South African Experts Divulge the Health
Trends You Need to Know About

Glenn and I met some truly fascinating people on our adventures in Africa, each with something new to teach us. Enter South African health and wellness coach Lara Delafield, who piqued our interest when telling us about a number of innovative techniques and philosophies we hadn’t heard of before, such as Quantum Scanning, Epigenetics and Eco-Psychology. Our run-in felt all the more meant-to-be when Lara mentioned she was in the process of developing a new wellness program for Singita resorts, since we had just arrived in Cape Town from our safari getaway at their Sasakwa Lodge in Tanzania.

I was curious to know more about the modalities Lara had mentioned, so she introduced us to Dr. Cooppan, an integrative medicine doctor who uses the latest in wellness findings to treat patients in improving their mental function, weight and resistance to diseases. Together, they answered our biggest questions and gave us an interesting look at the South African scene. Whether you’re on a journey to get healthier than ever this year, or in search of inspiration for your own consulting business, we think you’ll love to hear their take on these global wellness trends.

With Dr. Rajen Cooppan
General Practitioner & Integrative Medicine
Durban, South Africa

What are the benefits of working with an Integrative Medicine Doctor such as yourself? Should everyone seek out this level of care?
Integrative Medical Practitioners seek to reverse the reason for imbalances and disease by working at a cellular and enzyme level, correcting metabolic processes that have gone wrong. They don’t just treat symptoms, as does most of allopathic medicine. Much of what Integrative Medicine practitioners do may be deemed Functional Medicine—correcting the functional imbalances at a cellular and biochemical level through various enzymes, nutrients and detoxification therapies. This kind of care should be sought out because it addresses the cause of your imbalance or disease, as opposed to just managing your symptoms (usually with drug therapy).

What are the kinds of conditions people come to you for?
Mainly diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, weight loss, chronic tiredness, lifestyle restructuring for wellness, stress disorders, detoxification programs, cancer treatment and recovery from chemo / radiation.

Talk to us about Epigenetics and the possibilities this field has opened up.
Epigenetics is a science that was revealed to the world in the 1960s, but was not popularized for many reasons. Epigenetics states that our genes have the potential to express certain metabolic outcomes that present as imbalance or disease—but that the switching ON (or OFF) of specific gene locations is in fact determined by the environment. These environments could be nutritional, related to oxygen concentration in the tissue, hormone levels (such as high estrogen and breast cancer), emotional states (for example, chronic resentment switches on the gene that expresses breast cancer) and beliefs. All of these affect gene expression. So Epigenetics offers the amazing possibility of preventing some of the most damaging and life-threatening diseases facing mankind. A vast number of these diseases can be prevented or reversed by paying attention to the nutritional environment (in other words, ensuring that the body receives the full spectrum of whole food, organic nutrition). Epigenetics offers us a simplified way to prevent disease and ensure wellness, ongoing vitality and health. A very simple way to engage the nutritional recovery journey and to invoke the principles of Epigenetics is to use the high quality organic, whole food nutrients contained in two products: Provitality and the Neolife Shake. (These are available online at

You’ve written a book on how to overcome jet lag. What would people be surprised to learn from reading it?
That jet lag is not caused by crossing international time zones, but rather crossing the horizontal and vertical magnetic lines that form the magnetic grid of the earth. Jet lag is in fact due to your cells struggling to adjust to the new magnetic influence at your point of destination. It takes on average three days to make this adjustment.

We know mental performance is one of your areas of focus. Tell us about the latest medical findings and advances when it comes to brain function.
The brain needs certain critical nutrients to function normally (21 neuronutrients in fact). Certain nutrients, such as Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium deplete very rapidly in the body, especially when an individual is under stress. Replacing these nutrients daily is absolutely a requisite for superior mental performance. Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium must be bound (chelated) to specific carrier amino acids for them to be suitably absorbed into the body. Elemental forms of these nutrients give very poor bioavailability. The best for Chelated Zinc and Chelated CalMag are made by Neolife, which I also carry in my online shop.

Along with taking chelated supplements, what are the top things we need to be doing to keep our minds sharp?
Experiencing deeper sleep and quicker sleep induction is critical to superior mental functioning. (It turns out that Chelated Zinc and Chelated CalMag give this better quality of sleep when taken twice daily.) Adequate hydration is also critical, on average you need about 6 – 7 large glasses of water (lukewarm rather than iced) daily. Exercising daily is another requirement, it enhances the circulation / oxygen delivery to the brain. You only need eight minutes of aerobic activity to achieve brain fitness. The super herb for getting you superior mental capacity, preventing senile decline and early onset dementia, is Bacopa monnierra. This herb improves memory, focus, processing, recall, mental endurance and overall cognitive functioning. Together with the neuronutrients, Bacopa on a twice daily basis can revolutionize your mental performance. Lastly a daily dose of organic coconut oil can protect the brain against mental decline. So make sure you get at least 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into your diet twice daily.

Tell us about the wellness movement in South Africa. It seems to be growing fast.
Yes—the movement here is largely driven by women, who have taken the initiative to improve their health by educating themselves about wellness possibilities. Most of this is achieved online through various forums. An interesting statistic is that the 28-35 age group is focused on establishing wellness and health from early on in their lives, which is driving the demand for wellness services across the board, from nutrition to the various types of fitness offerings available within the country. Wellness Warehouses have sprung up in different cities offering a vast range of support nutrition as well as herbal substances that support wellness.

For more from Dr. Cooppan, visit: drcooppan

Wellness Gone Wild
Lara Delafield on Her New Program with Singita

Tell us about the new wellness program you’ve designed for Singita.
I have been contracted by Singita to research, develop and conceptualize their holistic wellness plan. This is a very unique philosophy and aims to impact their guests in a profound way. We are aiming to infiltrate wellness in Africa on a deeper level for those visiting the lodges. This is in its initial phases so more detail will be provided within the next year.

How is the program uniquely tailored for the safari experience?
The safari experience has a powerful wellness element already, so we are taking some of these attributes and really emphasizing the importance of the lessons one learns from being in this environment. I strongly believe in eco-psychology—the idea that basically our psyche is linked to nature. We were designed to function in conjunction with and connected to nature. The more we separate away from nature, the higher our stress and anxiety levels. Children are developing Nature Deficit Disorder as they become addicted to social media. We all need to be spending time outdoors as there is a natural healing that takes place when we do.

We’d love to know more about the cutting edge technologies you work with. What is quantum scanning and what are the benefits?
I studied under a Doctor in Pretoria who has numerous PHDs and works with the quantum scanner, which has 20 years of research behind it.

The quantum scan provides preventative information as to organ function, hormones, vitamins etc, which allows me to personalize my eating and lifestyle suggestions for each client. Sometimes one doesn’t feel sick but experiences certain discomforts because of nutrient deficiencies or poor cellular function that hamper efficiency and well-being. This machine assists with correcting one’s nutrition and eating according to body type.

What’s the number one piece of advice you have for someone who’s set the intention to focus on health and wellness this year?
Every positive step gets you closer to your end goals. What you do with your time between work and sleep determines a lot of your mindset. After work do you lie on the couch for five hours and watch TV while eating chips? Or do you read, exercise and enhance your life? The only competition is yourself, so remember to reward yourself for every achievement—not with chocolate, but with self-praise. Creating the right small daily habits is what allows for long-term, lasting transformation. I would also advise that one looks closely at their circle of influence—what are you reading, watching, listening to and who do you spend your time with? All of these influences effect your mental programming, so make conscious and deliberate choices for each.

For more from Lara Delafield, visit: LaraDelafield



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