- Background and Credentials
- Cardiovascular health – A healthy heart
- Healthy Longevity
- Brain, Dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Current Activities
Background and Credentials
My name is Ofir, I live in Israel and I am a Naturopath by profession. I have many years of experience in the field of health, including private treatments, consulting, workshops and lecturing. I have written two books and have ongoing experience in the medical research field. I am a lecturer at The School of Complementary Medicine, Tel Aviv University and also lecture to the public and professional-medical audiences. I have led projects in the media and educational health journeys abroad.
I was born in 1972 on Kibbutz Kfar Glikson, where I was raised and lived until my mid-20s. I did a year of community service in the framework of a youth movement and I served as an officer in the Israeli Air Force.
At age 24 I experienced a traumatic event that changed my life. I severely injured my knee during a sports activity, an injury that required me to be hospitalized for two entire months for recovery and rehabilitation, in preparation for a complex surgery that awaited me. After the initial shock, I decided to leverage all the health resources at my disposal in order to get better. I experienced an amazing and unexpected healing process, after which I returned to full performance without any surgical intervention. For the first time in my life I realized that within the scope of medicine, much more than pills and scalpels exist. I discovered that in nature, and in human nature, there is a huge potential for healing that can help us achieve optimal health and happiness. I carry this incident and that lesson deep within me and in all aspects of my professional endeavors.
Today, I live with my wife and 2 daughters in a small village in the Western Galilee, Northern Israel. I try my best to accomplish my higher goal and destiny/mission, which is to facilitate as many people as possible toward optimal health.
I completed my professional training in 2001, at The School of Complementary Medicine in The College of Management. I studied the Comprehensive Naturopathy track for 4 years, including a year of clinical studies and an internship at ’Asaf HaRofeh Hospital’, Tel Aviv. Thereafter, I studied a year-long course entitled ‘Buddhism for Therapists’ at The Israeli Center for Physical and Mental Medicine. I received significant personal and professional tools from the course, which have enabled me to provide better help to those in need of effective ways of dealing with stress and life challenges, using meditation, breathing and other Buddhist tools.
After completing my initial studies, I worked for nine years in Asaf HaRofeh Hospital.
Most of my in-depth knowledge emerged from the medical-clinical research I’ve been involved in; the 2 books I’ve written, my 3 major learning topics: Cardiovascular Disease, The Healthiest People on Earth (the “Blue Zones”), and Dementia and Brain Health. Added to that, I received a great deal of wisdom from the doctors and professors I work with in Israel; Dr. Danny Keret, Professor Rafi Caruso, Professor Yakov Raz, and Professor Shai Efrati. Beyond Israel, I was privileged to meet, co-operate and/or learn from the leading researchers in this field of study of the healthiest people in the world: Prof’ Suzuki from Okinawa Centenarian Research Institute, Prof’ Gianni Pes from Sassari University. I also met and learnt from the leaders of Hippocrates Health Institute, Brian Clement Ph.D., L.N. and Anna Maria Gahns-Clement Ph.D., L.N. and Dr. Michael Greger M.D.
Heart Disease, Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Cholesterol
For five years I worked as a naturopath at the Lev Bari (Healthy Heart) Center for Cardiac Recovery and Rehabilitation. This department specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of cardiac patients following heart attacks, catherization, and bypass surgery. I have helped thousands of people recover from these occurrences, to return to their lives from a better place, and to decrease to a minimum the risk of a repeat occurrence. All of this with the help of nutrition, physical activity for rehabilitation, and different techniques to cope with stress and unhealthy emotions.
The experience I gained led me to write a book together with Professor Rafael Caruso, MD. entitled “The Heart: The Complete Guide to Health and Rehabilitation” (Hebrew, 2004).
Dr. Danny Keret M.D. and I, lead extensive workshops at Asaf HaRofeh Hospital following Dr. Dean Ornish’s program for cardiac patients who wanted to stop the progress of the disease and to give their body the best tools to open the arteries that were blocked in their heart.
During my work at the Shiram Clinic at Asaf HaRofeh Hospital, I together with Dr. Danny Keret M.D., developed a unique workshop for lowering blood pressure and reducing medication. In light of the unusual results of the first few workshops, we succeeded in recruiting the hospital’s research unit in order to test the safety and effectiveness with medical scientific tools. Three years of research which included 142 participants, showed ostensibly that we developed the most effective non-medicinal treatment for lowering blood pressure. During the study more than 70% of the participants succeeded in reaching a point where the medical specialist reduced their medication or stopped it entirely. We were also pleased to see improvement in their cholesterol levels, their sugar and lipids and especially an increase in their quality of life, as measured by scientific tools. The results were published in the pre-reviewed “Journal of Human Hypertension” (Nature Journal).
