Lifestyle MedicineA medical specialty using therapeutic lifestyle interventions to treat chronic conditions including, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Forms to complete ahead of intial appointment:
- Lifestyle Assessment Short Form
- Medical Symptom Questionnaire
- Nutrition Assessment
- Physical Activity Vital Signs
What is Lifestyle Medicine?
Lifestyle medicine is a medical specialty that uses therapeutic lifestyle interventions to treat chronic conditions including, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Lifestyle medicine-certified clinicians are trained to apply evidence-based, whole-person, prescriptive lifestyle change to treat and, when used intensively, often reverse such conditions.
The approach includes focusing on the Six Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine:
- A whole-food, mostly plant-based eating pattern
- Physical activity
- Restorative sleep
- Stress management
- Avoidance of risky substances
- Positive social connections
How does it work?
The basic concept is to provide the body and mind high quality nutrient dense foods that support optimal metabolic, anti inflammatory, and immunologic processes. In addition to specific focus on Nutrition and Whole Foods, we also focus on movement/activity, and stress management with breathing techniques and simple meditation. This approach is focused on you, the patient, healing and helping yourself with guidance and direction from a medical provider. The Food is the Medicine when starting a lifestyle change program. The better the compliance with your nutrition prescription the better your results will be. Patients often report noticeable improvement within a few days to a few weeks in energy, mood, improved blood pressure and blood glucose measures. Patients can also report weight loss, less joint pain, improved skin conditions, and fewer gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating and reflux. This approach can help most chronic diseases: Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart Disease are very common, but also with depression and anxiety, as well as with autoimmune and general inflammatory conditions like, IBS, and Crohn’s.
How you get started?
You can have your PCP provide a referral for Lifestyle Medicine at Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, or, you can simply book an initial one hour consultation, with Dr. Robert Dawson, DNP, APRN.
When your arrive, try to do so 15-20 minutes early to fill out some health assessments that we use in your first consultation to review where changes can be made, and as needed thereafter to help measure your improvements.
The first appointment is one hour. Follow up appointments are 30 minutes, more time can be made available, if needed. This type of medicine involves a lot of discussion, and education, therefore visits do take longer than they typically would. In the beginning, it is recommended to plan for two-week follow ups over the course of 1-2 months, depending on your needs and progress. Then, they can be spaced out to follow-up at one month, or longer intervals. Big change in the beginning, with frequent follow-ups yields the best results.
- Food as Medicine: How to get started – Patient Guide
- Daily Dozen App (Free app that helps users to track their food, and includes a guide to recommended foods)
For more information, or to make an appointment, please call (603) 788-5095.
Lifestyle Medicine Provider, Robert B Dawson, DNP, MSA, APRN, ACNP-BC, DipACLM, VA-BC:
Dr. Dawson has been in nursing and healthcare since 1996, always with a keen interest in a more natural approach to health and wellness. His journey has taken him from nursing at the bedside to specializing in vascular access devices, and hospital medicine, to most recently being board certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Professional through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He has also studied Medical Qigong which has elements of yoga, Tai Chi and meditation practices to improve mind, body and spirt. Dr Dawson has a 200 hour Certification in Medical Qi Gong through the Zen Wellness organization. His goal is to help our local community improve on health and well being through intentional and sustainable lifestyle changes.
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