Healthcare is often very personal. Most of us know our own vices, and can usually figure out what has caused whatever ailment we have been diagnosed with. The tricky part is striking a balance between living our ‘best life,’ and sticking to what we know will best maintain good health.
For many Bermudians, the key to good health can be very simple: just follow the lifestyle model set by your family’s General Practitioner. Doctors are meant to not only care for patients, but be bastions of maintaining optimal physical and emotional health, and making positive lifestyle choices. Does your family GP set a positive example?
Dr Leonard Gibbons, DRPH, MPH, HT, RD, is a local authority in the field of lifestyle medicine, and – very definitely – a doctor who ‘walks the walk,’ instead of just diagnosing and prescribing; he leads by example!
A graduate of Loma Linda University, Oakwood University, the Australian College of Phytotherapy, and Uchee Pines Institute, Dr Gibbons excels in preventive care, wellness in the workplace, public health nutrition, dietetics, herbal medicine, alcohol and drug counselling, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counselling and coaching.
Dr Gibbons informs us that:
“A wide array of different modalities and lifestyle medicine is, basically, based on the premise that most of what we call disease is the consequence of our lifestyle choices; our eating, sleeping, breathing, even how we cope with stress – everything that comes with lifestyle, and factors that are associated.
So, when you ask the question with regard to practicing what I preach; I definitely follow those principles of eating healthfully, getting adequate rest, exercising, drinking water, and learning how to effectively deal with stress. I also use herbal medicine and water therapies – the use of water in the treatment of disease; they call it hydrotherapy.”
Dr Gibbons is, therefore, a model of a clean-living human being, and someone who should be listened to, and followed, if you want to maintain a healthy body, and live a long life.
In his daily practice, he employs many kinds of holistic, lifestyle practices when prescribing medicine and recovery techniques to his patients.
“I do what you call an ‘integrated approach’ to healing through natural medicine, and, if we deal with the underlying causes of disease, many of the diseases for which people are taking medication can be reduced, or even eliminated, because we’re really solving the underlying problems.” Of course, there’s no perfect blueprint that will allow a human being to live a life free of all ailments, conditions, or diseases, but living clean is a good start to the perennial quest to maintain optimal physical health. Dr Gibbons provides some counsel on how to keep your visits to your family GP’s office comfortably infrequent:
“In terms of individuals coming to the office, that has everything to do with how they are making application of those lifestyle principles. If they are applying the proper principles, their conditions will improve to the point where they shouldn’t have to come in very frequently at all.”
“Those that are challenged, and whenever stressors, or things in life that tend to get them off track arise, they get support to help keep them on track. So, they only come as long as they need to come so that they can get to the place where they are functioning quite well, and those conditions or symptoms we call ‘problems’ go away because they are actually living how they should be living; following those principles of self-help.”
So, in summary, follow your doctor’s advice at all times, live as cleanly as possible, and, on March 30, 2023, wish Dr Gibbons, and your family GP, a truly wonderful National Doctor’s Day!