Lifestyle Medicine

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Lifestyle Medicine

In this education post you'll learn:

  • What Lifestyle Medicine is and how it benefits you in multiple ways.
  • How the typical lifestyle habit prescription is given compared to traditional prescriptions.
  • Where you can find Doctors that prescribe Lifestyle changes to help you reach your own goals.

Lifestyle Medicine and its Benefits

There's a new type of Medicine in town and prescription pills don't stand a chance. Lifestyle Medicine involves reviewing the whole plant-based nutritional intake, restorative sleep pattern, stress reduction skills, exercise enjoyment, positive social interactions and toxic substance use then optimizing all of those areas of life. This helps to reduce dependence on medications, save money, and teach skills that last a lifetime.

I've personally used Lifestyle medicine with my patients to help with weight loss, marital stress, loss of muscle through aging, and even seasonal depression. The facts are in, it works.

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine provides high quality medical evidence-based training, conferences, and support for Lifestyle Medicine. They have helped to change entire communities and hospitals and help them live a higher quality and happier lives. 

They also help to give doctors better bedside coaching that has been proven in randomized trials to improve clinical outcomes across multiple disease states. Many doctors who practice lifestyle coaching spend more time with their patient's and know them with a higher level of detail.

The truth is changing your habits, in almost all instances, can work better than any prescription given to you. Lifestyle Medicine helps to free you from the harmful cycles of stress-eating, smoking, anxiety, depression, and much more by focusing on your own goals and then suggesting new ones.  In other words you are provided with the actual tools to help you undergo behavior change which actually frees you up from medications and multiple visits to the doctor's office. You achieve some self-liberation. 

Lifestyle Prescription vs Traditional

Instead of "here's a pill and you should exercise more" you get "here is a detailed exercise plan complete with weight increases, exercises explained in detail, and check in times. In 6 months we can review your lab work and if needed add medication at that time. If you need a local gym I can provide with contact information. 

Instead of "you need to reduce your anxiety by thinking less about the past" you get " here is an 8-week online mindfulness based stress reduction course that will provide you with guidance on meditation, yoga, self-reflective journaling, and communication skills to help you express your feelings. This in turn will allow you to get better sleep, concentrate on your goals, and get into less arguments with your spouse. 

You can see the big difference between the two approaches. The doctor will also frame questions differently. Instead of "you need to quit smoking because it causes bladder cancer" they may ask "how would your life be different if you quit smoking?" This is called using a self-reevaluation technique. Open ended questions foster a closer and more trusting relationship as you are allowed to express your true feelings without feeling cut off. This is also an advantage for the doctor because it allows them to discover hidden actions that may be causing your problem.

Where to Find Lifestyle Medicine Doctors

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine keeps an Experts page that will help you find a practicing doctor. Here is the link: . They have coaches, U.S., and international doctors listed. I practice this style as well because it is very rewarding for me and my patients. Many of the doctors are very passionate about actually going out of their way to help people change and achieve a better life. 

"One of the most powerful aspects of Lifestyle Medicine is that patients become more engaged, active participants in their own self-care, disease prevention and management, and overall well-being. The end results include better health outcomes for patients and a fulfilling collaborative model of practice for physicians and other health practitioners." - Cindy Geyer, MD, FACLM



Disclaimer The Clear Health Podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.

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