Two pioneers in the field of and health wellness, Drs. Dean Ornish and Deepak Chopra, came together at the TEDMED conference to discuss their viewpoints on how people can live healthier lifestyles. Despite their different backgrounds, the two share some similar views.
"I kind of focus initially on the science, to prove how powerful these simple changes in lifestyle can be," said Ornish. "Deepak is focusing on the the psycho-social, the emotional and the spiritual dimensions. But the funny thing is he also does a lot with diet and lifestyle."
Ornish is an esteemed medical doctor well-known for his approach to healing coronary artery disease through lifestyle changes, including yoga, meditation, a low-fat vegetarian diet and exercise. Chopra, on the other hand, is internationally renowned in the field of mind-body healing.
Chopra stressed that there is a need in medicine for a consciousness-based understanding of biology. We are conscious beings with emotions and experiences, all of which are metabolized into our biology, he said. "Science that does not look at subjectivity is an incomplete science."
Ornish has also been working for change, focusing on health care reform. Three-quarters of health care costs stem from chronic diseases that can be prevented through lifestyle changes, he said.
The two also discussed how technology and information sharing can change modern health. Chopra referred to cyberspace as a "collective cloning of our soul," suggesting we leverage technology but move the conversation happening on Twitter and Facebook to a new level.
"The information itself empowers people," said Ornish. "So any way we can get it to people, I'm all for."