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Dr. Andrew Tutino on Healthier Living

Andrew Tutino, D.C., also known as Dr. Andy, is a licensed chiropractor and a leading lecturer at the Optimum Health Institute, a holistic educational program designed to cleanse the mind and body for better health. His practice focuses on healthcare, as opposed to disease care. The author of Stop & Think: The Seven Habits of Healthy Living, Dr. Tutino focuses on healthcare instead of disease care. In this interview, Tutino explains simple changes people can make to live healthier lives.

What are the biggest roadblocks to total health?

The obvious one is that everyone wants to be like Michael Jordan, and we’re not. We forget that we’re all individual, living beings and we’re special in our own way. What sidetracks us is wanting to be something else. As soon as we start doing that, it distracts us from being healthy.

Sometimes the question is: “Why can my friend eat at all those places all day long and I can’t?” Well, how do you know your friend is OK? How do you know that when he goes home, he isn’t taking a bottle of pills? How do you know he can’t go to the restroom? Being true to yourself is the first step to being healthy.

What are the worst beliefs about health people buy into?

The fundamentally wrong answer that what will make you healthy is medication. The public is medicating itself based on ads and the media; the majority of people have no idea what’s in these drugs. They think the medication gets rid of your symptoms and problem solved. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody is getting true healthcare, they’re getting disease care. There’s a place for medication and surgery, but not like it is right now. Someone might complain of an upset stomach, take XYZ pill and think they’re healthy again. You need to realize that this pill might make you feel better, but it’s not making you healthy.

How do you help someone realize the benefits of getting healthy?

When people feel they’re healthy, they’re actually saying they have no pain or sickness. Now, high blood pressure is not painful. Most cancers are not painful until you have symptoms and it’s already too late. That’s not the way to gauge how healthy you are. It’s important to understand that life is a mystery; you can’t tell me where you’re going to be 20 years from now. Your job is to take care of your body as long as you can. I ask my patients, “If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?” You can get a new house, buy a new car and new clothes, but this body is it for you! Are you going to take care of it?

How important is a spiritual foundation to health and healing?

The spiritual side of life is 70%—if not more—of how we function. It makes us complete. There comes a time in life when you have your car, your house, your dog, your cat, your money, and you’re going to ask, “Now what?” When you do that, it means you’ve missed the part you need the most: the spiritual side of life. You need to be connected to something bigger—the Almighty or whatever you believe in. I ask myself all the time, “Am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right choices?” People who have a strong spiritual side usually respond a lot better to health. Inside, they’re right. If you have that, you’ll be a complete person.

What role do doctors and healers play in a healthy lifestyle?

Doctors and healers are educators of unbiased information, tailored for an individual. The idea is for me to give you a proper diagnosis. Really what you’re asking me for is information. I tell my patients to get on the Internet and ask the question. You’ll be patched into people all over the world who know what’s going on. People need to use all the tools available to them. That’s how I see the future.

Where does alternative medicine fit into living a healthier life?

When people ask me about a new machine or nutritional product, I ask them, “What is it? What are the known side effects? What are the risks? Can you get hurt doing this?” As long as you’re not going to get hurt, give it a shot. I believe that healing comes from a lot of different places. Let your body sleep; eat good, light food; drink water; and get away from the sugar, caffeine, drugs, alcohol and toxic mental environments. Guess what happens? You get better. It’s not rocket science. I also believe that when you clean the colon, you get better. In modern medicine, they fight that technique (colonics, enemas), yet these things have been going on forever. Cleaning out the body is important.

What else can people do to achieve better health?

Healthcare isn’t so much what you’re doing, but what you’re not doing. You’re not eating your five servings of fruits and veggies a day; you’re not drinking your eight to ten glasses of water a day; you’re not exercising an hour a day; and you’re not sleeping eight hours. You’re doing some things, but what you’re not doing is sometimes a problem. That’s why you should start living your life in healthcare as opposed to disease care. Start looking down the road. Take weight gain, for example. A person should be asking, “Where’s this road leading me? It’s taking me down a path that I don’t want to go, so I’d better look at this now.”

What about kids’ healthcare?

Having healthy kids has to do with family structure. Studies show that families who eat together are healthier families. If you’re eating together, whoever’s preparing the meal can control the diet. There’s also social interaction at the dinner table. You’re spending time with your children, talking about life in general. You have to teach your children: By sitting at the table with them and having a nice dinner every night you can say, “Wait, you haven’t had your salad tonight. You’re not drinking enough water. I haven’t seen you eat those vegetables.”

What natural health practices do you recommend?

If your skin is dry, you’re dehydrated. Drink more water and use sesame or jojoba oil. Sesame oil benefits seven layers of skin; jojoba oil is closest to your skin’s oil. Your skin is the largest organ of elimination; be careful what you put on it. I encourage my patients to use a natural-bristle skin brush on dry skin. You can find them at drugstores, department stores, bath shops and health food stores. Start from the bottom of the feet and brush upward toward your heart with long movements, then take a shower or bath when you’re done. The brushing increases circulation and elimination. Another practice I recommend is scraping your tongue first thing in the morning. This process removes toxins that come out during the night.

How much should people try to change in the first 30 days?

You need to make a decision, but go slowly. Sometimes people make the decision and then think they need to do it all in one day. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we set ourselves up to fail. Make the decision and put the changes into your lifestyle slowly, one at a time.

For more information about Dr. Andrew Tutino, visit www.stopandthink.us.

Posted: 12/28/07