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Prescribing Wellness: Transforming the future with Lifestyle Medicine

Dr Liza on stage in Dubai

In a world that often seems to move at a fast pace with people living longer but developing more long-term health conditions, the importance of embracing a holistic approach to health is becoming increasingly important.

Enter Lifestyle Medicine—a transformative approach that places the power of wellness firmly in the hands of individuals. In this blog, we share how WISE has been spreading the message about Lifestyle Medicine and the vital role it plays in empowering people to self-manage their health.

Dr Liza Thomas-Emrus: A Global Advocate for Wellness

The ripple effect of Lifestyle Medicine reached new heights when Dr Liza Thomas-Emrus took to the stage at the NextGen WellTech Generation Conference in Dubai. Hosted by Respiratory Innovation Wales, this conference provided a global platform for thought leaders and innovators to share ground-breaking ideas in building healthier communities, specifically by creating environments and buildings that support wellness. Dr Thomas-Emrus seized this opportunity to shed light on the Wellness Improvement Service, a pioneering initiative that is redefining the landscape of health by addressing the 6 pillars of Lifestyle Medicine.

  • Sleep
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Mental wellness
  • Social connection
  • Minimising harmful substances

With her infectious passion and dedication, Dr Thomas-Emrus underscored the importance of empowering individuals to take control of their health journey. The Wellness Improvement Service, a beacon of hope in this paradigm shift, exemplifies the belief that health is not a one-size-fits-all prescription but a personalised journey towards holistic well-being.

Seeding Change: Cardiff University Medical Students Embrace Lifestyle Medicine

The winds of change are blowing through medical education, and at the forefront of this shift are the medical students from Cardiff University. In a recent initiative, these future healers were welcomed into the realm of Lifestyle Medicine through an immersive experience with the Wellness Improvement Service.

The aim was clear, to introduce the concept of Lifestyle Medicine early in their medical training, planting seeds of awareness and understanding that will shape their approach to healthcare. These students didn't just sit in classrooms; they engaged with Wellness Coaches and spent meaningful time with patients. This hands-on experience allowed them to appreciate, in a profound way, what truly matters to patients—their hopes, their struggles, and their aspirations.

Picture of four medical students

Seeing Beyond Symptoms: Chronic Health Conditions and Quality of Life

The heart of Lifestyle Medicine beats in its ability to see beyond symptoms and delve into the broader spectrum of individuals' lives. The medical students, during their time with the Wellness Improvement Service, gained invaluable insights into the impact of chronic health conditions on quality of life.

Beyond the clinical manifestations, they witnessed the emotional toll, the daily challenges, and the resilience of individuals navigating through chronic health conditions. This empathetic understanding is a cornerstone of Lifestyle Medicine—it recognises that health is not a mere absence of illness but a state of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Prescribing Change: Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity and Wellbeing

Lifestyle Medicine acknowledges that lifestyle choices are powerful determinants of health. The medical students, alongside Wellness Coaches, observed first-hand the transformative potential of prescribing lifestyle changes as a means to improve longevity, physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.

From healthy eating advice to incorporating regular exercise and stress management techniques, the prescription is not about restriction but about empowerment. It is about equipping individuals with the knowledge and tools to make informed choices that resonate with their unique needs and aspirations.

Wellness Coaches: The Architects of Positive Change

A pivotal aspect of the Wellness Improvement Service is the role of Wellness Coaches. These unsung heroes play a crucial part in guiding individuals towards positive health outcomes. The medical students, through their interactions with Wellness Coaches, witnessed the art of translating medical advice into practical, sustainable lifestyle changes.

Wellness Coaches, armed with empathy and expertise, bridge the gap between theory and practice. They understand that each individual's journey is unique, and the path to well-being is addressing all the barriers, including socio-economic barriers that the patient may face. Through personalised support, goal setting, and celebrating successes, these coaches exemplify the collaborative spirit of Lifestyle Medicine.

Spreading the Message: A Call to Action for Positive Change

As we reflect on the importance of spreading the message about Lifestyle Medicine, it becomes clear that a cultural shift towards proactive and self-management in healthcare is essential. Dr Liza Thomas-Emrus' journey to Dubai and the integration of Lifestyle Medicine into the early stages of medical training at Cardiff University signal the growing interest in this field both within healthcare and without.

The message is simple but profound: health is not a passive state bestowed upon us; it's an active, daily pursuit. By embracing Lifestyle Medicine, we empower individuals to become the architects of their well-being. We recognise that small, intentional lifestyle changes can lead to significant improvements in physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.

In conclusion, the importance of Lifestyle Medicine cannot be overstated. It's a movement that invites everyone to be an active participant in their health journey. As we spread this message far and wide, we sow the seeds of positive change—nurturing a future where wellness is not just a destination but a way of life.