Nadzri Mokhtar Lives Life Well, Both In His Medical Practice And Personal Life

Changing jobs is often a challenging proposition. Pursuing a new specialisation in a completely new domain is an even more difficult paradigm shift. But imagine if you did all of the above as a doctor, where so much is at stake. Not only does it take a healthy amount of courage, it also requires the complete support of those around you. Fortunately for Nadzri Mokhtar, he had plenty of both.

After graduating from Dublin’s Trinity College in 1999 and completing his medical officer rotations in a government hospital, Nadzri Mokhtar decided to specialise in paediatrics – a natural progression, he says, as he’s always been a caring person and he’s always had a passion for helping the helpless. But a few years in the sub-specialisations of oncology and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit took its toll, and during a much-needed sabbatical, he soon discovered the burgeoning field of anti-ageing medicine. “I liked it so much that I told my professor at the time that I wanted to make a jump,” he says. “She also acknowledged that many in our field can get jaded after many years. So I was quite lucky to be in a supportive environment, and I was able to pursue anti-ageing completely without needing to balance my time with a general practice.”

As his practice and his referrals grew and grew, Nadzri Mokhtar opened Nara Clinic in 2006, where he’s been specialising in integrative and functional medicine ever since. He also recently co-founded Apollo Men’s Wellness Center at The Starhill, a one-stop facility where men can fulfil all their wellness, grooming and lifestyle needs (and wants).

In functional medicine, we treat the body as a whole. We look at the causes rather than just treat the symptoms. We go deep into their biochemistry and see if there are any imbalances in their hormones, if they have a lot of toxicity that we have to detox or if there are accumulations of many years of poor lifestyle choices, for example. We are also integrative, which means we look into those lifestyle choices and we then incorporate personal training, dieticians and meal plans into their programmes.

If you go to a regular doctor, you describe your symptoms and you’ll be given medicine. You take it and the symptoms will be controlled for a certain amount of time. But do you know why it came up in the first place? Is there a way to treat the cause? Don’t you want to try to reverse it? Similarly, is there a way to prevent the effects of ageing? Don’t you want to maintain your muscle mass so that you avoid the frailty of old age?
You only have one body. There are no parts for you to quickly order and replace. So you should at least try to reverse some of the damage done, create a maintenance plan for your body and then look forward to growing old.

Science and medicine are ever-evolving subjects. Technology keeps changing, and we keep learning new things and making new scientific discoveries. So how can you not be interested? The minute you lose your curiosity, you stop living. But I’m too curious about everything. I like to get into the depths, into the very details. I’m forever hungry for knowledge.

You are what you eat. We have a lot of choices, but are they quality choices? When you see shelves and shelves of processed food full of sweeteners, colourants and additives, it’s a challenge to choose the right food. So start at the basics by going to the fruits and vegetables section, and start picking raw foods so that you’ll know the ingredients that you’re going to cook with and eat. A big part of wellness is nutrition.

Without exercise, how are you going to burn off all those excess calories? You also won’t feel the endorphins released during exercise. To maintain the stability of your physique, your muscle mass, your joints and your bones, you have to exercise to maintain their structure and form. Otherwise, you won’t have a good core, your stability won’t be there, your bones might become osteoporotic – and then you get frail, you fall and you’ll get into a whole host of trouble.

When I was younger and had all the energy, I could probably work 14-hour days, like when I was on call at the hospital. But now, I’m not willing to put up with that. So it’s a question of how mentally prepared you are, to be willing to give up for what you want. You can’t just chase money or wealth. Some people do things for personal satisfaction. Treating another human being is one of those satisfactions and I feel appreciated by my patients. But you cannot sacrifice your own personal health and mental well-being.

Apollo Men’s Wellness Center

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