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Puriya’s Scientific Advisory Member Spotlight: Dr. Nontas Maridakis, MD

Please Welcome Dr. Nontas Maridakis to Puriya’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Maridakis grew up in Greece, the birthplace of modern medicine and was greatly influenced by Hippocratic philosophy and the infinite intelligence of nature.  He graduated with Honors from the Medical University of Sofia and later went on to complete his residency as a general practitioner at the General Hospital in Heraklion on the island of Crete.

As a native to Crete, he was inspired by the traditional way of living, the annual olive harvests, the therapeutic properties of its nature, and the ancient healing temples. He believes that food is the real medicine and that there is no one-size fits all medical approach.

Currently, Dr. Maridakis has a private practice on the island of Crete in Greece where he integrates many healing modalities including neutraceuticals, physical medicine, and nutrition protocols including the Mediterranean diet for his patients.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, rescuing homeless animals, hiking, and camping.

Learn more about Dr. Maridakis from this question & answer session with him…

Q: Tell us how the Hippocratic Philosophy influences how you practice medicine today?

A: Great question.  How does it not?! One of my favorite quotes from Hippocrates is “Foolish the doctor who despises the knowledge acquired by the ancients”. There’s so much foundational truth that we have known for thousands of years like moving your body is important, drinking clean water is essential, food is medicine, depression and anger contribute to sickness, and being in nature is good for the soul.  When a patient comes into my clinic, the some questions I ask besides the physical symptoms of course, is how is your mood?, what did you eat today?, are you feeling stressed?… Health is not about just the physical and a modern physician should know that.  It’s literally proven that stress lowers the immune system, depression leads to a higher pain sensitivity, and so on.

Q: You currently practice on the island of Crete in Greece otherwise known as the “island of herbs”.  Do you prescribe any of the local botanicals for your patients?

A: Yes, I’m so lucky to live in a place with abundant natural medicine all around!  There’s sage and chamomile growing up all the mountains, wild asparagus growing in the shade around the olive trees, eucalyptus trees, aloe vera, and so many medicinal plants.  Sunburns are quite an issue during the summer months so I always tell my patients (besides basic preventative measures) to simply cut off a leaf from an aloe plant and directly apply it to the skin for soothing relief.  For insomnia or anxiety I advise drinking a little chamomile tea in the evenings.  

Q: How would you describe the kind of medicine you practice?

A: One simple word: Integrative. I’m trained classically but stay up-to-date with the research pertaining to my profession.  There’s so many studies published every year on nutrition-related diseases, how our microbiome effects our body, how mind-body medicine can improve disease outcomes, and how stress is deeply related to many conditions.  I mean, the Mayo Clinic, Harvard, UCLA, and so many other institutions are actively studying different treatment modalities and how it can improve specific conditions.  I believe each person is different and should therefore have an individualized approach using many tools, not just pharmaceuticals.

Q: What are some things you can’t live without?

A: My stethoscope, a high-quality probiotic, running shoes,  and cold-pressed organic olive oil.

Q: What did you eat for breakfast today?

A: I make my own gluten-free “power bars” made of nuts and dried fruit that I grab on the go every morning before I open my clinic.

Q: How do you maintain the work\life balance?

A: It’s always a work in progress but I cherish every minute of my time and maximize each day.  I close my clinic from 2-5pm and then reopen in the evenings and this is the time that I use to rebalance.  On a typical day (winter or summer), I will take a quick swim in the Mediterranean with my family as way to connect and also refresh with good ‘ol hydrotherapy.

Q: Where can we find you?

I’m based in Heraklion, Crete .

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