How To Live A Long And Happy Life : Listen To The Advices Of Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara

Listen To The Doctor Who Knows

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara is no ordinary doctor. He is Japan's living national treasure! Born in 1911, he is 104 years old this year, 2015. Dr. Hinohara is probably the world’s oldest and longest-serving physician and educator. Who is better qualified than this good doctor to advise us on how to live a long and happy life? After World War II, he had the vision to establish a world class hospital and college, and today his St. Luke’s International Hospital (Seiroka International Hospital) Tokyo and St. Luke’s College of Nursing are the top medical organizations in Japan. Dr. Hinohara is the Chairman of the board of trustee of these two famous medical institutions, and he still busy healing patients in the hospital and teaching students in the college. Of course, Dr. Hinohara also holds many responsible positions in many important organizations. He is the Patron of Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network or “APHN”. He is also the Chairman of Life Planning Centre in Tokyo. He is also the founder of “New Elderly Movement”. Dr. Hinohara has published more than 150 books, one of which is the best-seller “Living Long, Living Good” that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara’s life mission is to share the secrets of living a long and happy life. Now this is what he advices. We should listen to his advices.

Ambassador Roos Recognizes Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara's Contributions to U.S.-Japan Friendship

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A Refreshing Protocol For Living A Long And Happy Life

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara shares with us his rather extraordinary ideas for living a long and happy life. This is a refreshing protocol unlike the generally-accepted healthy lifestyle guide to good health and long life. Okay, let’s see what the good doctor has to say about how to live a long and happy life.

Energy comes from feeling good and not from eating well or sleeping a lot. Children often have fun till they even forget to eat or sleep. We should emulate the children, have less rules like lunchtime and bedtime. Let's have more fun.

My comment: I think it is equally important that we should have nutritious food and enough sleep. Feeling good means maintaining a positive and happy mental attitude. When we feel stressed, we are depleting all our energy. So feeling good, energizes our system. Indeed energy comes from feeling good.

Do not be overweight. Dr. Hinohara found that people who live long were not overweight. Dr. Hinohara is careful about what he eats. For breakfast, he drinks coffee and milk, orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil. He believes that olive oil is great for the arteries and maintains healthy skin. For lunch he only drinks milk with a few cookies, or nothing at all when he is too busy to eat. As for dinner, he takes vegetables, fish and rice. And twice a week, he gives himself a treat with 100 grams of lean meat.

My comment: I think we eat too much meat, apart from all the junk foods. I try to reduce eating meat, especially red meat. Fresh vegetables and fruits are two essential groups of nutritious foods. Instead of animal meats, a better option is eating fish, especially deep sea fishes.

Always plan ahead, says Dr. Hinohara. Dr. Hinohara has his schedule full for the year, with lectures, hospital work and many other appointments. He likes to have fun and is looking forward to attend the Tokyo Olympics in 2020!

My comment: Now I am not sure how this contributes to long life. Maybe if one is as busy as Dr. Hinohara, this would contribute to a well-planned life leading to stress-free living and looking forward to all those fun activities..

You don’t have to retire. Even if one is desirous to retire, then it has got to be at an older age and not at 65.

My comment: Many people think that the day they retire is the moment they are free to do anything they like. There are reports that the day, one retires, is the day one begins to fade into oblivion and die in the process. So if your retired like me, make sure you keep busy with your life, doing the things you like and contribute to society.

Share what you know. Dr. Hinohara gives 150 lectures a year, some even for elementary school children. Other lectures are for the business communities, some 4,500 of them. His lectures are done standing for up to 90 minutes. He said standing makes him strong.

My comment: Well, most of us will not have the qualifications to give lectures, but the message here is the element of sharing knowledge with others. Do not be selfish. Be generous and help others.

Don’t believe everything what your doctor says or recommends. Dr. Hinohara is of the view that doctors can’t cure everyone. Ask whether the doctor will suggest that his loved ones go through the recommended procedures. So why cause unnecessary pain and suffering to the patient? He thinks music and animal therapies can help healing more than the doctors realized.


My comment: Fancy this advice coming from an experienced and well-respected doctor! This is especially true in serious medical cases like cancer. The success rate of the recommended treatments for the various types of cancer is very dismal indeed. Furthermore, it gives patients false hope of being cured. To add insult to injury, these treatments are very painful and debilitating , and very expensive too. The accepted treatment for cancer is by chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. They are so painful and most of the time, ineffective that they are cynically referred to as “poisoning, burning and butchering”! There are other alternative treatments out there.

In order to stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. Dr. Hinohara takes two steps at a time, when climbing the stairs. This is a form of exercising his leg and thigh muscles.

