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dimanche 16 décembre 2012



During each of my visits to Bogor, the focus of the conversations has been Personal Health and Philosophical basis for the union of Health and Happiness.

The reason or the force behind such discussions is of course PJ who is the most considerate boss I have ever known and it is incredible that the best boss is in Indonesia, and he is head and shoulders above other bosses in the corporate world that I have known. In fact he runs his organization on much more of a human potential rather than a material potential. When I asked him why is that he spends so much time with his managers but never discusses the business, he answered; I am interested in their health and their happiness and the environment they live in. What they do with the improvement in their lives is up to them. On an average day, the managers may have up to 3 hours to share their thoughts and knowledge about health and happiness with PJ, and at least one meal a day is shared together. When I was there for six days, as could be seen in the photographs in an earlier blog, none of us ever ate alone. There would always be five or six people excluding PJ.
Even though I am a specialist physician, I learn so much from them: their explanations are lived in experiences and practical whereas an Indonesian doctor would tell you what he has learned or read in a book or article, work done by others.

If an overweight, unhealthy person goes to a Doctor and asks for advice, what he hears is:
Eat less and Exercise more and loose weight. Every one knows WHAT is that to be done, but what they need advice is on HOW to do it.
And, dangerously enough, if the doctor is a peon of a drug company, he may prescribe one of the two recently approved, expensive medications (which don't do their jobs well anyway) or an off the label usage of some of the newer designer drugs (3 to 5 dollars per day!). If they had a few seconds to spare, they may suggest a membership at a Gym (I saw a Celebrity Gym at Botanic Mall in Bogor, with very few people inside). Gyms are good at making your wallets weigh less and their tactics of signing up etc. are well known.
Nothing of the above advice gives the person who seeks the advice, HOW am I going to achieve Better Health?

What is missing in all the various Weight Loss programmes is that the body is not a machine that just responds to Exercise or diet composition in a prescribed fashion, plus a piecemeal approach without a mind/body/spirit/environment connection cannot be expected to produce good results. What these “experts” ignore is the fact that the body is a social unit, part of the society in which it lives:
It includes connection with
Politics of the Country
The fact that the social aspects of a body can defy scientific knowledge of Nutritionists and Lifestyle Coaches (especially from the Gym) are the two examples:
Despite high fat intake the French people have half the cardiovascular diseases than the Americans who eat less fat than the French with the thought that it would protect them against heart disease.
Playing Golf, which is very low intensity in Physical Activity, has a prolonged effect on the longevity of the person, as against very tough bodybuilding or cardio work out in a gym.

As an Anthropologist I can tell you the reason for both are the social nature of eating and playing.
The French, even the busiest of executives would take time out to have lunch, and the lunch is usually not a quick meal but a prolonged affair. Canteens of high calibre are provided for most office workers where the hour spent (very few workers in America get one hour for lunch) socializing and believe it or not, the canteens even provide wine for those who would like a sip.
Golf by its nature is social, and there are rituals and participations, which are all very social in nature. The fact that both, long lunches laden with fat or slow intensity exercise, are beneficial is attributable to their sociability
Any health programme for a community that does not take into consideration the various aspects of life a Body lives in context is bound to fail.

In an article published in December 2012 in Archives of Internal medicine, the results of an intervention among overweight or obese adults who met the criteria for Pre Diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Each group consisted of about 80 participants, all recruited from the lists of General Practitioners of medicine
First group received the USUAL care, the kind of care given by doctors and nurses to people who are overweight and are pre diabetic
The second group were given DVD instructions and the self-directed actions were carried at home.
The third group had a special curriculum delivered to them by a lifestyle coach, and in a small group.
There was a 3-month period of intense coaching followed by a year of maintenance phase of coaching and communications for groups 2 and 3
At the end of the 15 months, the social group (no 3) had fared much better than both self directed group as well as the usual care group. It is interesting to note that both successful aspects of this programme were non medical (self directed and lifestyle coaching)
The social group lost 2.2 kg/m2 of BMI from baseline, which is impressive, compared to 1.6 for self directed group at home and the poorest at 0.9 was for the usual care group (in fact in real life, majority of the patients or people who are overweight who seek advice would fall into this group and thus would be disappointed with the results)

That is why the experienced reality of the Sentul Healthy Happy Living Group is so successful. By August of 2012, the members had lost a collective 70 kg and just three months later, another 20 kg. Bringing the total up to 90 kg in weight loss. In short, each participant had lost a minimum of 10 kg.
This is the reflection of the coordinator of the group: PJ
People are not coerced to stay or prevented from leaving. It is up to the individual whether or not they would like continue participating in the activities of the group. So far all the participants have been employees of the same firm.
Philosophy of PJ
Healthy bodies exist in context of Happy minds.
Happy Bodies need good environment:
At home/families
At work
At the place of residence (suburb, village etc.)

During this visit to Bogor, the day begins with a pick up at the hotel at 6 AM; we congregate or join in, around the Lake at Sentul Golf Residences, and walk/jog for a minimum of one hour, not including the time for socialization.
The kind of questions asked of me, because of my role as a specialist Physician and Anthropologist, reflect the philosophy of the group. I will give you one such example:
The manager of The Exotic Fish Farming and Export asked me on my recent visit:
A lot of the time, 10-15 of the workers had to work until very late at night, perhaps until about 5 am to pack the fish for export.
What is your advice regarding their rest period after working for such a long time?
And what should they eat? Is there any specific kind of food that would give them a boost in energy?
A good practical question, not the kind I am asked in my usual professional role as a Specialist Physician.
My answer after a little deliberation was:
When they finish at 5 AM, they should rest at least 3-4 hours
Preferably in a quiet room, without too much light.
If they have eyeshades to cover their eyes while they sleep (if they don't, I will bring 15 on my next visit), they should wear them.
After 3-4 hours of rest, they should drink water and not any other soft drink or fruit juice. They could have a cup of Tea (green Tea) or Coffee (not coffee mix, three in one) with brown sugar for sweetener
Then they should exercise for one hour: Walking/jogging/running, to the best of their capacity
Then Breakfast together, cooked in the canteen of the fish packing plant:
Not too much rice
Chinese style breakfast or Bubur Ayam. Eggs recommended. No noodles or pasta
Then go back to work.
Health is not an absence of Disease but it is related to the state of your mind, and without working on your mind, the body tend to deteriorate. All ancient philosophies state this fact which seem obvious but neglected by the modern day purveyors of health who wish to sell you
Instant Health
Pills for Better Health
Supplements for Health

The advice from the Sentul Healthy Happy Living Group is
Get your mind ready to become Healthy in your body and we can tell you HOW you can do it…as each one of us have done it, including me, a Specialist Physician in the Metabolism of the Body.
On the last day of my stay in Bogor this time, I could jog for ten laps around the Sentul Lake, a total distance of 6 km. much to the cheer of the various members of the group, who knew this doctor who at a BMI of 22 kg/M2 still was the fattest looking one in the group…
No Longer!
Come and see us at the Sentul Happy Healthy Living and share our Spirit for Better Bodies in Better Societies.
(happy to have completed ten laps jogging around the lake at Sentul!)