NOTE: Though the 2020 Refresh Your Soul conference was canceled, Episcopal Retirement Services and Parish Health Ministry have received fantastic support!
Thank you for encouraging us and our efforts to safeguard the health of the community.We are grateful to our sponsors, donors & volunteers.
Dr. Lauri sat down with us to answer some questions about what we can learn from our biologic and physiologic responses to stress, diet, sleep, movement, and relationships, and how we can better position ourselves to own our health.
ERS: What aspect of refreshment will you be bringing to The Refresh Your Soul Conference?
DR. LAURI: People need to be their own best advocates in terms of their health care. And, hopefully, I will be able to give them some tools to do that. Here's the thing: coming from a physician's perspective, I know what I want. What I need them to give me is how we can have a better sense of utilization of our time. I also want to empower people. The doctor is just a part of the equation; the doctor is not the hub. The patient needs to be the hub.
ERS: Your "Homegrown UC Physicians" clip on YouTube is quite informative, precisely when you discuss 'partnering with patients' on their wellness. It has to be a partnership, but I have to be the one who REALLY cares about me. Probably more than you, correct?
DR. LAURI: Basically, that. People assume that everything Doctors say is on a computer in front of us. They need to know it is not. They need to know their timeline, their history. They should know their numbers, and what those numbers mean, at least on a rudimentary level. They should know what their doctors are up against in a conventional system, and how we are stuck in 'disease care.' And so, to have people feeling well, the partnership is critical. Also, knowing the basics of their biology; and really working on an understanding. People need to have an awareness about what their body needs, and what it is not getting. They also need to know what is already in their body, which may be interfering with their best health.
ERS: Regarding the basics of biology: Can you expound upon heart rate, blood pressure, i.e., 'The Numbers'?
DR. LAURI: Your height and weight are how we get the tools for what your ideal body weight is. Then, we're going to talk about waist-to-hip ratio, meaning where you park your fat, because there is a difference, as to what that does to you. Your heart rate and rhythm are critical to know what that's all about, and your blood pressure. Those are the biometrics we would be focusing on. I would also be looking at labs. Fundamental labs. Once a year, if you can have insurance cover it, these are things that folks should have, kind of at a bare minimum, to know how your body mechanics are working for you.
ERS: What does it mean to be a Physician of Integrated Health and Functional Medicine?
DR. LAURI: Without getting lost in the weeds, since there are so many ways to get to the goal, let's put it like this: Functional Medicine is really Applied Biology. We learn how the body works, what these components are, and how to achieve the best health. Integrated Medicine has evolved over many decades in the U.S. and globally.
ERS: What are the root causes that affect our health?
DR. LAURI: Depending on whom you follow, as far as a teacher, there are between four and six fundamental pillars of really creating health. I love the fact that The Blue Zone folks are part of this mission: we have learned from people who have lived long and lived well, how to do it right. The things that they incorporate: good food; natural movement in their environment; quality sleep; and the creation of sacred space, a process where you have an internal compass. You are balanced. Life may throw difficult challenges at you, but you know how to stay centered. You create time. You are not so distracted by all the millions of distractions on our hand-held devices, etc. You are creating space for reaching out and being part of something bigger than yourself, in the community at large. The pillars are how it has to be, how our bodies need it to be, to facilitate well-being. When we don't do those things, we create stress on the body, literally and figuratively, and we are NOT going to be able to get well unless we create those core values in our life.
ERS: Time for the Cincinnati questions. Can you please share the roots of Dr. Lauri?
DR. LAURI: I grew up in Wyoming (Cincinnati); my formative years were spent here. I went away for 25 years, raised my kids in Columbus, then came back to Cincinnati in 2011 to help my mother with my father's Alzheimer's. I connected with my alma mater of UC, and have been here since 2011.
ERS: Skyline or Gold Star?
DR. LAURI: Vegetarian.
ERS: Good answer.
DR. LAURI: Although, I hear Gold Star has some vegetarian nachos. I need to check that out.
ERS: I am an admirer of your Fridays-first philosophy.
DR. LAURI: I love Fridays. I have sculpted my schedule over the last year or so, just to be off on Fridays. That way, I have a three-day weekend to catch up on all my work I couldn't get to Monday through Thursday.
ERS: Favorite thing about Cincinnati?
DR. LAURI: I love Cincinnati's topography. It's green, and it's hilly, and I love the emphasis on Parks. I love to visit the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Parks. I'm a fan of Cincinnati. To me, the topography, our base, is very soul-enriching.