When he graduated from medical school in 1969, Dr. Andrew Weil made a personal vow not to practice medicine the way it had been taught to him. Dr. Weil felt that modern medicine was too narrowly focused on the clinical and scientific. “If I were sick and in the hospital,” he explains, “I wouldn’t want to be treated the way I’d seen a lot of doctors treat their patients: without emotion.” What seemed to be lacking in the medical profession was a respect for the collaborative workings of the mind and the body. Where medicine had previously centered itself solely on curing the ailments of a patient, Dr. Weil decided to challenge himself to develop a new approach to health that not only supports the body’s innate power to heal itself, but also encourages preventive methods.
Currently, Weil is associate director of the Division of Social Perspectives in Medicine at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, and the author of numerous bestselling books and audiobooks, including SPONTANEOUS HEALING, EIGHT WEEKS TO OPTIMUM HEALTH, and a recently released two-CD audio program entitled BREATHING: THE MASTER KEY TO SELF-HEALING. With his affably engaging voice, Dr. Weil narrates every one of his audio publications. In fact, because of his extended lecturing experience, there was never a question that anyone other than Dr. Weil would record the books.
On average, the process of recording takes twelve to fifteen hours, spread out over a day-and-a-half of studio time. Unlike the experience of lecturing, which creates a natural flow, Weil says, “The recording booth is more interruptive. The director might stop over some click or gurgle that I couldn’t even hear. It takes a lot of work and concentration, but I enjoy it.”
One of the most interesting aspects of Weil’s self-healing program is that he encourages listeners to choose which of his suggestions they will incorporate into their everyday lives. “It’s important to give a choice. There needs to be a context that works for each individual.” More critical than following a strict prescription for health, Dr. Weil believes, is making the genuine effort to practice his self-healing suggestions. This March will mark the launch of an important new work for Dr. Weil—NUTRITION: EATING WELL FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH. It’s a reference guide that he believes “cuts through the incredible confusion about diet.” So vital is this text that Weil hopes it will be incorporated into the curriculum for all medical schools.
Perhaps the most stirring endorsement for Dr. Weil’s program for self-healing is the fact that he faithfully practices what he preaches. “I’m pretty good,” he says. But he has been known to stray—however rarely—from his own program. His favorite indulgences? Fine dark chocolate and pizza. “But it’s got to be good pizza!”—Rachel Astarte Piccione