A medical camp held recently at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed some information enough to cause concern: many of the business owners had poorly managed chronic diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure, while some had heart disease.
In fact, diabesity – the combination of diabetes and obesity – is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide in urban populations. The World Health Organisation recommends lifestyle changes as part of management of chronic diseases.
Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure are often advised by their doctors to change their lifestyles. There the advice ends. Many patients don’t know what to do or how to make those changes, while others don’t have time.
Chronic diseases contribute to high health care costs for individuals and businesses. These costs undermine savings and profits. For businesses chronic disease is responsible for low productivity, absenteeism, low morale and attrition.
Compounding the problem are complications which result from untreated or poorly managed chronic disease. In the case of diabetes these include kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, and foot problems.
On a personal level, people can be moody, stressed and irritable while quality of life is impaired.
Data from the United States shows that:
- 70% of health care costs stem from preventable disease. (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention)
- 70-80% of doctor visits are stress related. (Public Health Survey)
- Obesity, diabetes and heart disease have reached epidemic proportions, and almost all are preventable. (American Medical Association)
It Does Not Have to Be So
Several studies show a correlation between lack of physical activity and coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Some include cancer in this list.
Lifestyles develop from habits. Habits are something we do automatically and routinely, without thinking. Changing habits is a big challenge for most of us. People who manage to change habits often find old ways returning shortly thereafter.
People don’t need more advice about vitamins, or told again to exercise or stop smoking. They need a clear, step-wise program for change, and an informed guide to help them. They need an accountability partner who is an expert at change.
The Prevention and Wellness Program is based on this paradigm. Meaningful results come about only when individuals take responsibility for their health and this program enables them to do that.
Prevention includes becoming healthier, reduce or eliminate the chances of diseases and their complications. Wellness means your mind, body and spirit are integrated. It is an ongoing process of choices, and is never static. Wellness is not something you begin to plan at age 65 or even 50. Every choice you make affects your wellness each day.
A survey by the Partnership for Prevention National Coalition in the United States showed that every dollar invested in workplace wellness yields a 300-600% return through reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and decreased health related costs.
Who needs this program?
This program can be helpful in the following situations:
- People who want to be healthier and reduce their chances of developing chronic disease. Often these complain of overwork, feeling tired, not having time, nagging physical symptoms such as heartburn or poor sleep.
- People with chronic disease who want to reduce chances of developing complications.
- Businesses interested in reduced medical claims and lower stress among managers.
- HR heads and groups can find that the program results in lower stress, improved morale and improved retention rates.
How is the program delivered?
First a disclaimer: Although advice and relevant professional support are provided as necessary, the program does not include instruction on diet, vitamins and how to exercise.
In essence it guides you to look around the corner at the coming years and decades of your life. What you do today can affect the quality of those tomorrows. The goal is that the time we spend in our sessions makes a positive and powerful difference for you for the rest of your life. It changes the ways how you care yourself and meet the needs of your mind, body and spirit.
The program is based on the TRACK Model which takes into account individual needs, circumstances and desired outcomes. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The components of TRACK are:
Target (desired outcomes), Reality (how things are at present), Awareness (information gained from exploring current reality, its costs, obstacles, and benefits of new ways), Chart course (design action plan), Kick-off (put plan into action.)
We hold a Prevention and Wellness Discovery Session in the beginning. This helps us to know more about your situation and answer questions you may have. It also helps us to find out if we need to go ahead with the program, eliminating your risk of unnecessary investment.
The discovery session is followed by six regular sessions. They are held fortnightly and each lasts one to two hours. In those sessions I give you exercises to do either at the time or between sessions, and they include monitoring your progress, feedback and tasks you may need to do.
The program can be delivered to individuals and to groups.
Introducing Dr Aamer Iqbal
Dr Iqbal is an alumnus of King Edward Medical College, Lahore and the National Heart and Lung Institute, London. In over two decades of clinical practice he has helped patients individually to improve their health and wellness. He is a trained coach and NLP practitioner, and he blends these approaches in his work with clients.
As one client notes, “I came to see Dr Iqbal because of a persistent indigestion which interfered with my feeling well. As a result I was behind schedule on my project and burdened with responsibilities; just thinking about them made me sick. Dr Iqbal very quickly made me see the root of my problem. A single session with him helped me get more done in a week than in the previous three months! (MH, research academic, Lahore)
After participating in the program clients report feeling better generally as opposed to feeling tired and listless, having more energy and enhanced emotional and physical well-being.
Your Next Step
To make an appointment for a Prevention and Wellness Discovery Session, or for more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.