Grand County is where world-famous longevity doctor/author found his path
June 30, 2008
What could Dr. Terry Grossman, a traditionally trained, general family practice physician turned holistic medicine practitioner and longevity author, have learned from his 15 years delivering babies at Kremmling Memorial Hospital and seeing patients in his private practice in Granby?
Apparently enough to warrant profound philosophical and practical enhancements to his approach to medicine:
“I’ve begun writing a book about my medical experiences in Grand County,” he said, while making sure not to give away too much detail about what will be his third published book, but suggesting a projected 2010 release date.
“It will be vignettes of the experiences I had while practicing medicine in Grand County,” he said, adding that the book will be reflective of society in general.
Dr. Grossman practiced medicine in Grand County from 1980-1995 after earning his degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine.
His mentor was none other than local medical legend and county doctor pioneer, Dr. Ernest Ceriani, (featured in the award-winning Life Magazine photographic essay, “Country Doctor” by Eugene Smith, Sept. 20, 1948).
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It was under ‘Doc Ceriani’s direction (1980-1990) that Dr. Grossman learned the unique art of rural medicine where anything can and did happen.
He recalled one moonlit night when he delivered seven babies.
“They came in one per hour,” he said. “It was crazy.”
Later, an experience in 1990 spurred a significant change in Dr. Grossman’s approach to medicine. At the recommendation of a patient, Dr. Grossman took an herbal remedy for residual knee pain which was due to a skiing accident. It worked.
This launched a noted period of transition (1990-1995). He began moving from conventional medicine toward integrated or complementary medicine. Along with appropriate drug prescriptions, surgery, or treatment, he would advise specific diets, exercise and supplements.
He treated a patient for diabetes with traditional prescriptions for years and wondered if better results could be achieved by getting aggressive about exercise, diet and supplements.
The patient agreed to try it and it was considered a success as indicated by significant weight loss and more consistent blood sugar levels.
“Soon, four out of five of my patients wanted to take that approach,” Dr. Grossman said, noting that people were willing to try less traditional approaches.
“As I learned more and more about nutrient therapies, I would offer more holistic options,” he said. “I was really surprised that so many people in Grand County liked them.”
The local pharmacy later expressed a drop in number of pharmaceutical prescriptions from Dr. Grossman’s practice. “They adjusted accordingly and started carrying more herbal supplements,” he said.
In 1994, Dr. Grossman attended the first American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine meeting. This prompted him to set up a private practice in Lakewood dedicated to preventive and holistic medicine. Now, people who want to improve and sustain their health can make an appointment at the Grossman Wellness Center and undergo comprehensive longevity exams and treatments. Details are available at the clinic’s Web site: http://www.grossmanwellness.com.
His practice booms perhaps partially due to his best selling books, “The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Living Forever,” and more recently a book co-authored by inventor, Ray Kurzweil, “Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever” (the second edition will be released later this year). With over 100,000 copies sold, the second edition has great promise of reaching ever-growing populations interested in living longer, healthier lives.
“Those words are very deliberate,” Grossman said about the subtitle of the latest book. He has a very practical approach to preventive medicine that includes increased exercise and a healthy diet, all in an effort to stay alive long enough to enjoy the advancements of medical technologies.
According to Dr. Grossman’s estimate based on the speed at which technology advances, that time will be in forty to fifty years or so.
“Keep yourself healthy enough so when these breakthroughs occur you are in good enough shape to take advantage of them,” he said.
So what can we do in Grand County to ensure living to 2050 and still be healthy enough to possibly take advantage? “Diet and exercise are fundamental,” he said.
He recommends eating healthy, exercising regularly and getting physical exams including pap smears, colonoscopies and prostate cancer screenings. He also recommends taking a multi-vitamin daily as well as fish oil supplements.
“I think the biggest problem with people today is eating too much sugary foods and foods that turn into sugar quickly in the body,” he said.
“Take potatoes for example,” he said, “every mouthful is equivalent to a teaspoon of sugar.”
“Stop drinking soft drinks ” drink water instead.”
“Cut out ice cream, white breads, pasta and potatoes and replace with fruits and vegetables,” he recommended.
“There is nothing wrong with red meat, just avoid the fattier cuts. Eat leaner cuts. Consider eating buffalo and don’t eat it every day. Eat more fish.”
It’s not only what you choose to eat, it’s how much. “I say something out-loud before I sit down for a meal: ‘Hara hachi bu’.”
This translates from Japanese to, “Stop eating when you are 80 percent full”.
“I like to get up from the table not feeling stuffed,” he said.
Does the high altitude of Grand County affect longevity? “I think it’s neutral,” Dr. Grossman said. “I think it puts slight strain on the heart, but that is compensated by fresh air, sunshine and lifestyle.”
“I’d much rather live in Grand County than the city,” he said. “Hands down, Grand County is the greatest place to live,” he said, adding “If I could I would live there full time. I plan on retiring there.”
With such appreciation for the Grand County life style, will Dr. Grossman consider an outreach clinic here anytime? “I haven’t ruled that out,” he concluded.