What is Lifestyle Medicine?
Lifestyle Medicine has been shaped by the natural evolution of Medicine. It is an established approach that focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and populations. It combines the broad facets of modern healthcare practices with the deeper understanding of being human. In the 21st century it has never been more important as a concept. And that is to create a society and an environment, from cell to community, which nurtures healthy longevity.
It requires an understanding and acknowledgement of the physical, emotional, environmental and social determinants of disease. Hence the LM practitioner will engage with patients and operate within a boundary of evidence-informed medicine. One where the patients’ ideas, values, mind-set and social context blend with the clinicians’ expertise and also with clinical research outcomes, in order to identify a health-and-wellbeing sweet-spot which is unique to the patient. Thus empowered, the patient will be enabled to take control of their health destiny.
Importantly, Lifestyle Medicine has a wider responsibility to recognise upstream determinants of disease and to promote population health, to protect ecological health and to reduce health inequity. This requires a realistic team approach and recognition that not one discipline or profession alone can meet our health needs.