The workshops that I present today (link in Hebrew only), are the result of all the knowledge and experience I have gained in the field. In the beginning, the title of the workshop was the same as the one in the hospital and in the study: “Workshop for the Reduction of Hypertension and Medication”. Today, however, because of the many successes in additional health-related fields, many of the participants join the workshop not only to address hypertension but rather to control their cholesterol, to lose weight, to overcome diabetes, or simply to go through a process of significant body cleansing and improve their quality of life.
The Healthiest People in the World – Successful Longevity
Since the turn of the century I have been enthusiastically researching the common traits of the healthiest people in the world. Instead of looking at research that tries to treat these problems after they already occur, I prefer to study in depth what the healthiest and long-living people on earth are doing in order to age with a clear mind and without heart disease, dementia, cancer and other degenerative diseases.
I enjoy learning from those excelling at their quality of life and what they are doing right. When I discovered that the people of Sardinia in Italy, the people Okinawa in Japan and others are basically doing the same things, this indicated to me, the direction in which we should go.
In 2012, after conducting in-depth research visits to the so called leading “Blue Zones” of the world, I began to lead educational journeys to those places. These experiences to Sardinia in Italy and Japan enable people to learn, enjoy and gain inspiration from these cultures and amazing people. These journeys combine authentic and direct meetups with the locals, the culture, special foods and their life habits that make them the healthiest in the world.
In 2015 my second book “To Dance (Also) at 100 – to Live Well Now. The Secrets of the World’s Healthiest People” was published (in Hebrew, 2004). The book is now available to read on the Web site, for free (Hebrew
I also wrote a medical article together with Professor Shai Efrati about the common traits and reasons for successful aging. You can read the article (in Hebrew) here on the Web site. The English abstract is available here.
The information, knowledge and experience I have gained in the project serve me today in my daily work as well as the many lectures I present on the topic.
Read the English abstract of the article ‘Successful Aging’ – currently known influential factors and suggested model for assessment and scaling, which I collaborated in writing.
Brain Health: Memory, Dementia, Alzheimer’s
In 2016, when I realized that Dementia and Alzheimer’s are turning into the next epidemic, I decided to deepen my knowledge and activities in the field of brain health. Conventional medicine has almost nothing to offer these people as the reasons for brain disease are deeply rooted in naturopathic practice and knowledge; atherosclerosis (‘blocked’ arteries), chronic inflammation, glucose and insulin imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, oxidative overload, insomnia, physical activity and more.
Since I felt the need to be updated on all relevant science publications in this field, I reached out for the assistance of Shirley Tzur, a Medical Information Specialist from Assaf Harofeh Hospital Library. Together, we searched the literature that was published up until 2016. From then on, I have been reading, learning and investigating all the new medical clinical trials that are published on brain health and nutrition.
At the same time as writing this, I am leading three clinical research projects in this field with different colleagues. The goal of this research is to test the effectiveness of various natural ways to help people at the onset of dementia. Some of the research focuses on nutrition, some on specific foods that can help, and the other on the microbiome-brain connections (more details in the next paragraph).
My calling, as I see it today, is to bring people as close as possible to optimal health. The ways in which I work today are varied;
- Private Treatments /consulting.
- In-depth workshops – includes 20 group meetings of 4 hours each, in which we enjoy learning, yoga, healthy meals, therapeutic physical activity and group-therapy. The participants are instructed to follow a very strict cleansing diet, based on a clinical evidence-based approach, that enables most of them to reduce their medication for controlling diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and/or other chronic diseases.
- Lectures – for the general public and professionals, in Israel and abroad.
- Experiential and educational journeys abroad to the leading places in the world for healthy longevity, namely, Sardinia in Italy and Japan.
- Website (Hebrew) – educational and evidence-based knowledge to enhance health.
Leading clinical research in the field of brain health, nutrition, and lifestyle (all are in early stages):
- Special food shakes for the improvement of cognitive function. In cooperation with the Asaf HaRofeh Hospital Research Department.
- Matching nutrition and unique pre probiotics for microbiome improvement of people coping with cognitive decline. In cooperation with Tel Chai College.
- Detection of in-depth problems and provision of natural treatment to people with special needs. In cooperation with Kishorit.
Lecturer of Naturopathy at the Broshim Campus, Tel Aviv University.