“A good scalpel makes a better surgeon. Good communication makes a better doctor.” – Josh Umbehr, MD
Last week was dominated with tales of tragedy, apprehension, despair yet hope. One thing that vicious events do is to bring people together and evoke conversation of a more personal variety. In the middle of all this contemplation and grief, I (DB) was asked by a middle aged well placed lady “I wish to have liposuction, what do you think”?
She had educated herself over the net and had a formal consultation as well. At first it appeared that she was looking for a second/third opinion but on further refection it was apparent that she was expressing a failure of lifestyle interventions in the form of diet, nutrition and exercise, she had done to shed those pounds and make herself what she thought would be more attractive.She followed a strict regimental lifestyle and a multitude of fitness tracker apps to achieve her weight loss goals. Her body did not respond as well as she would like and multiple times over the last year, she changed diets as well as exercise routines. This simply did not work. She felt that she was doing something wrong but could not put a finger on it. Sometimes, she would get a bit disheartened and take a break from her own lifestyle.
She was very well educated and was well aware about all the chronic diseases like diabetes and arthritis that could affect her due to overweight. Even though the yearly blood tests were still clear, a fear still lurked inside her about these conditions. This fear was not enough to sustain motivation to lose weight over prolonged period of time.
The health benefits of exercise and nutrition are well known, but the question is the body perception and a positive feeling about oneself, which is very important in any kind of preventive medicine. In addition to taking care of our bodies, it is vitally important to deal with the complexities of our mind.
As much as we need medical personnel for disease related support, lifestyle personnel in the form of nutritionists and exercise specialists, we also need people who are trained in the matters of the mind to support the person in preventive care, especially to build confidence and motivate continuously, to reduce the risk of failure.
Support from trained psychologists which can be accessed from a place of the patient`s own comfort may be extremely helpful. Communication today, courtesy of the internet and the mobile revolution is not just ubiquitous, but has improved in quality. It has broken geographic barriers and liberated the constraints of space. There is no better way than mobile internet to integrate all the arms of the support system to empower the person to self-care, which is the best way to prevent and manage the chronic diseases.