Shifting the medical paradigm: from reductionism to holism, disease to health

Medical training centres around the individual and their component parts. And yet, in truth, health is rooted in relationship: with the trillions of microbes with whom we share our bodies, with food and other aspects of our lifestyle, with our family, local community and the natural world. As GPs we are uniquely placed to influence health at each of these levels. We can do so using low-cost, evidence-based interventions, including the promotion of physical activity, an unprocessed diet and connection to nature and one another. The formation of Primary Care Networks has provided a springboard for action in these areas by GPs in Horley, Surrey, where we plan a series of interventions as part of the project “Growing Health”. We are working with partners in schools, the council and third sector to help make the ‘right’ lifestyle choice an easy and equitable one. Phase 1 of our project addresses food. We look to embed a healthy food culture in our schools and to establish a community kitchen, connecting those who love to cook from scratch with those who wish to learn. We look to grow food locally and sustainably with our community.
Doctors and medical students have as much to gain from good food and connection, as our patients. We run experiential, nature-based CPD events exploring the implementation of lifestyle medicine in clinical practice in a way that respects both planetary boundaries and the finite resources of the NHS. We are delighted to connect with the Nutritank community, whose ambition we whole-heartedly support.
Twitter: G Orrow @HuxleyG
Email: [email protected] (for further details of future learning events / “Growing health” project)
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Photographs used with kind permission of the Salt Box, our woodland culinary partners for CPD events

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