What is lifestyle medicine?
A new and empowering health paradigm is emerging
Conventional medicine is miraculous, it saves millions of lives. But what if, in addition to conventional medicine we could expand our understanding of what medicine is – and simultaneously empower ourselves to prevent and reverse chronic illnesses?
Although when we think of ‘managing symptoms’, we typically think of medication, it actually exists within alternative, complementary and conventional medicine. As a bodyworker, I am aware that with some issues, I am temporarily relieving symptoms, which was part of what inspired me to study Root Cause Health Coaching™ and lifestyle medicine.
What is lifestyle medicine?
Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach to prevent and reverse chronic disease.
When we hear the word ‘lifestyle’, we may think of diet, sleep and exercise; but lifestyle medicine is much more than this. It also addresses our habitual thinking patterns, need for social connection, stress, traumas and unresolved emotions. There is a wealth of research that now shows that our health and well-being are influenced by all of these factors. For example, evidence now shows that social isolation is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes per day. Many of us have experienced the effect that social isolation can have on our emotional and physical well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.
We now know that by exploring all of these factors, we can address many of the chronic illnesses that may have been previously labelled as ‘stress related’ and approached via symptom management. People are reversing Type 2 diabetes, for example, through lifestyle-based programs that are supported by the UK government.
Many types of “medicine”
We can self-heal though: time with loved ones, laughter, releasing emotions, letting go of the past, empowering ourselves, a sense of purpose, social support, diet, stress management, movement, regular sleep, time in nature… We are born with this knowing.
We are whole, complex and interconnected.
An empowering shift in responsibility
We may have a strong connection to the old health paradigm: that our body is a machine that breaks or is affected by external factors – and requires external experts and medication to help with the issue. Imagine how it would feel to believe that you can work with your body and it’s innate intelligence to self heal… that you have the power and the ability to help yourself and feel better. Lifestyle medicine is grounded in empowering people – as the experts in their own experiences – and more simply, guiding, helping and supporting – in partnership.
Why does it matter?
In the United Kingdom in 2019, over 8.6 million appointments were due to chest pains which were driven by stress-related mental illnesses. Furthermore, circulatory issues related to stress-related illnesses accounted for around 6.8 million appointments, while 2.8 million made appointments with their GP because of musculoskeletal issues caused primarily by stress.
of adults are experiencing stress regularly.
Through gradually making achievable changes to lifestyle and addressing the root cause, many symptoms can be resolved.
If you have a lingering symptom that you’d like to understand and address the root cause, get in touch.
Discover the the why behind your symptoms and empower yourself with a fresh understanding of health.
Your body’s rhythm is as natural as day and night. Learn to observe its continual balancing towards wellness.
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