My comment: There is no substitute for exercising your body to maintain a healthy frame. You can consume the best nutritious food available but this will not keep your physical body fit and trim. Regular exercise is the only way.

Be inspired. Dr. Hinohara is inspired by Robert Browning’s poem “Abt Vogler”. It says to draw a circle so huge that there is no way you can finish it while you are alive. All you can see is the arch, and the rest is beyond your vision but it is there in the distance.

My comment: I think what Dr. Hinohara meant was that we should not restrict our imagination, but think outside the box and beyond. Don’t restrict your life to a dead end. Let our imagination run wild. I tried Google “Robert Browning’s poem ‘Abt Vogler’ ” but ended up feeling like a fool as I couldn’t understand what the poem was all about! And there was nothing about drawing a big circle. LOL!!

Pain is mysterious. The best way to overcome pain is to forget pain by having fun. If a child has a toothache, and if you start playing a game with him, he will immediately forget the pain. At Dr. Hinohara’s St. Luke’s hospital, they have music and animal therapies and also art classes. He believes that hospitals must cater for the basic needs of their patients.

My comment: I have seen people suffering from pain. My son was in the ICU twice. He has been quite sick for the past one year. I know how it feels when one is suffering pain, especially when that person is your loved one and knowing that there is nothing much you can do to help. I think what the good doctor meant was the normal pain which a person can try to forget by having fun. I don’t believe one can forget pain that is of the extreme type.

Don’t be crazy about amassing material things. No one knows when your time’s up, and you can’t take them with you.

My comment: This is the tragedy of human life. Other species are not like that. There are lots of things that are desirable and people are crazy over them. The real problem comes when instead of enjoying the possession, they let the possession possess them. There will come a time when the wise will gradually reduce their possession as they get older. This is what I am trying to do.

Science alone cannot cure or help people. Science lumps us all together. Illness is individual. Dr. Hinohara believes that each person is unique and diseases are connected to their hearts. To be able to help people and to cure their illnesses, we need liberal and visual arts, and not just medical treatments.

My comment: Many illnesses are also related to the mental states of the patients. I believe that those who are negative and hateful in their thoughts are more likely to get sick than those who possess a kind and peaceful disposition. This is because when the mental state is not relaxed, the immune system does not function effectively, and the person will be less resistant to external attacks.

Life is most unpredictable and is filled with incidents. Dr. Hinohara relates an incident when he was 59 years old. He was on a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka on March 31, 1970, when the plane was skyjacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. He spent the next four days handcuffed to his seat under 40 degrees centigrade heat. He treated the whole ordeal as an experiment and was amazed at how the body could slow down to adapt to a crisis situation.

My comment: I certainly hope we don’t have to undergo such an ordeal. I think the good doctor is warning us that life is very unpredictable and anything can hit us when we are least expecting. So be prepared.

Find a role model. One main role model of Dr. Hinohara is his father who went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University, North Carolina. We should aim to achieve even more than they could ever achieve. When he is stuck, Dr. Hinohara would ask himself how his role models would deal with the problem.

My comment: It is difficult to stand alone in this day and age. A role model can give confidence to oneself especially in challenging times.

It’s wonderful to live long. Dr. Hinohara assures us. In our later years, we should strive to serve society. Since the age of 65, Dr. Hinohara has been working as a volunteer. He still puts in 18 hours a day, seven days a week, and he enjoys every minute of his active life.

My comment: To live a meaningful life, especially when a person is getting older, it is necessary to contribute one’s time for the benefit of the society. The joy of knowing that one has contributed one’s effort for the benefits of others is some experience that money cannot buy. So spend some time helping others in some ways or other.

This Is The Way To Live A Long And Happy Life

From my understanding of Dr. Hinohara’s philosophy of how to live a long and happy life, it can be summarized into three sentences.

1. If you want to live a long and happy life, you must always feel good with full of enthusiasm and inspiration.

2. If you want to live a long and happy life, you must always watch your diet and exercise regularly.

3. If you want to live a long and happy life, you must always keep busy to contribute to society.

May you too, have a long and happy life.


Copyright © Justin Choo. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 4 comments

Digital MD profile image

Digital MD 23 months ago

Now that's someone we need to put on our "to-emulate-list"-- A person actually able to walk the talk.


indrapolitan@yahoo.com 11 months ago

It is interesting to read Dr Shigeaki's ways to live a long and healthy life but more intesting is Justin's comment on the article. Question is how was about Dr Shigeaki married life, more privacy a sexual life, sleep habit, alcohol consumption , smoking. All will make this article much more interesting.


Happylovejoy profile image

Happylovejoy 9 months ago from Singapore

Absolutely love this..and there are some interesting and refreshing points!


Maq 8 weeks ago

Beautiful piece of information. Loved it.

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