I was seeing more and more instances of patients struggling to adhere to one-size-fits-all medication regimens, either because of bad side effects, or because their quality of life didn’t improve. Ultimately, the root causes of their problems were not being addressed. Traditional Western medicine can often err towards an “if you have a hammer, it must be a nail” approach. That’s where alternative modalities can serve as a good complement to more conventional primary care, by incorporating varied diets, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle modifications to enhance standard treatment protocols.
I’m most surprised, and humbled, when patients remember me or something I did for them, even when it was a long time ago. I am (unpleasantly) surprised by how corporations and insurance companies have managed to turn the art of health and healing into a soulless industry.
I believe there is a major need for communities and governments to offer better education and tools to support healthy eating, stress relief, joyful exercise & movement, and artful activities (which stimulate the healing parasympathetic nervous system), just to name a few. Perhaps if our culture could allow people to work a little less and encourage more space for “down time”, we could have a healthier society.
At a workshop during my first AHMA conference, as a third year medical student, we were asked, “What is health?” The only answer I could think of was, “Not being sick.” Through the workshop, I realized that the yoga and meditation practices that I had developed as a first year medical student, my runs in Central Park, and the fiction books I read to relax, all fed into my health and wellness.
They say you can know a person’s values by what they do. Since moving back to New York recently, I’ve settled into some new wellness routines. I’m an avid Citibiker, and I have joined a yoga group in Central Park. I’ve been using the Headspace app for both meditation and sleep-casts. I play guitar whenever I can, and I attend outdoor swing dancing classes in front of the National History Museum. I opt for mostly nutritionally dense foods and take supplements to support the “weak links” in my health, but I do splurge on ice cream when the mood strikes.
The Lanby allows the patient and doctor to dictate the nature of their own relationship (untethered from the insurance system). Through our team approach to primary care, the Lead Physician, Wellness Advisor, and Concierge Manager are able to develop more comprehensive, personalized treatment plans. We can spend real time finding out what a patient’s priorities are through learning how they live, enjoy, and experience their life. And then in turn, we can better optimize their health.