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Stress, new science, old habits and new strategies

As we are planning the next Power Break for October, this article made for interesting reading. In the very same edition of the P4 blog Dr. Gary S. Firestein, dean of translational medicine at the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine is interviewed on “personalised medicine”.

If you bother to read both these articles, something striking becomes apparent. In the first, research is presented documenting that 17% of those surveyed had the maximum stress and that they are also the participants who fared the worst in assessments of healthy eating and exercise. The article continues to state that making healthy choices is dependent on a whole-person approach to wellness and that fitness are ineffectively addressed in isolation. That makes one wonder about the ROI of all those in-house gyms.

Dr Firestein’s summary of the state of personalised health was that our science has a long way to go, it cannot be seen in isolation from the lifestyle choices that people make and that we are better off to focus on a whole-person approach to health using DNA only as part of the toolkit to guide interventions.

These very different articles confirm to me that we should 1) have a holistic approach based on something like the life balance questionnaires, 2) use DNA to help plan individual interventions and 3) ensure that we support clients to actually implement new knowledge through coaching.

Point 3 of course needs reiteration. Both articles refer to the use of acquiring new health information. Knowing something and actually implementing that knowledge (at least as far as lifestyle is concerned) are two different things. That is why coaching and brain power workshops are so integral to our 3-day Power Breaks.

Talking of brain power, next time I will tell you a little more about emerging neuro-scientific research that supports our belief in the use of role-play, improvisation and coaching to fast-track insight and decision-making in implementing lifestyle changes.

Till then.