What guides us to different destinations in life is determined by the way we have chosen to set our sail. The way that each of us thinks makes the major difference in where each of us arrives. The major difference is not circumstance, the major difference is the set of the sail.-Jim Rohn
The part can never be well unless the whole is well
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.-Proverbs 17:22
Like the Roman deity Janus, I believe in looking both to the past and the future. My medical spirit is a product of being a 1st generation son of Greek immigrants in which I grew up with one foot in the Greek heritage and one foot in the American culture, whereupon such an interface of both worlds left a unique imprint on my being and essence. My outlook was shaped by witnessing the vitality of the Greek village as seen through the lens of my grandparents and the subsequent health challenges faced by my parents and their generation as they attempted to become assimilated into the modern culture of America. However, change and improvement is possible as I observed and experienced a medical rebirth taking form through the reexamination of dynamic and timeless health principles whose line could be drawn from the Ancient Greek Olympians, the medical wisdom of Hippocrates, the ascetic and religious principles of traditional cultures as manifested in the ancient Christian church, and the modern research of the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle which confirmed numerous health benefits that everyone has instinctively understood.
As a Son of Hellenism my ethos is centered around the historical, philosophical, and medical significance of the Greeks and their timeless role in creating an ideal frame of mind in how to think and act regarding health, wellness, and relationships. It has been said that Ancient Greece was at the center of the world and that although they didn’t invent everything, they made everything better. As the bride of the East and mistress of the West they took the best of the East from ancient, dynamic, and traditional cultures and repurposed it and spread it through their unique framework and outlook to the West (through the help of the Romans of course).
“We celebrate the past to awaken the future.”John F Kennedy
It is with this integrated approach that I use as a foundation to think on health and my role as a physician and created my health philosophy and belief system that is at the core of Pappas Health.
- PATIENT CENTERED
- BIOCHEMICAL INDIVIDUALITY
- HIGH TECH AND HIGH TOUCH
- IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE PERSON WHO HAS THE ILLNESS, THAN THE ILLNESS THE PERSON HAS
- ROOT CAUSES NEED TO BE INVESTIGATED- THE WHY NOT JUST THE WHAT
- SYSTEMS MEDICINE IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE-THE BODY IS A WEB-LIKE INTEGRATED SYSTEM RATHER THAN SEPARATE SILOS OF ORGANS
- MIND BODY SPIRIT (PSYCHE-SOMA-PNEUMA ) ARE INTERCONNECTED -YOU SHOULD RESPECT YOUR BODY, HONOR YOUR SPIRIT, CULTIVATE YOUR MIND
- WHOLE > PART- WE ARE MORE THAN THE SUM OF OUR PARTS
- PARTNERSHIPS WITH PATIENTS ARE VITAL TO HELP SUPPORT THE EXCITING TREND AND UNIQUE EXPERIMENTS OF THE CITIZEN SCIENTIST AND N OF 1
- NOBLE TRADITION OF CRITIQUE FROM WITHIN SHOULD BE STRESSED BY THE INDIVIDUAL , THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, AND PHYSICIANS.
- HEALTH = POSITIVE VITALITY (HEALTH IS NOT THE LACK OF ILLNESS)
- WISDOM OF CULTURE > PRESTIGE OF SCIENCE – THE MODERN CULTURE LIKE OUR FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT IS TOXIC – WE MUST PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
- ASCETIC DISCIPLINES – SILENCE, SIMPLICITY, AND SOLITUDE NEEDED FOR HEALING- WE NEED TO LEAVE THE CITY AND GO METAPHORICALLY IF NOT ACTUALLY TO THE DESERT OR COUNTRY AS WE SEEK TIMES OF ISOLATION TO HELP RETAIN AND PRESERVE OUR HEALTH TRADITIONS. IN THE TRADITION OF PLUTARCH, ANCIENT GREEK MORALIST, PHILOSOPHER, AND BIOGRAPHER; BOTH ACTION AND CONTEMPLATION ARE ESSENTIAL.
- SET OF YOUR SAIL IS CRITICAL TO HEALTH – BELIEF SYSTEMS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN DIET AND EXERCISE.
- RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE AND SELF ARE AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR IF NOT THE MOST CRITICAL INGREDIENT IN HEALTH
- WELLNESS-REQUIRES PURPOSE, MEANING, AND CONNECTION
- THE CREATION OF HEALING PLACES AND SPACES IS IMPORTANT FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS – THINK OF THE ASCLEPIAN TEMPLES -ANCIENT GREEK DEITY OF HEALING-WHICH WERE A REFUGE AND A TREATMENT FROM THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL BURDENS OF WAR AND STRIFE AND LATER BECAME THE MODEL OF FOR THE MODERN DAY SPAS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT FAMOUS PHYSICIAN HIPPOCRATES WAS AN ASCELPIAD AND WAS KNOWN TO STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF SCIENTIFIC REASON AND THE SACRED.
