Lifestyle Medicine: A Unique Approach to Health Care
January 12, 2021
Middlesex Health is proud to offer a unique Lifestyle Medicine Program that is designed to help individuals address chronic illness through diet, exercise, stress management and social connectivity.
“Our goal is to empower our patients and help them unleash their own inner potential to live a healthy, joyful life,” says Dr. Mahima Gulati, a board-certified endocrinologist who specializes in hormonal disorders, especially Type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease and women’s hormonal health.
Dr. Gulati is also a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician. She directs Middlesex Health’s Lifestyle Medicine Program and chairs the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Women’s Reproductive Health subcommittee.
Lifestyle medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a whole food, plant-based diet; physical activity; adequate sleep; stress management; avoidance of risky substance abuse and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and oftentimes, reverse chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
“My goal is for my patients to live their best life by taking charge of their own health,” Dr. Gulati. “I want them to enjoy the process and not feel pushed.”
Middlesex Health’s Lifestyle Medicine Program delivers health care in a more informal, group setting, engaging patients as they learn about healthy lifestyles. Hands-on cooking sessions that incorporate fruits and vegetables are part of the program, and there is an emphasis on mindfulness and self-awareness. “One’s mindset is a key factor in adopting healthful behaviors,” Dr. Gulati says.
Middlesex’s Lifestyle Medicine Program launched in the fall of 2019 — just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has continued throughout the pandemic, treating patients and impacting lives. Visits are currently taking place online to keep everyone safe. Patients gather in groups of eight to 12 for 90-minute sessions that are led by three providers: a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, such as Dr. Gulati; a registered dietitian; and a health coach or patient navigator. Anything learned in the program is adjusted to work for each individual patient, keeping their lifestyle, goals and schedule in mind.
Middlesex’s program received national attention when it was featured by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine as a case study for other medical providers throughout the country who are looking to launch similar lifestyle medicine programs.
Many major insurance providers do cover lifestyle medicine programs. Please check with your insurance provider regarding your plan.