Dr. Michael Klaper

Dr. Michael Klaper

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Michael Klaper, M.D. is a gifted clinician, internationally recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health. He has practiced medicine for more than 40 years, and is a leading educator in applied plant-based nutrition and integrative medicine. Dr. Klaper is also the author of a successful book on cholesterol-free nutrition and an upcoming title (to be announced in 2015), as well as numerous health videos.

A source of inspiration for millions advocating plant-based diets and the end of animal cruelty worldwide, Dr. Klaper contributed to the making of two PBS television programs Food for Thought and the award-winning Diet for a New America movie based on the book of the same name by author and former heir to the Baskin-Robbins fortune, John Robbins. He teaches his students and patients that “health comes from healthy living,” and is dedicated to the healing and flourishing of all living beings and of the planet itself.

Dr. Klaper graduated in 1972 from University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He served his medical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia, Canada and undertook additional training in surgery, anesthesiology, and orthopedics at the University of British Columbia Hospitals in Vancouver, and obstetrics at the University of California Hospitals in San Francisco.

As Dr. Klaper’s medical career progressed, he began to realize (true to what science is bearing out today) that many of the diseases his patients presented with – clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, adult onset diabetes, and even some forms of arthritis, asthma, and other significant illnesses – were made worse or actually caused by the high-fat, high sugar, overly processed Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).

Accordingly, Dr. Klaper resolutely believes that proper nutrition and a balanced lifestyle are essential for health and, in many cases, can make the difference between healing an illness or merely treating its symptoms.

As a passionate and devoted educator of physicians and other healthcare professionals about the importance of nutrition in clinical practice, Dr. Klaper served as the Director of the non-profit Institute of Nutrition Education and Research.

He was also a member of the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Student Association, and served as an advisor to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) project on nutrition for long-term space colonists on the moon and Mars.

For over ten years, he hosted the popular medical information radio program Sounds of Healing on WPFW in Washington, DC and KAOI 1110 AM on Maui, Hawaii.

Dr. Klaper practiced acute care medicine in New Zealand for three years and currently serves on the staff of the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, a nutritionally-based medical clinic specializing in therapeutic fasting and health improvement through a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Dr. Michael Klaper is licensed to practice medicine in California and Hawaii.

“Health is having a body that moves without pain, breathes without distress and allows us to perform the activities of life with complete presence and focused energy.
Then, we can love fully and enjoy our lives to the fullest.”

Dr. Michael Klaper’s Philosophy

Practicing primary care medicine for over forty years has taught me many things, but chief among them is that health and disease are not a matter of chance. As a wise professor told me in medical school, “People do not get diseases, they earn them!” With few exceptions, (accidents do happen!) our daily choices—the foods we eat (or don’t eat), the activities we do (or don’t do), the thoughts we harbor (or release), the actions we take (or don’t take) are what create the body in which we reside, and determine if it is healthy or diseased. The adage “By age 20 you have the face that Nature gave you; by age 50, you have the face your choices gave you” is, indeed, true—and holds throughout the body. By age 50, we have the arteries, the heart, the skin, the colon and the brain that our choices have given us.

From my earliest years, I have been fascinated by the human body—its inherent beauty of form and function, the elegant simplicity of its mechanics and movement, the infinite complexity of its inner functions, and its mysterious powers to heal itself and grow. Though complex almost beyond comprehension, I knew the same natural laws that govern the familiar world around us were also at work within us. So my journey as a healer has been one of observing how those forces flow within us and through us, and how we interact with them to create health and disease.

In any moment, our decisions move us toward health and vigor or toward disease and dysfunction. The good news is the human body has powerful forces within it that, when supported, help us heal from injuries and illnesses and sustain us in good health. Our body wants to be healthy; it doesn’t want to be inflamed, infected or in pain. In fact, it knows how to heal every one of its tissues and organs and is constantly doing so in order to repair the daily damage from the athletic event we call “Life.”

These healing forces ask few things of us: nourishing food, sufficient rest and sleep, pure water, and frequent physical activity, along with meaningful work and stable, loving relationships. The vast majority of diseases I see, whether obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension,) clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), diabetes and a host of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are caused by short-changing our body (ourselves, really) in one or more of these vital areas.

My medical practice is focused, therefore, on identifying discord in my patient’s body (and, often, in their life, as well) and explaining how it has produced the signs and symptoms that have brought the person to my office. I then work with them to find practical solutions that will most effectively help their body re-establish its natural state of well-being. Sometimes medications are necessary and useful, as are surgical procedures. (Bless cataract surgery that often restores clear vision to a blind person in 20 minutes, and hip replacement procedures that reestablish pain-free walking to someone crippled by pain.) I take pride in my craft as a physician and stand in awe of the advances of modern medicine and what they offer to humanity and the animals with which we share this world.

The vast majority of infections, inflammations, and various dysfunctions do not require high-tech interventions or expensive therapies. Successful healing requires discovering and ameliorating the true cause of these problems.

My medical school professor also told us:

“If you just shut up and listen to the patient, 90% of the time,
they are telling you the diagnosis; and if you keep listening,
they will often tell you what treatment they need!”
His words have proven to be true, and for the sake of making the proper diagnosis, and more importantly, showing my respect for and acknowledgment of the patient, my interactions with people begin with me becoming quiet and opening my ears and heart to listen to my patient. Though clinical medicine can be complex, my wise professor also said, “Medicine is 10% science and 90% common sense!” As such, I so enjoy explaining to my patients how their body works, and what has been happening to interfere with its normal function. Then, I tell them how and what they can do to actively optimize their healing, starting with proper food choices.

I did much of my growing up on my uncle’s dairy farm in northern Wisconsin. Since I was a young boy, I wanted things to be “OK” with everyone and everything around me. So when one of our farm animals became injured, I would splint its fracture or dress its wounds. Through this, I discovered the most important ingredient to health and healing, beyond applying basic, sound medical treatments, is Love. When we really do practice “loving our Self enough to…(you fill in the blank)” we will have the well-being that we seek. The harmony and happiness of all beings continues to be vital to me, and I see my work as the art of creating and maintaining this harmony. I gain my inspiration from the grace and perfection of the human body, the infinite, powerful and stunningly beautiful natural world, the indomitable human spirit and the beauty and order of this magical universe. The merging of these aspects—skillfully and lovingly—forms the foundation of my medical practice.


Courage of Conscience Award

Michael Klaper, M.D. was awarded the prestigious Courage of Conscience Award by The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, MA.

Recipients of the Courage of Conscience Award include Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Ram Dass, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, John Lennon, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pete Seeger, Sting, Desmond Tutu, Maya Angelou, Benjamin Spock, and Patch Adams.

Courage of Conscience Award, Michael Klaper MD

The Spirit of The Award

Throughout history, peace awards have served to bring attention to humanitarian causes and great works that otherwise go unnoticed. The increased visibility that awards provide translates into increased public attention and awareness. And from “awareness” springs movements — the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the animal rights movement, and the movement to save the planet. Awards are many things to many people, but at heart they constitute a testimony to the hopes, the dreams, and the actions that lie at the center of an individual’s commitment to a shared vision.

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Dr. Klaper is a featured speaker at events throughout the year.

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