Healthy To A Hundred: Dr Selma Rashid On 5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

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Hormone Balance: You cannot achieve optimum health and balance without hormone balance. Loss of hormones result in continuous physical and mental deterioration, with a constant decline in quality of life. Depression is common in the elderly which is due to the effects of low hormones on the brain, as well as debility and loss of independence which also result from low hormones.

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 Dr. Selma Rashid.

Dr. Selma Rashid was born and raised in England. Trained in Chicago, IL and board certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Rashid is an expert with over two decades of experience in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She works as a hospital physician and is founder and president of the Anti-aging Medical Group. Dr. Rashid is the author of Hormones Explained: Anti-aging Medicine, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement, and the Controversies, published in 2010, and The Truth Behind Hormone Replacement Therapy: What You Need to Know to Remain Youthful and Healthy.

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’?

Thank you for this opportunity. I was 13 and obsessed with knowing everything there was to know about staying youthful. I lived in England and would sneak out to upscale pharmacy stores during the school lunch hour to see what is out there in the world of anti-aging treatments. Life and reality hit me in my 20s. I had an arranged marriage at 22, had 2 children, moved to the US, completed medical school, and by one twist of fate after another, I landed in a field of medicine I would not trade for any other career or path.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Before moving to the US, I was studying Chemistry and Polymer Science in the UK. It was planned that I would complete my degree in the US, but due to unavoidable circumstances, I had to wait a few years. When I was finally able to pursue my bachelor’s degree, I needed to take classes that coincided with my children’s school/preschool schedules. Near the end of completion, I was stuck. The only class available was a master’s level class in Endocrinology.

On the first day, the professor projected a slide showing a highly intricate diagram of the endocrine system. I was mesmerized by it. It showed an incredibly busy network of every hormone producing gland with every hormone it produced and how it was all interconnected. I was overwhelmed with the excitement to understand it. After a while, the professor walked in, introduced himself and dryly announced that by the end of the course we should have the slide memorized. There was a silence in the room which he broke by announcing he was joking. Everyone laughed with relief, but I felt sad and disappointed. This was the moment I decided I wanted to learn medicine and study endocrinology.

I got into medical school, but before long, realized that the “practice of medicine” is actually the “business of medicine” and does not always follow what is in the medical literature. My path was not conventional, but I remained focused in pursuing the truth in a field of medicine that alters how we age.

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 was no hero who opened a difficult door or showed me light in darkness. I did not believe I was someone whose life slotted in the mold of a successful person. I lived thousands of miles away from my family and was in a terrible marriage. I had no time for anything but to stay strong and survive. In every free mental moment, I prayed to God.

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?

Absolutely. I believe that the three character traits that were most instrumental to my success were: honesty/integrity; respect and trust with my employees; and strength and resilience.

Success must start on a foundation of integrity and honesty. In pursuing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, I constantly gauged that everything I said was the truth and the best treatment for my patients rather than what was profitable. In doing this, I have been able to keep my patient’s interests above everything and be confident I am always doing my best.

Respect and trust with my employees is extremely important to me. The people who work for me are those who share my philosophy and with whom I have mutual respect and trust. This has helped us to function as a team with the warmth of a family.

Strength and resilience has allowed me to fight for the truth, regardless of how controversial and unpopular it may be. In the years after 2002, hormone replacement became controversial and was essentially halted. I was ridiculed for not following the mainstream beliefs. We have finally reached a point where the truth and facts are gaining acceptance and the misinformation circulated by mainstream medicine is weakening.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. 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?

Aging with health, independence and dignity is an absolute priority for me. It is clear that hormone balance is a critical component for health and well-being. Hormone replacement became controversial in 2002 due to a mammoth study which resulted in negative outcomes due to poor design and using the wrong hormones in the wrong way. I dedicated myself to understanding the scientific facts and the truth. I looked at thousands of studies and attended meetings with experts around the world. I learned that hormone replacement is critically important to our well-being, but has to be done correctly. I use the most natural approach, using the highest quality of bioidentical hormones, in the safest way, with close monitoring while keeping it affordable.

My knowledge and experience in treating women over almost two decades has provided me expertise and priceless experience which is not achievable any other way.

Of note, hormone replacement is not a lucrative field, which has led providers in this area to add complexities to the treatment, as well as questionable methods of treatment so they can be more profitable.

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.

