WATCH: What's the one thing to do every day? Deepak Chopra explains

The author and integrative medicine expert says the answers to health and wellness questions come from within

Published March 28, 2017 2:15AM (EDT)

Last week’s failed Republican health care bill, and any iteration of an American health care plan, misses the mark on creating a foundation of true wellness, according to author Deepak Chopra.

Speaking with Salon about his New York Times bestselling new book, “You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters,” Chopra talked about his definition of health care.

“What we’re calling ‘health care’ is health insurance. It has nothing to do with true health care,” the doctor and world-renowned pioneer of transformation said.

Chopra’s idea of “true health care” is a combination of stress management, good sleep and exercise, learning to be emotionally and socially intelligent, and harnessing the powers of intuition and creativity. Those components are missing from our national conversation on health, he says.

“True health reform will happen when we all collectively participate in the right information, the right knowledge and then help each other to create an ecosystem where we can actually create a more meaningful, purposeful life for ourselves,” Chopra said. Ultimately, it can lead to a more peaceful, healthier and sustainable world.

Chopra said he sees a shift in the medical and business fields towards more of a holistic vision, but progress is slow. The key to wellness actually rests within one’s self, he says.

If you do one thing for yourself a day, he says, you should meditate. Chopra, who meditates and practices yoga daily, says even one week of meditation practice can "change your life."

The benefits of meditation, according to Chopra, include decreased blood pressure and hypertension, lowered cholesterol levels, reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline, more efficient oxygen use by the body, increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA, improved immune function, and decreased anxiety, depression and insomnia.

“If people knew the benefits of meditation, they’d fit it into their schedules, just like brushing their teeth or taking a shower,” he said.

Chopra leads guided meditation through the digital platform Jiyo. And starting April 10, he is teaming up with Oprah for a free 21-day meditation experience, "Hope in Uncertain Times."

By Alexandra Clinton

Alexandra (Lexie) Clinton is the Executive Producer of SalonTV. She produces all of Salon’s video series, including “Salon Talks,” “Salon Stage,” and “Salon 5 with D. Watkins.”

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