(this is like a travelogue or trip report, but a travelogue through a few rooms in one day, lol.)
Lifestyle Medicine symposium was great. It was held at the education facility of our largest regional hospital authority, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Friday. My best guess was 200 people got seats; they said they turned away 70. Intro was by the cardiologist who led the whole thing and kept everyone on schedule. He discussed the two national cardiology/chronic disease education programs that have local presence there - CHIP which uses the same rooms and spaces we did, and Ornish, which is in a neighboring building. He gave examples from his practice and colleages' practices of a lot of success stories, and he got people to stand or raise their hands. Gave info that Ornish will have another location soon (actually not that far from me) as they try to make it easier to attend in this region. Information in a flyer about how CHIP is not yet covered by medicare, but as always insurance partially covers the referral by drs to dietary, disease management or health counseling anyhow. He explained how his usual appts with patients go when someone needs to be referred - he reassures them that he's a speaker at both and nearby.
Next a professor of physiology spoke on exercise and was eye-opening. She is from USC, the first univ in the US to require courses in nutrition and lifestyle all 4 years for med students. She insisted we stand up for part of her presentation. Some of the studies she wanted to talk about - 2 years of life lost, on average, for those who sit still 3 hours per day. The ability to do one pushup directly correlates with ability to live independently in old age. Physical inactivity results in 3.2 mill deaths globally per yr. Obesity can be detected at the cellular level 15-20 years before visible obesity. Exercise improves glucose uptake in second way postprandial (following meals) independent of first way (muscle contraction). Survival of lung and breast cancers proven to be increased by fitness (and she believes others are as well - just not all studied yet). She recommended apps... " 7 minute physical activity app" and "desk exercise app".
Then we separated into 3 groups and first I went to a presentation regarding motivation and how everyone has different motivations, and about counseling drs can give. They went in-depth on how dr's appts can still be effective in just minutes (5-minute videos of actors using time well). Points included - keeping on topic, setting your agenda in advance, summarizing, using the "on a scale of 1 to 10" phrase helps make a point, even with drs. We will likely be seeing more "check-in forms" or "patient-identified areas of focus", meaning we as patients will be writing down a few things for the dr to read as he/she walks in - bringing up our topics right at the first.
Then we were back together for Dr. Michael Greger in a webex lecture on the 15 most common causes of death and the non-invasive ways to halt them, which I've heard twice before - many in the audience hadn't so there was a lot of laughter as he's a good entertainer and very likable. He kept calling us all "clinicians" so I guess he didn't realize how many were ordinary people. He had been slated to attend in person but was leaving Switzerland to do it and the flight was delayed. The dietician seated beside me was just devastated not to get to meet him. During his lecture, the computer app "Flux" yellowed his screen because it was still set on Swiss time, making it react as if it were evening. He recommended the app and says he uses it all the time for reminding him it's time for evening light, to stop looking at screens that would keep you awake.
Then after lunch the lecture from National Geographic expedition director/photographer Nick Buettner, who talked about his group's grants for their study, and their particular choices for their documentary, of what they called "The Blue Zones", 5 countries/groups with the greatest health. Their criteria was 1) greatest number of people with documented ages over 100, and 2) documented greatest life expectancy overall. Incidentally, all of these had more than 10 times higher rate of centenarians than the US. They chose Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Adventists in the US (not a place but a religious group); Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece. He did talk briefly about the Okinawans and the Adventists being on several other researchers' lists as well, but Sardinia Icaria and Nicoya being replaced by others. He said The Blue Zones expeditions' particular longevity emphasis brought those 3 to the top for them. The world's longest disability-free life expectancy is in Okinawa. His group is continuing with attempts to help in various areas/towns who request their help to increase community health, and they hope that outreach can grow - just a few in the US right now.
Then back into 3 groups again and I went to the kitchen area with recommendations on small appliances and how to use them -
I was the one who knew what the Air Fryer was. Only question I got right (in time to be first) all day.
Then all together again with a stress education expert. I counted 13 letters behind his name and gave up on that - he knows his stuff, I guess. He told us current events : that on Monday, October 2, 2017, the American Heart Association adopted Meditation as one of their recommended lifestyle modifications, following their research into results of 50 studies; that the number of traffic fatalities caused by texting just crossed 16 percent with "being somehow lost in thought" now the number one cause of traffic mishaps in general (though not number one in fatalities). He had many physical benefits of meditation to talk about - lowers inflammation, lowers level of cortisol, slows cognitive decline, etc. He works formally with first responders, especially firemen because of the need for controlling and sustaining their personal attention under stress ("inter-temporal choice to delay ones own gratification, for the common good") as well as their need to calm others. He said 10 years ago, he/we would have told a person who needed to calm down to "breathe", but now we have a better wording to say, "notice your breathing" or even to suggest slow walking. Just saying "breathe" to a person in anxiety sometimes causes heightened anxiety. (oops) He recommended 2 apps for starting meditation: "headspace" and "insight times".