Lifestyle Medicine in Norwalk, CT
A holistic approach to pain management and anti-aging that focuses on improving overall health and well-being.
At Premier Pain Care and Wellness, we understand that simply managing the symptoms of chronic pain and aging is not enough - we know that achieving optimal health depends on a holistic approach that addresses the underlying causes.
That's why we offer Lifestyle Medicine, a revolutionary approach that emphasizes the importance of enhancing overall health through lifestyle changes. Lifestyle Medicine is a medical specialty that uses therapeutic lifestyle interventions to treat chronic conditions. Lifestyle medicine certified physicians are trained to apply evidence-based, whole person, prescriptive lifestyle changes to treat or reverse chronic conditions.
Our unique approach to pain management and aging through Lifestyle Medicine focuses on
six pillars: nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep health, substance abuse avoidance, and social connections - to achieve long-term, life-transforming outcomes.
As a triple board-certified anesthesiologist, interventional pain management, and diplomat of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Gendai Echezona recognizes that traditional treatments like oral medications, injections, and surgeries may only address the symptoms of pain and aging in the short term and may have limitations, contraindications or negative side effects. The same lifestyle medicine treatments used to prevent and cure chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for looking and feeling your best.
Whole Food, Plant-Based Nutrition
Dr. Echezona believes in the transformative power of good nutrition. Extensive scientific evidence supports the use of a whole food, plant predominant diet to prevent and treat chronic conditions. This type of diet is rich in fiber, anti-oxidants, and is nutrient dense. The focus is on eating minimally processed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Together, we’ll develop personalized nutrition goals to improve your eating habits implementing a few changes at a time. We will first focus on what you can add to your diet. We will not ignore conventional medicine and nutritional supplements where applicable on this journey. Your new nutrition plan will be one that suits your body and status of pain.
The Six Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine
General physical activity as well as purposeful exercise combats the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise is of equal importance in improving overall health and pain management. Guidelines recommend that adults aged 18-64 do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly. As much as we embrace exercise here at Premier Pain Care, we recognize that exercise needs to be tailored to individual needs. Beginning your physical activity plan may start with a certified specialist such as a physical therapist, personal trainer, or fitness instructor. Activity may focus on aerobics and endurance, strength and resistance, as well as flexibility and balance.
Stress management is another vital aspect of our Lifestyle Medicine program. While stress can lead to increased productivity and help us accomplish challenging goals, negative stress responses may lead to pain, anxiety, depression, obesity, immune dysfunction, and more. As lifestyle medicine physicians, we understand the impact stress has on the body and work with patients to recognize the things in life that cause stress while incorporating various techniques to manage stress and improve overall health.
Things you can do to manage stress include:
Relaxation activities (meditation, music, dance, exercise, etc.)
Deep breathing techniques
Get involved in activities or organizations
Make time for laughter
Fulfill your spiritual needs
Connect with others that make you feel good
Journaling, this can be writing about stressful event or keeping a gratitude journal
Avoidance of Risky Substances
We cannot overlook the negative effects of substance abuse, especially on how we look and feel. We are particularly cautious about avoiding risky substances while managing chronic pain conditions. Use of substances like tobacco and excess use of alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of chronic disease and death. At Premier Pain Care and Wellness, we help our patients develop strategies to avoid substance abuse or self-medication as it does more harm than genuinely address the problem.
Sleep health- quality and quantity, is another key area that significantly contributes to managing chronic pain. Many people with chronic pain struggle to obtain restful sleep. Poor sleep negatively impacts many other health indicators and has been shown to even decrease life expectancy. Delayed or interrupted sleep leads to sluggishness, low attention span, depressed mood, decreased caloric burning during the day, increased hunger, and increased pain. We are all familiar with the negative effects that it has on our appearance. At Premier PCW, we help create a personalized sleep hygiene program to ensure adequate (7 or more hours), uninterrupted sleep, and combat the effects of stress arising from compromised sleep.
Lastly, social connections provide emotional support essential for recovery, pain management, and mental well-being. The single most predictor of human happiness and long life is having strong social connections. Leveraging the power of relationships and social networks can help reinforce healthy behaviors. Even short, positive social interactions improve health related measures. Setting a social connection goal is a great way to increase your sense of connection, and at Premier PCW, we can provide support and resources. We encourage you to strengthen your current social connections while also forming new social connections if necessary.
Strengthen current social connections by:
Take more time to connect with the people you already see during the week
Stay positive while connecting with others
Share new experiences
Be intentional about making time to spend with others
Be there for those who need you
Be flexible, supportive, and excited about what others are doing in their lives
Form new social connections by:
Volunteering or doing something to help others
Find online or community groups with those of similar interests
Join a religious or spiritual group
Go to local events whether sporting events, music performances, or art shows
Organize community events by sitting on a board or committee
Attend community celebrations like walks and parades
Take a course at the local library or college
Ask employer or management to help with ways to increase social connections at work
You deserve to look your best and be free of pain as you engage in all of life’s activities that bring you joy!
At Premier Pain Care and Wellness, we take a personalized approach to managing your pain and maintaining your youthfulness through Lifestyle Medicine.
Contact us today to request an appointment with Dr. Gendai Echezona to start your journey to a healthy, pain-free life.