Many exciting claims of certain foods, potions and even hormones such as DHEA have been made over the years. None of these have lived up to their claim. Eating a healthy, organic diet, stress management, exercising, staying away from substance abuse and environmental toxins are all vitally important and effective steps to take. However, if there is a hormone imbalance, these other steps will only provide limited benefit.

The body is genetically programmed to start rapid degeneration after about age 50. Slow deterioration starts a decade earlier. Many patients come to me frustrated, stating they have impeccable diets, exercise well, have normal lives, but no matter what they do, they are gaining weight which they can’t lose, feel tired, have body aches, insomnia, underlying sadness, low motivation, and an overall sense of being unwell. This is resolved when hormone balance is restored. One of the consistent remarks I get is “I got my life back”.

When people ask me about all the claims of life changing supplements, my response has been, what is your body missing that it had in its healthy, youthful years? I doubt it’s a novel plant extract from the Amazon! If your gut is healthy, you eat a balanced healthy diet, exercise, manage stress, and have balanced hormones, you have the best chance of living a healthy, functional, balanced life.

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)

The 5 things I think you need to live a long and healthy life include: stress management, healthy eating, regular exercise, knowing your purpose, and hormone balance. Let me explain.

Manage Stress: This is easier said than done. I had endured 15 years of constant stress which resulted in a profoundly weak immune system. As a result, at age 37, I got a bone infection that nearly took my life.

Eat Healthy: Again, this is also easier said than done. There are countless examples of how people feel magnitudes better after cleaning up their diet.

Exercise: Regular exercise is critically important, but make sure to do something you enjoy so it has long-term sustainability.

Purpose: Connect to your soul and find your purpose in life. You cannot do justice to yourself if your own bearings are not calibrated.

Hormone Balance: You cannot achieve optimum health and balance without hormone balance. Loss of hormones result in continuous physical and mental deterioration, with a constant decline in quality of life. Depression is common in the elderly which is due to the effects of low hormones on the brain, as well as debility and loss of independence which also result from low hormones.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

Absolutely. While each person is unique, each of us needs the following to live a full life from my perspective.

  • Friends, family, community structure and support
  • Spiritual connection with an understanding of your existence
  • Being a giver, a good listener, reliable, and helpful
  • Keeping away from toxic substances and people

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?

I believe it’s a combination of both. For example, some people have gene mutations which are inherited and lead to a greater risk of cancer (BRCA mutation is one of many). There are also non-genetic causes of cancer, such as radiation and certain chemicals. Some people have a genetic predisposition to diseases such as osteoporosis and senile dementia, which can be curtailed by “nurture.”

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?

There have been a few situations where I was the target of malice and my career was being threatened. I never bowed or surrendered, but fought it with truth, steadfastness, and strength.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Whatever you do, always do your best, regardless of what the norms are. I have used this in every area of my life. When I look back at something in my life that did not go well, I always have the satisfaction of knowing that I tried my very best. This way, there is no regret.

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. :-)

If I had the power, I would use whatever force it takes, including the military and National Guard, to clear the country of drugs, as well as have a system to strictly control alcohol access to those with addiction and abuse potential. These substances devastate our peace, our country and its people in profound and tragic ways. These substances rob families of happiness, destroy and ruin the lives of children (leading them to also become substance abusers and troubled adults — if they survive). We pay a mindlessly ridiculous price for the physical and mental health damage caused by substance abuse. It causes a cycle of human destruction and tragedy. Our tax dollars are consumed like wildfire in dealing with the consequences of human behavior and damage from substance abuse and alcohol abuse.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

For those wanting to learn more about me, my book and my business, visit my website, www.antiagingmedicalgroup.com. Also, I’d love to connect with those interested in this topic on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

I am also the author of the new book, The Truth Behind Hormone Replacement Therapy, which is available on Amazon and other online book retailers.

Thank you so much for this opportunity!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.

About The Interviewer: Savio P. Clemente coaches cancer survivors to overcome the confusion and gain the clarity needed to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit. He inspires health and wellness seekers to find meaning in the “why” and cultivate resilience in their mindset. Savio is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), #1 best-selling author, syndicated columnist, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC. He has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been featured on Fox News, The Wrap, and has worked with Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, BuzzFeed, Food Network, WW and Bloomberg. Savio has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad. His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. Savio pens a weekly newsletter in which he delves into secrets to living smarter by feeding your “three brains” — head, heart, and gut- in the hope of connecting the dots to those sticky parts of our nature that matter to living our best life.

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Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor