Reversing Diseases with Lifestyle Medicine

Reversing Diseases with Lifestyle Medicine

How Lifestyle Medicine and Whole Person Care can be used to treat today’s most prevalent chronic health conditions and bring “Health, Healing, & Hope” to Europe.

April 26, 2018 | CD-EUDNews, Corrado Cozzi. Pictures C.Cozzi

Bern, April 26, 2018. [CD-EUDNews C.Cozzi]. Bucharest, April 21. The second European Health Conference has just ended. Started on April 17, this Conference addressed a major challenge in terms of treatment of diseases: Reversing Diseases with Lifestyle Medicine, a real challenge in the field of medical treatment.

Inspired by the way Jesus healed the sick of his time, Valerie Dufour, Health Ministry Director for the Inter-European Region of Seventh-day Adventists (EUD), organized this Conference and highlighted that these stories of healing are not pointing here to a remedy for sick, but are rather calling our attention to the Source and process of healing as well as to each person’s necessary contribution to his/her own recovery. Similarly today, reversing chronic diseases such as coronary heart-disease or Type 2 diabetes, depression and many other health conditions, can only be within the realm of possibility when patients are made the protagonists of their own care management.
“Lifestyle Medicine - a tool long-known within our Church - is now an emerging field of medicine” said Valérie Dufour affirming that “the therapeutic use of lifestyle interventions has been researched and implemented in reversing obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression, and many other health conditions. The purpose of the 2nd European Health Conference was to present how Lifestyle Medicine and Whole Person Care can be used to treat today’s most prevalent chronic health conditions and bring “Health, Healing, & Hope” to Europe.”

All the presentations at this European Health Conference 2018 were intended to share practical and evidence-based studies showing how, in many cases, these diseases can be successfully treated and reversed through lifestyle interventions.

It is difficult to summarize the content of the Conference in few words because of the amount of interesting and important information along with all the scientific data presented. We can only indicate some topics treated during the Conference such as: How lifestyle overrides genetics; The science of reversing type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention; Lifestyle medicine in oncology; The role of emotions in reversing chronic diseases; Controlling high blood pressure without medications; Reversing the incidence and progression of dementia; Healing in the Bible; Behavioral change is possible; Mental health & spirituality; The healing role of balanced, healthful living; and much more.

Listening to the reactions of the participants, it is evident that the Conference largely responded to their expectations.  Many of them declared that they learned more about lifestyle preventive measures that can implement personal life, work practice and community.
Of course, one common leitmotif was learning how to treat people through lifestyle changes.

“This conference was really important because we have an update about the scientific basis for integrating lifestyle into the health interventions, and also because spirituality was integrated into this lifestyle.
Normally health professionals are trained only in bio-psycho-anthropology but you need to integrate spirituality to be successful and to meet the needs of the people,” said Dr. Rudolf Brodbeck, from Switzerland.
“We are full-time missionaries in a region we cannot identify. It is essential to have a scientific basis for our health and our lifestyle when we deal with these people. We are very happy to have come and seen the result of research,” expressed Pedro and Giselle. And Svetlana, who works in the same country, added: “As nurse, I learned many things that I can share with people that need a good lifestyle and we need to be trained to help them. This Conference opened my mind on how I can help them.”

The Conference was attended by about 640 among whom were medical doctors, dentists, nurses, dieticians, physical therapists, pastors and other spiritual care providers, health educators, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, students in any of these fields, administrators of health and spiritual care institutions, other health care providers, and everyone else interested in health care.

These participants came mainly from Europe, but also from USA, Australia, Morocco, Thailand, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Russia, and several other countries. The Congress was held in Bucharest, at the Rin Grand Hotel, close to the historical center of the city.

“This conference provided a wonderful opportunity to learn relevant, cutting-edge medical information in the context of a Biblical worldview. It was also encouraging and inspiring to network with other Seventh-day Adventists making a difference through medical ministry,” affirmed Dr. Daniel Binus, Clinical Director at Beautiful Minds Medical, Auburn, CA.

“It was a privilege to be involved with a conference where I sensed God’s blessing. The meetings helped me reconnect with the science behind lifestyle-based medicine in the context of sharing in Christ’s ministry to the world. The networking inspired me as I saw the passion of many members who are engaged in health ministry, in Europe and beyond,” shared Dr. David DeRose, President of Compasshealth/Compasshealth Consulting, Inc. in Foresthill, CA.

Dr. Zeno Charles-Marcel, Associate Health Minister at the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, confirmed that “this conference was inspirational and humbling.  God gives us a glimpse of His creative and restorative power through health restoration science. It was a time to reconnect with colleagues and meet new ones which will undoubtedly lead to friendships and collaboration.  Also, there were so many professionals and health enthusiasts (many of whom were not on the platform) who have testimonies about how God uses them in just about every setting.”

Dr. Fred Hardinge, Associate Health Minister at the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, echoed what his colleagues had affirmed: “This conference has furthered the understanding of the importance and variety of lifestyle interventions in improving quality of life, preventing disease, and as an important component in treating many degenerative conditions. It has been informative, motivational, and inspirational!”

“After attending this conference, I’m encouraged and grateful to the Lord for the dedication and service of so many people I encountered who are serving as the hands and feet of Jesus. Europe, like other parts of the world, is hurting, but people are responding to true compassion, healing, and hope.” Dr. Anabel Facemire, Cardiologist at Walla Walla General Hospital, Washington.
In fact, a medical approach to reading the Bible leads us to see how Jesus has always been oriented to healing, to having compassion for those in need. A model for the Church called to transmit the same compassion as Christ. This could be a clear invitation to discover a role in which the Church could become a further step for a healing process of the people in contact with our doctors.

An interesting theological contribution to this Health Conference has been offered by Pastor Don Mackintosh, Director of Newstart Global Health Program, Weimar CA. The spiritual devotionals that Pastor Mackintosh presented, enriched by scientific data, helped the participants to discover the natural interest God has always had for the holistic wellness of His sons and daughters.

In addition to the themes presented at the plenary session, the program also included afternoon workshop sessions. Some subjects were in-depth discussions of the topic presented in the morning, while others were a compendium of the general theme. Among them:
The clue to reversing diseases - understanding the invisible actors of our health; Exercise as medicine; The power of plant-based nutrition; Integrative oncology: a new recognized approach; Lifestyle therapies for mental illnesses; Lifestyle medicine tools to facilitate treatment and reversal of heart disease; Health outreach - Serving individuals & communities; Filling the lifestyle prescription: best practices for coaching lasting lifestyle change, and more.
The participants enjoyed the participation, giving their positive feedback.

The Romanian Minister of Health, Mrs Sorina Pintea, visited the Conference confirming her gratitude for what the Adventist Church does in the field of health prevention. Mrs Pintea introduced her message by declaring that her mother-in-law was Seventh-Day Adventist, so the health message was not unknown to her. Words of thanks for her interest in public health were offered by the president of the Romanian Adventist Church Stefan Tomoiaga.

“This 2nd European Health Conference has been an enlightening and inspirational event with high-quality scientific presentations and panel discussions, uplifting testimonies, devotionals, and musical moments. Hearts have been moved and lives touched. Something has been put in motion and its development is soon to be seen” conclude Valerie Dufour.

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