Home Heart Health Food Heart health pioneer Dr. Ornish to visit Wilmington

Heart health pioneer Dr. Ornish to visit Wilmington

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Tickets available for a book-signing event on Thursday, Sept. 20, with the best-selling author and doctor.

If you are a cardiac patient, you likely know about Dr. Dean Ornish’s extensive research on the subject. And even if you’re not, you may have picked up one of his six best-selling books to improve your health or to research recipes for friends or family members. The Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation at New Hanover Regional Medical Research Center is based on the Ornish Reversal Program.

Next week, locals will have a chance to learn more. Ornish comes to Wilmington, and his visit includes an event open to the public. He wants to spread the message about how profound certain lifestyle changes can be.

“People think that for something to be powerful, it has to be high tech,” he said. “And while new drugs and surgical procedures have their place, simple changes can really be life changing.”

Medical research is beginning to catch up in quantifying these improvements, but Ornish said he’s seen the results firsthand for years. He’s worked with patients who couldn’t walk across the room yet experienced improvements in just a few weeks. He knows those who have weaned themselves off medications they thought they’d be on for the rest of their lives. There is no shortage of medical information available now, but he’s found that people are thirsty for this kind of knowledge.

“Patients love it,” he said. “It allows them to take control of their health and well-being.”

Ornish will be in the area on Thursday, Sept. 20. Earlier in the day, he delivers the keynote address for the Cardiac Cerebral Vascular Regional Conference for health care professionals. In the evening, there’s an event and book-signing with Ornish-approved food. Tickets are $30 and attendees get a book.

“We are excited that we can be on the forefront of this effort in working with Dr. Ornish and help improve the lives of patients,” said Jeff Soukup, manager of the NHRMC Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation. “And we’re excited to bring such experts to the area to share their knowledge.”

The NHRMC program is an in-depth nine-week curriculum based on Ornish’s methods. It focuses on exercise, stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation, nutrition, and group support. During the program, groups of about 15 participants meet for four hours a day twice a week with the help of a support team that includes a medical director, program director, nurse case manager and experts in stress management, behavioral health, fitness and nutrition.

“It’s very gratifying that the last 40 years of research and work shows that simple changes in diet and lifestyle have these results,” Ornish said. “We are co-creating a new paradigm that can transform the lives of patients. It’s rewarding for them and us.”

Ornish is the author of books such as “The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health,” “Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease” and “Everyday Cooking with Dean Ornish.” He will discuss some of his findings at the event.

“I would encourage people to come on out and let us show you,” he said.

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