Spa Business issue 4 2021

Page 74

Q&A

Michael Roizen & Victor Koo The Global Wellness Summit brought the industry together in Boston recently for three days of networking and idea exchanges. Spa Business caught up with this year’s influential co-chairs

Dr Michael Roizen

photo: michael roizen

‘Longevity is the next disruptor’ is my new trademark

74 spabusiness.com issue 4 2021

Chief wellness officer, the Cleveland Clinic and GWS 2021 co-chair Tell us about your journey from the world of allopathic medicine to the world of prevention. What have been the ah-ha! moments?

When I started out, I wanted to run an intensive care unit, so I focused on internal medicine and anaesthesia. By 1979, I was asked to co-run the cardiovascular anesthesia section at the University of California San Francisco and I soon realised surgeons were difficult to deal with, but cared deeply about their patients’ outcomes and about them returning to normal function as soon as possible. When I began to look at the data, I saw the most important factor for reducing complications was the patient’s age. Ten years made a three-fold difference to survival rates – regardless of the surgical team. I started to study how we could change the physiological age of people to make them 10 years’ younger in the period surrounding their surgery. In learning how to do this, I figured we could make surgical outcomes significantly better by helping them get healthier before surgery. We focused on managing their blood pressure, getting them to eat a healthy diet and doing physical activities such as walking. These were simple changes that people could easily do on their own, but most people still don’t do them. So the next step was figuring out how to motivate people, and that’s when I started working on my book RealAge (www.spabusiness. com/RealAge), which helps show people how you can fundamentally change your physiological age with some simple lifestyle adjustments, such as to your diet and exercise regimes.