20 Feb What is Lifestyle Medicine?
Lifestyle medicine is the practice of measuring, monitoring, studying and inspiring daily and weekly lifestyle rituals that preserve health by enhancing physical and mental well-being, preventing the development of chronic disease and slowing the biological aging process.
The practice of lifestyle medicine begins with measuring daily and weekly lifestyle rituals including:
- Sleep and
- Exposure to toxins and risks
It is estimated that more than 50% of chronic disease and 30% of all cancer can be prevented by optimizing lifestyle behaviors alone. This is more than any other medication supplement or therapeutic intervention and represents the most important component of our Comprehensive Health Examination and quarterly follow-up visit.
Lifestyle medicine is widely accepted as having the most important impact on human health. Why is it so difficult for human beings to adopt healthy lifestyle rituals and maintain them? You and me and everyone you know are born with an ancestral mind and body that we inherit not only from our parents but from all of our ancestors. After millions of years of natural selection, this ancestral mind and body has accumulated powerful neural pathways that must be able to attract your attention and influence your behavior to a greater degree than your conscious self will in order for you to survive and reproduce. The way in which your ancestral mind and body establish agency over your attention and behaviour are through craving and aversion. Dopamine and adrenaline.
Frank Sinatra was wrong when he sang, “I Did It My Way”. What he was singing about was what we mistakenly think of as free will. This is an ideology that does not stand up to empirical psychological investigation. You are at the mercy of chemicals bouncing between neurons.
It is important to realize that human evolution has never and will never evolve a gene for inner peace. Such a gene would be lethal either in the first but certainly in subsequent Generations. So the great challenge in Lifestyle Medicine is to deeply understand this human nature, and to outsmart your ancestral mind.
At DeerFields, Lifestyle Medicine is the foundation of all of our programs. Our approach is personalized and based on human performance psychology, mindfulness based stress reduction, and our quarterly review.
The Comprehensive Health Examination (CHE) is only the beginning of your transformation. It is the quarterly review following your CHE where you will experience the inspiration to actually transform your daily and weekly lifestyle rituals and realize the personal health goals you wish to achieve.