What Real Health Means to Me – Dr. Ron

Author: Ron Hunninghake, MD (Chief Medical Officer, Riordan Clinic)

What does Real Health mean to you?

Well I’m getting older now. I’m 67 years old! Since this is being recorded on New Year’s Day, I have the sense of the unrelenting passage of time. Every day now I feel a pressing need to make my moments count! So, for me, Real Health means making good choices today! Especially those choices that will help me maintain a high level of functioning in the years to come. Better choices can mean more quality years ahead.

What are some of the most important choices you make? What has the greatest impact on your health?

I’ve become very sensitive to the quality of my conversations. I’ve learned that my words carry a lot of impact not only for my co-learners, but also for myself! I’ve been listening more carefully to my own Real Health advice.

When I ask about THEIR sleep quality choices, I’m careful to review my own compliance to an early bed time. When we discuss food choices, I wonder if I’m following my own recommendations regarding whole foods, colorful polyphenol-rich veggies, low grains, and GMO avoidance. Am I choosing to pay attention to family fun? Am I creating my own sense of health freedom through healthier choices every day? Do I adequately express the love and gratitude for those around who are an important part of my life?

Real Health is me being authentic to my own words by choosing minute-to-minute attitudes and actions that promote well-being and balance. I’m hoping to serve as a healthy example that will inspire my co-learners that their “better health” is a real possibility, even when so many attempts in the past have failed them.

Do you think there’s an endpoint in Real Health, a point where you’ve finally arrived?

Real Health will always be an ongoing process of discovery, course correction, new discoveries, and new opportunities for even better health. Dr. Roger Williams was a famous medical nutritionist and researcher, who discovered vitamins B5 and B9 (folate). He wrote The Wonderful World Within You, a book he intended for his grandchildren. His message was that the nutritional environment of the cell can always be improved. Paraphrasing that, I believe that we as holistic human beings can always improve, as we strive to create an ever-healthier version of ourselves. Sadly, most people content themselves with hoping for “the absence of disease,” which is the medical definition of health.

Real Heath is much more: a daily celebration of the miracle of life; a moment by moment freedom to move, think and create energy and enthusiasm! Even if you are chronically ill, each day is a new opportunity to grow beyond your limitations; to listen to your body-wisdom; to open-mindedly seek new answers to old health problems.

What is your recommendation for people at a beginning point in their Real Health journey?

The Riordan Clinic offers a fundamental program called Real Health Discovery. So many of our new co-learners come to us for a fresh start, not quite knowing where to begin. The subjective state of chronic illness can be frustrating and confusing. Therefore, we offer important discovery tools with two critical perspectives:

Subjectively, we take time to carefully hear the new patient’s medical story, listening for clues that can help unearth hidden root causes of their illness.

Objectively, we depend on a comprehensive laboratory panel of bio-markers. This serves as a cellular “microscope” which can reveal hidden toxicities, infections, inflammatory conditions, nutrient and hormonal deficiencies and neurotransmitter imbalances.

By comparing key points of the patient’s story with a thorough inventory of their cellular status, we can answer Dr. Riordan’s fundamental question:
Q: “What’s the most important nutrient?”
A: “The one YOU are lowest in!” (…or the one that’s most out of balance).

“Real Health is having the reserves to do what you WANT to do and NEED to do, with ENERGY and ENTHUSIASM.” – Hugh Riordan, M.D. (Thank you, Dr. Hugh!) And thank you, Dr. Anne, for this wonderful series of personal reflections on the meaning of Real Health.

Each month we have guest authors write a column for our Health Hunters newsletter with the prompt “What Real Health Means to Me”. We’ve been blown away by the content, and the variety of answers, that they have provided. We know that Real Health is very personal and health goals vary. We hope that you find their stories inspiring and will share with your friends and family as well!

All “What Real Health Means to Me” articles

If you’d like to write an article of your own, please email us at newseditor@riordanclinic.org.