The winner of the Healthline Stronger Scholarship believes that the understanding of health and disease will be changed by the use of integrative medicine.

Rodrigo Bravo
Photography by Jill Frank

The limitations of Western medicine have frustrated him from a young age. He has a type of disorder in his kidneys.

At age 10, doctors told him that his kidneys may never function properly and that his life may be shortened as a result.

They could not tell him what caused the problem. Doctors suspected that there was an environmental factor involved, though the exact culprit is still unknown.

The recovery from the disease was a long time in the making.

“He realized that Western medicine needed to start taking into account other aspects of a person’s life, such as their nutrition, stress, environment, and even trauma, in order to better understand disease and find new ways to promote healing.”

Now a public health advocate and physician-in-training,Bravo hopes to gain an even deeper understanding of the benefits of a balanced diet. The goal is to help people manage the effects of climate change.

He will start his first year of graduate studies at Yale University this fall. He wants to start a consulting company to help healthcare centers set up programs for the treatment of diseases.

He said he was excited to bring this to everyone because he was an example of the radical healing that can occur as a result of mind-body unity.

We asked about his goals and studies. Here is what he had to say.

The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Rodrigo Bravo
Photography by Jill Frank

I had illnesses in my early life that inspired my passion for helping others.

I had a number of rare and chronic conditions that Western medicine could not resolve.

At 10 years old, I was told that my life expectancy would probably be reduced.

I found life changing solutions for my health when I looked into the world ofholistic and integrated medicine. I asked how we could improve the healthcare system for others in the same situation.

“I was raised with a model of Western medicine that didn’t consider the role of things like nutrition, lifestyle, stress, and the environment in well-being.”

It failed to take into account the trauma, spiritual health, and mind-body connection that felt critical for me. The elements are the foundation of the field of medicine.

My goal is to help the allopathic model of medicine better incorporate these aspects of health and well being into patient care.

I ran a marketing lab at Harvard that helped start-ups that were focused on social and planetary good. Bee Positive was reborn as an org for medical initiatives.

I was in the middle of bringing biofield medicine to the largest Veterans Affairs hospital in Georgia when COVID-19 hit, which put the project in the backseat.

I started medical school and began exploring technology-facilitated mind-body medicine. Supermind is a start-up focused on mental health. It uses technology to help people with psychological conditions.

I plan to launch a consulting company called “Borefy Conscious Health” to help healthcare centers expand their programs.

I will also offer therapies based on the science of psychoneuroimmunology. The study of how thoughts, beliefs, and emotions affect the nervous and immune systems is called that.

Photography by Jill Frank

The United States is trying to catch up with older cultures that have been using transpersonal psychology for thousands of years.

It is trying to change the way people think about health and disease. It also has an agenda to resolve social and planetary injustices.

“Understanding an individual’s health is dependent on concepts such as spiritual health, emotional health, and climate change. They are often left out of the conversations with their doctors.”

To inspire the next era of medicine, we need to educate people on what it means to include planetary, transpersonal, and emotional well-being in healthcare. We need to influence policy decisions and incorporate these ideas into modern healthcare.

To overcome these obstacles, you need to understand the current problems. Changemakers and leaders who want to see evolution in allopathic medicine will need to work together.

I was living with a condition that affects the kidneys and was interested in global health.

No one knows why I made a recovery. Doctors have considered the possibility of a connection to the environment, such as a toxin, an infectious disease, or radiation exposure, while my mother was pregnant with me in Bolivia.

My happy ending is not common among people who live in places with limited access to food and clean drinking water.

I have observed the effects of climate change on the community as a public health advocate and physician-in-training. I am seeing more instances of heat-related conditions.

The changing climate can affect mental health. My work at Supermind involves using technology to support mental health.

Climate change and medicine are intertwined and I want to continue working on them as we prepare for a future where mental illness will be more common.

Photography by Jill Frank

Our bodies reflect what is happening inside of us. Climate change has health effects on those who are already experiencing them.

They show that our current engagement with Mother Earth is not working and that we need a change in policy.

I would encourage people to write to their elected officials and legislators to ask them to prioritize environmental health. The relationship between your medical conditions and the changing climate could be explained in letters from your physicians.

Sharing personal stories on social media can be a powerful way to support environmental activism. You can get involved with advocacy groups.

I would encourage people to vote and to urge their family and friends to vote in favor of planetary and environmental health.