Sunday, October 2, 2016

My Journey

I was seven years old when I arrived in the United States from Baghdad with my multigenerational family of eight. We lived in a six - hundred - square - foot apartment in New York City during those early years. With a father who had instilled in me the value of hard work and an education, I was the prototypical dedicated student and a curious learner — eager to make a profound contribution to the world and have a role in the lives of others. Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted, though, that I ’ d be part of the transformation of skin care as we know it, and ultimately, of health care.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where health care is administered mostly ├ála carte and focused primarily on treatment rather than prevention. If you have a nagging cold, you visit an internist. If you have heart palpitations, you see a cardiologist. If you have arthritis, you find a rheumatologist. If you have a skin tag or an incessant rash, you see a dermatologist. But what happens when you just don ’ t as feel as well as you ’ d like and none of these doctors has a straightforward answer? How can you take charge of your health by addressing your cells ’most basic need — water — and repair cells as they age so they continue to function at their best, rather than waiting to treat a specific ailment once those cells have lost their optimal functionality?

Therein lies the promise of the Water Secret, a new way of looking at health that embraces a multipronged — inclusive — approach to slowing aging down and in some cases totally reversing the process by honoring a cell ’ s most fundamental need. It won ’ t just make your heart stronger, your aches lessen, and your skin clearer; it also has the potential to radically enhance the condition of your overall health so you stand a greater chance of escaping common diseases that afflict millions. The Water Secret honors proven strategies in both ancient and modern medicine that fortify the body with the tools to function optimally. My hope is that more and more medical doctors combine ancient medicine with modern science to treat everything from colds to cancer. I attribute my appreciation for teamwork and multidisciplinary approaches to problem - solving to my days in Vietnam. When I came home and pursued dermatology, I was eager to set the bar on patient care and approach the practice with an appreciation for all areas of medicine. During my early years in private practice, though, I was struck by the number of patients who were not getting the help they needed from established treatment protocols. I looked for innovative ways to help my patients, taking advantage of my background as a pharmacist to create my first acne and anti-aging formulas. Back then, there were very few effective products available to address things such as acne, wrinkles, age spots, and pigmentation. So it was out of this incredible need to fill this void that in the 1980s I became one of the major innovators in cosmeceutical as well as nutraceutical research. I began to prescribe supplements and compounded formulas specifically for each patient. In 1989 I founded the Murad Skin Research Laboratory and developed the first “ Dr. Brand. ”By then I had treated nearly ten thousand patients with my personally blended formulas and thus began my journey that would completely change the skin care field as a whole, as well as dermatology as it is practiced today. Upgraded, sophisticated descendants of my initial products are still widely popular. Eager to expand my ability to help people have healthier skin, I began to make my professional products available to doctors ’offices and salons and to provide educational support to ensure that they could be used safely to maximum effect.

The gap between cold cream — which defined the state of the art for aestheticians at the time — and the prescription skin treatments available to doctors was huge. I made it a mission of mine to successfully bridge that gap one formula at a time, starting with my first alpha - hydroxy acid (AHA) products for professionals. I also made it a mission to transform the spa industry by encouraging aestheticians to train with dermatologists to achieve the highest standards in professional treatments as well as to promote overall wellness in their clients. Today not only have the terms “ aesthetician ”and “ cosmeceutical ” become part of our common vernacular, but also you see alpha - hydroxy acids in thousands of beauty products to help exfoliate and revitalize skin. You can imagine how crazy it first sounded to use an “ acid ”on skin! When I initially began speaking with aestheticians at trade shows, there was considerable resistance, but now AHAs are a normal part of a skin health and beauty regimen.

 Continually searching for new and better ways to help people reach their skin health goals, in 1995 I began to encourage my patients to stop neglecting the 80 percent of our skin that topical products can ’ t reach. In doing so, I developed a revolutionary inside - out approach to skin care that incorporates dietary supplements to improve the health and appearance of skin by improving the strength of each cell in the body. To treat the skin as an isolated component of the body is like using a small brush to touch up the outdoor paint on a house rocked off its foundation and about to crumble under years of neglect and disrepair. My new way of looking at treatment earned me recognition as a founding father of internal skin care. It also opened the door for me to discover the Water Secret.

In 2007 I opened the new Murad Inclusive Health Spa in Los Angeles, a diagnostic and medical spa completely based on the Water Secret. This multimillion-dollar facility incorporates healing and medical philosophies from all over the world — Western and Eastern practices, nutrition counseling and therapeutic bodywork from leading experts, plus comprehensive analyses of every aspect of a person ’ s health: physical, psychological, spiritual, and cultural. I could not have predicted the feedback I got from clients about their fantastic life changes just a few months into the opening of my new facility. You ’ ll be hearing from some of them throughout this book. I predict that within the next twenty years we ’ ll see variations of these medical - spa health centers associated with traditional hospital settings. (In 2009 one of my medi-spas opened on the Christus Hospital grounds in Beaumont, Texas, soon followed by another, in Louisiana.) Access to a world-class facility that can treat illnesses using traditional medicine while promoting wellness through programs designed to improve one ’ s appearance and overall well - being has the potential to revolutionize medicine. Imagine a world where we don’t affiliate hospitals with illness and disease only, but rather as places to go to reduce cellular aging and, ultimately, restore youth. The Murad Inclusive Health Spa will continue to branch out across the country and the world through innovative partnerships with premier spas and medical facilities. The trained practitioners at these spas and facilities are certified by my University of Inclusive Health to help people customize their own personal programs based on the Water Secret. As a dermatologist, pharmacist, and researcher, I have devoted my life to making beautiful, healthy skin attainable for everyone. And I have always rooted my practice in the idea that skin care can lead the way to overall health. The skin, after all, is a microcosm of the entire body — it reflects what is going on inside. The treatment I use to heal the skin has a dramatic effect on overall health — so dramatic, in fact, that patients now come to me to be healed in ways that go far beyond the scope of traditional dermatology. They look to me to help ease other unique health concerns by complementing standard care for conditions including arthritis, infertility, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, and diabetes with the science of the Water Secret.

No comments: