Costa Rica Medical Tourism: Dr. Dudl Interview (Part 6)

  • by crv.staff
  • 23.02.09
  • 2:12 PM UTC


This post is the last of a 6-part Medical Tourism and wellness interview series with Dr. Jim Dudl, our Chief Medical Officer at La Joya Perfecta, Costa Rica.

Links to the previous interviews are below:

Part 1, Medical Tourism, the Costa Rica Hospital System

Part 2, More about Costa Rica’s Hospitals

Part 3, Dr. Dudl’s views about factors when you are considering medical tourism

Part 4 covers the differences in wellness between folks in the US and Costa Rica

Part 5 addresses the Costa Rica ‘blue zones’ and differences in life expectancy

Q: So what would you tell someone who is on the “wrong path”, say, an American living in the US who is close to being obese? And let’s say the likelihood is they are going to live up to age 74 but maybe they are in their 50’s today and they could choose to change their course and actually extend to a very high quality of life. Maybe extend their life 10 more years to age 84, possibly seeing their grandchildren graduate form college as opposed to never seeing that. And you are building a wellness community to be able to assist people to do that. What would you tell them?

A: First of all to do a reality check now.

  • Are you overweight?
  • Are you exercising?
  • Are you right now living a very healthy lifestyle?

If you tend to not eat any fats, if you tend to not eat any sweets, if you are thin, if your blood pressure is normal, if your cholesterol is good, you exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you are probably doing everything well.

If you are not doing all of those things, those are hard habits to form, to get into those good habits. It is so difficult that a majority of the people don’t do it on their own. If you can, or those who can afford to do it, immersing yourself in the new lifestyle is the best way to get a jump-start on changes. And while you are immersing yourself in the new lifestyle, learning all the important things that will help you continue that new lifestyle once you go back home, after you have this immersion in high quality life.

By the way, there is one more thing that we haven’t emphasized yet, because it is harder to quantify, and that is the stress and spiritual issues that need to be dealt with. As important as it is to live another 10 years, it is more important that you enjoy life now and in those 10 years. So those are aspects that we would want to consider, dealing with yoga, meditation, whatever. If stress is an important part or if you are not living a high quality emotional life, that’s something else that could be attended to.

Q: And how is La Joya Perfecta attending to that?

A: La Joya Perfecta will ask you to assess yourself in these aspects of stress, of fulfillment. If you feel if you are not where you want to be, again our job would be to advise you. We’d offer ideas on things that we either provide at La Joya Perfecta, to help you get there or at least how you can further fulfill those aspects.

Q: Its 2009 today, where do you see La Joya Perfecta in 5 – 10 years?

A: Let’s just take a person and say that if you would be coming down to La Joya Perfecta at say age 45 and you, at age 45, cannot afford to stay down there for more than a few weeks, or a week or two or three, or whatever you can afford. I would see you coming down, getting an assessment, learning a quick immersion in a good lifestyle, and learning how to extend that when you go home.

I can see you coming back yearly and extending that 1-3 weeks longer each year. And every time you come back, not only do you get back into that immersion, which is, we hope, so comfortable that you are going to want to do it as much as you can, but you will also be learning and reinforcing those good habits.

So 5-10 years from that first date you will be already happier. Then when you are 65, I could see you saying this is such a wonderful lifestyle, this is so much less expensive, about a quarter of the cost for a similar environment in the US. I think I am going to settle into this community and go back to the states for a few weeks or months in the year.

Q: You said something very interesting there – Community. In a lot of cases, it’s true where ‘Like attracts Like’. Do you think that it’s important for people who are trying to make these lifestyle changes to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals?

A: The community aspect is very important. We are how we live, we become how we live. There is no question about that. The tone will be set by La Joya Perfecta. It is built on wellness that is its core central theme. The La Joya Perfecta Community will work to make sure the staff emanates that feeling with everything they do. It will work at attracting people in the long run that want to live that way. And it will, more likely succeed, than almost any other opportunities to do this kind of thing.

Q: If you had one parting piece of advice or words to your readers, what would that be?

A: It’s time to do a quick check right now on where you are, with your lifestyle. If you are not already living a good lifestyle and eating correctly and exercising correctly, dealing with your emotional issues and stress, then this is the time to do it.

Life does not give you a second pass. It’s time to start enjoying and building those lifelong habits that are going to let you live a longer and a high quality life.

Dr. Jim Dudl

Rating 3.00 out of 5

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