HealthcareInterviewTowards Better Health With Dr. Seema Bonney

Dr. Seema Bonney, founder and medical director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia is a holistic doctor who is passionate about changing the way medicine is practiced.

To learn more about Dr. Bonney’s practice and how to achieve health, we conducted this interview.

1. Can you tell us more about the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia?

We are a lifestyle and functional medicine practice that is committed to helping our clients reach optimal health and vitality, by identifying the root causes of diseases and treating them. We are passionate about helping every patient live long and live strong.  Our focus is on optimal health, longevity, and a proactive approach to wellness.  We help patients maximize their immune system, prevent disease and chronic conditions, while enhancing energy, vitality, and performance. We want our patients to look and feel their best every day.

2. You describe yourself as a holistic doctor. What does that mean?

I am a MD who is dual board certified in Emergency Medicine and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, but I practice patient-centered, not disease centered, medicine. We’re trained in medical school to identify a disease process and find a medication to treat it. Our approach is to identify the root causes of the symptoms or disease, and treat the causes. Our bodies are incredible machines. Giving the body the right fuel/nutrition, proper sleep, exercise, and managing cortisol is a great start to helping the body achieve homeostasis so that it can heal itself.

Our patients are at the center of everything we do. We consider the whole person and evaluate all the necessary components of wellness, including physical, mental, as well as emotional health.  We address all of you, not just your symptoms.  It is a 360 approach to wellness and longevity.

3. What is personalized medicine?

Every individual has a unique biological, metabolic and genetic makeup, which impacts their health, disease susceptibility and immune response.  Medicine currently involves a reactive “one size fits all” approach to patient care which we know if far from ideal. There are skyrocketing rates of heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, obesity, allergies, so we know that our one size fits all model of medicine is not fit for all.
That’s why it’s vital that we do a deep dive into the patients’ medical and family history through a detailed consultation.  We then complete individualized testing so that we can let the science lead the way in how to help an individual optimize their health and wellbeing.

4. What health issues does your practice encounter?

We have two different types of patients. One is a patient who has symptoms and wants to know why – symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, poor sleep, low libido, for example. The other type is the patient who feels pretty good, but wants to know what they can be doing to prevent illness in the future. They are often biohackers. They know that it’s not wise to not take any preventative steps. After all, we do maintenance on our cars, our HVACs, but current medical convention is to wait for the body to become sick before we address what the issues are.

The primary health issues we encounter are hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, adrenal fatigue, metabolic syndrome etc.  Regardless what the health issue, our focus is on treating the root cause and not just the symptom.  We want to heal within.

5. How does your practice differ from other traditional practices?

Our approach is on wellness versus illness.  We aren’t treating symptoms; we are treating causes and work diligently to create a customized roadmap to wellness for each patient.  We also believe in a high touch approach.  Each patient in our optimal wellness program has access to a board-certified health and wellness coach.  The coach supports and guides them throughout their journey.

6. How do you help your patients achieve optimum physical and mental wellness?

It truly is a partnership.  Through testing and consultations, we discover the unique health determinants for each patient.  We create action plans and goals, and we involve the patient in this process. They are motivated to co-create plans to support their optimal health and longevity goals. This process helps them to develop resources, habits and lifestyle changes that last a lifetime.

7. Can someone prevent disease? Can you elaborate on that?

Absolutely! According to Harvard Health, 9 in 10 cases of Diabetes 2 can be prevented by making lifestyle changes, getting more exercise, eating right and weight management.  A healthy lifestyle may help prevent over 80% of cardiovascular disease.  Additionally, 30- 50% of cancer cases could be prevented with lifestyle modifications according to the World Health Organization.  When a patient partners with a functional medicine physician, we are looking at their risk factors and providing them with the tools, and measures to help prevent or delay disease.

8. What are the most common diseases today? What habits should people follow to keep away from such diseases?

Heart disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Alzheimer’s to name a few of the top 10.  Lifestyle habits which can help prevent or delay disease include; 1) eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, lean protein, fiber, health fats, and a diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants can help prevent disease 2) exercise daily, aiming to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (cardio) a week and 2 strength training sessions 3) Stress management – utilizing yoga, meditation or other relaxation methods, 4) get plenty of sleep, 7-9 hours a night for adults 5) limit alcohol, if you do drink, no more than 1 a day for women, and 2 drinks a day for men  6) do not smoke 7) be sure to visit your physician annually.

9. How can someone maintain strength as he/she ages?

Protein intake needs to increase as we age, as adequate protein in our diet prevents muscle loss, especially for women.  All adults should engage in resistance training workouts twice per week, which will help maintain strength, vitality, and vigor.

10. Where do you see your practice in the next 5-years?

I am so passionate about helping people live their best life. I want to be able to help as many people as I can while also offering more services such as physical therapy, massage therapy, personal trainers, yoga and meditation.  We are looking to disrupt the way primary care is practiced and give people all the tools they need to reduce inflammation and avoid developing disease. In sum, provide all the resources a patient would need for optimal health and wellness.

About Dr. Seema Bonney

Seema Bonney, MD is the founder and medical director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia. She is dual board certified in both Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Emergency Medicine and has completed a fellowship in regenerative medicine. Dr. Bonney is a holistic doctor who is passionate about changing the way medicine is practiced. Her emphasis at her practice is based on prevention and wellness, and diagnosis/treatment of root causes of common symptoms such as weight gain, low energy, hormonal imbalances, insomnia, and anxiety/depression. She is focused on helping her patients achieve optimum physical and mental wellness by helping them change their habits and form new healthy ones through her work with them. Dr. Bonney earned her undergraduate and MD degrees through the prestigious six-year accelerated medical program at Jefferson Medical College in conjunction with The Pennsylvania State University.

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