Healthy To A Hundred: Dr Raphael Kellman On 5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente
When you have an issue, treat the root cause — I understand that every chronic illness has a number of root causes. I practice the art of integrative medicine, a fusion of conventional and functional medicine. I find success when I discover the root causes of my patients’ suffering which leads to putting them on the road to lasting recovery.
The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Raphael Kellman.
Raphael Kellman, MD, graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is an internist and functional medicine physician. He pioneered a groundbreaking new brand of medicine and healing called “Microbiome Medicine.” Dr. Kellman seamlessly integrates holistic and functional medicine with his visionary understanding of the world and nature, the root of who we are and its connection to health and healing. Dr. Kellman was the first doctor to recognize the profound importance of the microbiome; he speaks on the topic around the world and is widely respected as a groundbreaking force in holistic and functional medicine. Dr. Kellman has diagnosed countless thousands of patients around the world suffering from undiagnosed thyroid disease through his innovative testing approach which goes much deeper than conventional testing. Through his deep understanding of the importance of the microbiome, Dr. Kellman treats gastrointestinal issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, Lyme disease, cancer, autism spectrum disorders, and unexplained, unresolved health issues.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
My parents were both immigrants. As a Jew, my father escaped Nazi Germany — first to Czechoslovakia and ultimately to the United States. He then joined the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer in an elite unit nicknamed the “Richie Boys.” This unit consisted of German Jews who were familiar with the German army and Nazi tactics and therefore were a great source of counterintelligence to help the U.S. to defeat Hitler. What you may not know, is that nearly 65% of the intelligence officers in WWII were escaped Jews who enlisted to aid the U.S. army in its fight. Despite what my father endured; he never lost his belief in God’s goodness.
My mother was also an immigrant who came to this country with nothing. She was a big proponent of education. So as a child, I was surrounded by greatness and was taught that we all have the ability to transform ourselves and make a better life for ourselves. I grew up with a clear world view that good will always triumph over evil. And that we must take things into our own hands in order to create lasting change.
This set my foundational world view — that we are all interconnected. I see the big picture of the world and the overall purpose of life. And that has extended to my approach to medicine.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
When starting my career my biggest challenge was that I was doing something totally different and new — there were a lot of skeptics. I had to convince people that my approach was valid and right. I not only had to convince my patients, but the medical community as a whole that they were missing something. I needed to show that the conventional, mechanistic approach to medicine was outdated and there’s more to medicine than just diagnosing symptoms and prescribing drugs to treat them. So, I had to overcome a lot of skepticism and barriers to accept this new, holistic approach to disease and health. It is still an ongoing battle as I try to change the world’s view of medicine and healing.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There is not one particular person who inspired me to work in this field, but more my worldview and my overall purpose in life that has driven me. I’ve always felt that I have a strong calling and purpose, through my study of medicine I was able to find it and figure out where I could have the biggest impact on the world.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Kindness. My overall belief is that inherently the world is built on kindness, and this is the “music of my being.” My radical optimism and my focus on altruism as the key to healing — this has been one of my most important influences.
Knowledge and wisdom. The importance of balancing knowledge and wisdom, which is enclothed in humility
We are all interconnected. I believe in this existential state of connectedness, and this is what bonds us to the Infinite. This comes from years of study of the Kabballah. It is the secret formula for success. In my practice, I continue to prioritize that our body is connected throughout, this idea is true to more than just ourselves.
To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
At Kellman Wellness Center, I blend art and science by examining all of the body’s system and how they interact, including the gut, brain, and inflammatory markers. I look deeper to diagnose each person as an individual, instead of relying on routine tests that identify conditions based on values determined by the population range. Through one of my tests, I test the bacterial overgrowth in the microbiome and am able to treat the findings accordingly with diet, targeted herbs, and other supplements in addition with autonomic response. My practice is all about harnessing the power of nature and technology to augment the body and heal it on its deepest level, even reversing some diseases.
Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.
In my search to find total vitality, I discovered the importance of the microbiome and pioneered “microbiome medicine.” Seamlessly integrating holistic and functional medicine was my visionary understanding of world and nature, the root of who we are and its connection to health and healing.
Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)
- Balancing your microbiome — The microbiome is a miniature ecosystem in the gastrointestinal tract and is populated with microscopic, nonhuman organisms. It is intertwined and inseparable from the rest of us. Improving the health of the microbiome is one of, if not the, best way to crave a path for healing other disorders.
- Nutrition — The tiny dwellers within the microbiome digest our food, control our appetite, and regulate our metabolism. These bacteria can then also regulate our immune system, influence our mood and even determine gene expression.
- When you have an issue, treat the root cause — I understand that every chronic illness has a number of root causes. I practice the art of integrative medicine, a fusion of conventional and functional medicine. I find success when I discover the root causes of my patients’ suffering which leads to putting them on the road to lasting recovery.
- Utilize nature and technology when needed — Nature and technology work together and harnessing it to heal from the deepest point possible is crucial.
- Second Nature — We all possess a power of faith to believe in our second nature. Once we recognize this, we can transform from our first nature, which is based in selfishness and can lead to destruction, to our second nature, one of selflessness which will lead to not individual healing but moving to also heal the world and nature.
Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?
Wellness is very personal and must be self-driven. It is an engine of ascent. This yearning and striving to reach a higher level of integration and knowing. It includes incorporating wonder and awe into your life, spiritual intelligence, beyond just physical and emotional health. Wellness is an increasing change in the understanding of self.
Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?
People need to nourish their hearts and souls, and the best way to accomplish this is by developing their second nature and then activating it. As human beings, this will finally make us feel fulfilled since we will make our way through life with a sense of meaning and purpose. Compared to our first nature, the second nature has a much more motivating power.
Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?
My biggest challenge starting out was that I was doing something totally different and new — there were a lot of skeptics. My approach, which was a huge departure from the current model of medicine, while different, was a valid and the right approach. I wanted to convince the medical community as a whole that they were missing something, I felt like my patients would not only benefit but would thrive within this new practice. I wanted to show that the conventional, mechanistic approach to medicine was outdated. That there was more to medicine than just diagnosing symptoms and prescribing drugs to treat them. So, I had to overcome a lot of skepticism and barriers to accept this new approach and holistic approach to disease and health. This is an ongoing battle, as I am trying to change the worldview of medicine and healing.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
Back when I was just getting started, many people were doubting my line of thinking and practice. I had to continue to push for holistic medicine and try to show both my peers and patients the importance of balancing the microbiome and healing the body from the inside out. Therefore, an important life lesson that I had to learn was to continue to push forward when you know what you’re talking about is right and can help people, despite others’ resistance. I am steadfast in my beliefs — no matter what challenges I faced or who did not agree or believe in what I do and always believed in our incredible ability to transform ourselves. I truly believe that altruism is the one true motivating factor — that is an infectious force that will lead us to ultimate healing.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The power of faith is to believe in our second nature. Once we recognize this, we can transform from our first nature, one of selfishness which has led to destruction, to our second nature, one of true altruism and selflessness — this will lead to not only individual healing but healing the world and nature.
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.