The Lifestyle Medicine (LM) presence is now being felt in countries around the world. Our recent Asian Society of Lifestyle Medicine conference in Manila last February 4-7, 2018, with the attendance of delegates from 12 different nations is proof that LM’s future is bright. There is still a long way to go before we see most hospitals and doctors adapting Lifestyle Medicine Management as part of their clinical practice, but these small steps we are presently taking is helping us move forward in that direction. Soon, Lifestyle Medicine will be a household term. Everyone will know a doctor who practices Lifestyle Medicine and I dream of a day when our topmost killer diseases will only be found in medical history books.
It is a fact that change is the only thing constant, and people’s usual initial reaction to change is that of resistance. When it comes to the practice of medicine however, change is inevitable.
As we learn and discover better and better ways of helping people take their health back, it is the duty of every health practitioner to adapt, to improve and serve our patients with the best practices available. Not doing so may not only mean a reprimand from one’s medical society or ethics committee, it may result in lives lost for no good reason. Some challenges early adapters face include inadequate facilities for LM pro- grams and staff who need to be re-educated and trained to facilitate change in those patients willing to do so.
The greatest challenge however, comes not from patients who do not comply to one’s expert recom- mendations, the challenge often comes from within our ranks. From mis-informed colleagues who may not appreciate our honest efforts in following and educating patients on the principles of a plant-based, whole-foods diet. From specialists who may find you as a threat to their practice because heart disease and diabetes can be reversed through inexpensive, sustainable and simple dietary and lifestyle changes. For those of you who have just joined our organization, when you experience these challenges, remember that you are not alone.
When you begin to doubt your calling because of pressure from fellow physicians and health practitioners, remember that many have come before you and have weathered it out. Because of their efforts and passion for discovering
Your support of the incoming administration led by Dr. Jenny Lee is vital in continuing this movement across Asia. With the newly appointed and more than competent Executive Director Dr. Andy Ng by her side, the ASLM will continue its mission to help eradicate the leading causes of mortality in our society. It was a great year for me working with our Asian organization. The successes achieved by the Asian Society of Lifestyle Medicine could not have been possible without a great team of dedicated individuals whose passion for advancement in this field is awe-inspiring. Be like them, surpass them! The future of Lifestyle Medicine depends on you. Kudos, and see you all in Seoul, Korea next year!
Johann Kim T. Mañez, MD, DipIBLM, FACLM – is the first international Fellow in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Spear- heading Lifestyle Medicine in the Philippines and Asia, he is found- ing member and outgoing president of the Asian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and present president of the Philippine College of Life- style Medicine. He practices Lifestyle Medicine at the Adventist Medical Center Manila and is known for his passion in caring for his patients.