Last month Japan lost a real national treasure. It was the 105-year old doctor Shigeaki Hinohara.
Doctor Hinohara made an enormous contribution to the Japanese healthcare. He led five foundations apart from being the president of the International Hospital St. Luke in Tokyo. He was introduced comprehensive annual check-ups in the Japanese medical system, which greatly contributed to the longevity of the citizens.
Those are really important achievements, but his longevity and the fact that he still practiced medicine until a couple of months prior his death that defies everything we expect from old age.
You are probably wondering: how did he manage to live such a long life in good health?
Did he follow any strict diet? No.
Did he have a healthy balance between work and life? No.
Did he have enough sleep? No.
Doctor Hinohara, who worked for about 18 hours a day, every day of the week, shared his thoughts.
Here are some of his points:
• Energy is derived from good feelings, not from sleeping a lot or eating well.
• Don’t tire your body with a lot of rules like bedtime or lunchtime. You probably remember when you were kids, when you were having fun, you often that you need to sleep or eat. Doctor Hinohara believed that we can should that attitude in adulthood.
• If you want to have a long healthy life, don’t be overweight. “Drink coffee for breakfast, and a glass of milk with some orange juice and a bit of olive oil in it. Drink milk and a few cookies for lunch. Dinner is vegetables, rice and fish and,100 grams of lean meet two times a week.
• You don’t have to retire, but if you must, do it much later than 65. He claimed that the current age for retirement was determined half a century ago, when the average lifespan in his country was 68 years. Now people live longer, so they are able to work longer.
Kawaguchi advises not to take the doctors’ advice at face value, and recommends using animal therapies and the need for visual and liberal arts as healing methods.
If your doctor recommends taking a test or surgery, ask him whether he would suggest that to his wife or children. Doctors can’t cure everyone. Why cause unnecessary pain by undergoing a surgery?
Animal therapy and music can help you more than doctors think. Pain is a mysterious thing, and enjoying life is the best way to forget about it. Hospitals need cater this basic need: Everyone wants to have fun. At our hospital we have art classes, animal therapy and music.
Science can’t help or cure people by itself. Every person is unique, and diseases are associated with their hearts. To know the condition and help people, we all need visual and liberal arts, not just medical ones.”