights leveling off in the US), but reverse in trend? Don’t think so. I hope you’re right and I’m wrong; would be a great thing about which to be incorrect…
    Keep up the great work! It’s a battle worth fighting.

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