The SIX PILLARS
Lifestyle Medicine focuses on six pillars of health: NUTRITION celebrating FOOD as medicine, SLEEP stressing good sleep hygiene, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, STRESS MANAGEMENT, MINDFULNESS AND SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS, and AVOIDANCE OF RISKY SUBSTANCES. It is a welcome shift away from conventional care toward lifestyle modification as the primary treatment goal.
Conventional care is the current practice of most primary care clinicians believing disease processes occur from either exposure to a virus or bacteria, an environmental factor or from genetic predisposition. Treatments may be ACUTE to kill the bug or LONG-TERM to control the disease and/or risk factors that can shorten the lifespan.
Patients are considered the recipients of conventional care- they are expected to comply with treatment but not make any significant changes. Physicians are considered responsible for the care and outcomes, while the patient remains a passive recipient.
In LIFESTYLE MEDICINE, the goal instead is to treat the underlying cause when possible. Many modern diseases are caused by lifestyle. Therefore, lifestyle changes must be part of the cure!
Lifestyle modification is prescribed as the FIRST-LINE and MOST IMPORTANT therapy for disease treatment and reversal. LIFESTYLE MEDICINE requires patient engagement and patient responsibility for treatment and outcomes. The physician acts as both a medical expert and a supportive health coach. The patient drives the change needed to achieve success.
Where would you like to begin?