- FOCUS ON THE NATURE OF THE SACRED (LOVE, WISDOM, COOPERATION, DETACHMENT,BEAUTY, DIGNITY) RATHER THAN THE NATURE OF THE LIMITED PERSONALITY ( NEGATIVITY, IGNORANCE, DESTRUCTIVENESS, MATERIALISM, UGLINESS, IGNOMINY)- THE FORMER IS ASSOCIATED WITH RESTORATION AND RENEWAL AND PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM HEALING, THE LATTER ASSOCIATED WITH EXCESSIVE STRESS AND THE CHRONIC OVERACTIVATION OF THE DESTRUCTIVE SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM AND EXHAUSTION.
- STRATEGIC THINKING IS ESSENTIAL TO ACHIEVE HEALTH – WE MUST THINK AS THE INDOMITABLE WINSTON CHURHILL DID IN REGARDS TO REPETITION OF HISTORY WHICH LIKE HEALTH AND DISEASE FOLLOW ENDLESS RECURRENT CYCLES AND PATTERNS -“Want of foresight , unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong-these are the features which constitutes the endless repetition of history.”
PAPPAS HEALTH TRIAD – MY MEDICAL FILTER
PHYSICIAN PHILOSOPHER – I TRY TO EMULATE AND HONOR THE WISDOM AND SPIRIT OF HIPPOCRATES, GALEN, SAINT LUKE, MAIMONIDES, AVICENNA IBN SINA, PARACELCUS, WILLIAM OSLER, ALBERT SCHWEITZER, AND LEON KASS – Physicians who embodied a philosophical and humanistic ethos as they looked to address the physical and metaphysical causes of what ails the individual and society.
FUSIONIST APPROACH – FINDING MERIT AND INSIGHT IN EVERY CORNER
THE GREEK MIRACLE – ANCIENT PATH TO WELLNESS
- HEALTHY MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT WERE NURTURED OR TUNED VIA:
- Strict diet or in Greek δίαιτα (diata)
- Rigorous physical exercise
- Daily meditational walks
- Lessons on ethics and character
- Regular contemplation of the Cosmos and the important subjects of philosophy, music, math, politics and the polis, and religion
It is with these thoughts and beliefs that I reflect and contemplate health as I assess myself and my patients, whom I view as friends and kindred partners. My natural fusionist philosophy has always served me well and has been a way to garner support from all corners, which is not so easy as a physician working in the epicenter of the political universe on the outskirts of Washington D.C. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors, the eminent professor of political philosophy Steven F. Hayward, “I’ve always been a fusionist, finding merit and insight in every corner, and often acting the diplomat in trying to reconcile the competing kingdoms in our ideological game of thrones.” Along those same lines I believe Professor Hayward is also fond of describing the importance of shedding light, not heat, on topics.
Although I am an optimist by nature, I am also a pragmatist and realist when it comes to the many challenges we face to create and maintain real Hippocratic and Platonic wholistic health. This point is brought to light by the excellent author and expert in cultural renewal and decay Roger Kimball in reviewing the work of Jacques Barzun’s historical book, From Dawn to Decadence who states, “Mr. Barzun does not hesitate to pass judgement on the failures, present as well as past, that he chronicles. He is convinced that our age, despite its extraordinary technological capabilities, is an Alexandrian age: a time of cultural sunset, depleted energies, and moral confusion.”
The same landscape can be observed from the sacred and religious perspective, ”Most of us have forgotten that we are not only brain and will, senses and feelings; we are also spirit. Modern man has lost touch with the truest aspect of himself; and the result of this Inward Alienation can be seen all too plainly in his restlessness, his lack of identity, and his loss of hope,” Kallistos Ware , British Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Thusly, everyone is worthy of a personalized plan through a meaningful partnership with a dynamic physician to overcome the inherit challenges of modernity and the dysfunctional health care system (it is better thought of as a disease care system) to help create strategies for both physical and metaphysical resiliency and growth.
Pappas Health WHY:
We believe that everyone is worthy of personalized attention though a meaningful partnership with a supportive medical team whose healthcare philosophy is inspired by dynamic traditionalism principles to help them achieve their true health potential and be the best version of themselves.