I was so privileged yesterday. I met the brilliant Dr Chatterjee who I quote daily to anyone who will listen! I was able to thank him for his brilliant podcasts from which I have learnt and continue to learn so much. It still feels very surreal that I spent a whole afternoon in his company. However, I was equally privileged to meet him at a truly wonderful wellbeing event run by the brilliant Dr. Asfia Aftab. She is a wonderfully gentle, kind and compassionate human being who has created a brilliant social prescribing project in Birmingham. She describes Dr Chatterjee as one of her gurus and says his 4 Pillar plan underlies everything she has done with the project. She, like him, believes passionately in getting the root causes of the problems her patients, and about treating lifestyle conditions with lifestyle solutions. However, she also believes in the power of the community, and her project helps people to get educated and get better together. There were numerous inspiring talks from a whole range of health professionals, but Dr Chatterjee and another guru of hers James Maskell closed the event. He has been working the field of lifestyle medicine for a very long time and spoke of the power of group consultations, and people supporting each other to get better.
There was certainly so much to take from all the fantastic talks it is difficult to summarize it. However, there were a few pervading themes. There was a focus on natural living: surrounding yourself in nature, whether that is walking in nature, gardening, or nurturing a house plant, or indeed eating more plants! There was a definite focus on joy – Vitamin J! How brilliant is that. We can create our own moments of joy if we are mindful and live with intention. Dr Chatterjee told the familiar story of one of his patients who had struggled with long term un-resolved digestive issues. He identified that actually stress was at the root of the problem and advised her to schedule 15 minutes a day to do something that would bring her joy. So, she followed the Drs orders, went for a walk for 15 minutes a day & went to a weekly Zumba class & managed to reduce her symptoms by 50% in 3 weeks! Indeed, Dr Chatterjee now believes that stress is a major factor in chronic disease. He is clear to point out that no-one is to blame, but that the environment and modern living is having a huge impact on our stress levels. But what is brilliant is that scheduling in 15 minutes ‘me time’ (or Vitamin J) can be a very powerful medicine!
Indeed, we all experienced small techniques throughout the day led by another brilliant Dr in her community as he led us through breathing techniques, simple movements and laughter yoga. There are so many simple yet brilliant things we can do to help ourselves. We also experienced heart focused breathing technique led by another Doctor experienced in a technique called heart math.
I could go on and on, like I do, but I will stop for now.
Back here in Leamington, I am surrounded by equally inspiring people and I am keen to work with more inspiring people to spread the word about health and wellbeing. I am really excited about the response I have had about moving the Supper Club to Leamington and would like to invite anyone who is interested to come and join us.
Next month promises to be a real treat and I am really excited to be working with Amanda Austell Jones as she shares her knowledge and experience around emotional eating. She will help you to explore strategies to improve your relationship with food. Please click on the link for more information Harriet’s Healthy Supper Club
I really you will be able to join us.