Mark Hyman, M.D.
Functional Medicine Doctor & NY Times bestseller
Dr. Mark Hyman is a practicing family physician and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field of Functional Medicine. He is the founder and director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, a 13-time New York Times best-selling author, and Board President for Clinical Affairs for The Institute for Functional Medicine. He is the host of one of the leading health podcasts, The Doctor’s Farmacy. Dr. Hyman is a regular medical contributor on several television shows and networks, including CBS This Morning, Today, Good Morning America, The View, and CNN. He is also an advisor and guest co-host on The Dr. Oz Show.
connect with Mark Hyman, M.D.
What is your wellness philosophy?
Wellness is a journey, not a destination. So many are unwell and don’t know why. They suffer from FLC Syndrome (feel like crap). This results from a disconnection between the way we live, eat, think, move, sleep, rest, connect, love and meet our needs as biological creatures. We all need to remove the impediments to health and provide the ingredients for health. This is the foundational philosophy of functional medicine, the science of creating health. The foundations of wellness start with real, whole foods, moving our bodies, deep sleep, living rhythmically, nurturing brain and soul care with meditation and building and feeding deep connections and belonging. The roadmap of functional medicine puts the science behind the tools and a roadmap for thriving and healing.
What brought you into wellness?
My 8th grade gym teacher showed us a movie of handicapped or elderly athletes, like Larry Lewis who at 105 ran five miles back and forth to work every day as a waiter. He inspired me to move and run and take care of myself. I grew up in Spain and my mother shopped in local markets every day and grew a garden in our backyard, which also had fruit trees. I then became a vegetarian while in high school and a yoga teacher before I became a doctor and I studied nutrition at Cornell 40 years ago. Wellness has been my whole life.
What does You. We. All. mean to you?
Illness starts with “I” and wellness starts with “we." We all have to learn self care, self love, and self nurturing. We also have to focus outward, not just inward, on human connection and love and relationships and community and belonging. These are essential ingredients for health and may even be more important than what we eat. And I am not talking about Facebook or Instagram. We need real face time, eye gazing, heart opening—time to see and be seen. An old African proverbs states that “if you want to go swiftly go alone, but if you want to go far go together”." We know that connected human relationships can have positive effects on gene expression and immunity and more. Community is the medicine and the cure for so much of what’s wrong with our world. It is the most powerful way to change behavior. You are more likely to be overweight if your friends are overweight, but you are also more likely to be healthy if your friends are healthy. We are social beings; it is only all together that we can transform what is out of balance in ourselves and the world
What gets you up in the morning?
The joy of being alive, of being able to love and play and learn and grow. The joy of doing work that makes the world a little bit better, being of service in the healing of individuals and the community. The cuddles from my wife, the purring of the kitties, and the wagging tail of my dog. And the gift of being in this magic adventure of life.