As a certified doctor of natural medicine, nutritionist and yogi, I am intrigued by helping people find personalised tools to be at their best. Rather than a one size fits all, I am committed to getting to the bottom of understanding preventative medicine, lifestyle, and mindset for individuals to feel, well, great.
As my first contribution to WELL, Magazine Asia, I take this opportunity to introduce myself and my approach to health and wellness. Each month in my regular column, I will do my best to give tips and advice to support your wellness. I am here to explore topics including detox, immunity, gender specific health issues, anti-aging, gut health, and other functional wellness issues.
WELL, let me be your…
- Nutrition myth busting guru:
Let’s decipher fact from fiction to make informed, research-based nutrition decision.
- Biohacking teacher:
I’ll teach you the lessons I have learned that will enable you to decode your genetics and biochemistry and understand what works for you.
- Lifestyle Cheerleader:
I have learned some very handy health hacks through my career, I’ll share these with you so that you can at your best.
Everyone is genetically unique, but your DNA only determines around half of your health reality. The other half is made-up of our lifestyle choices, primarily (no surprises), nutrition. All that we consume instructs our biochemistry in real-time. Every bite of food we take, how much sleep we get, and how stressed we are dynamically influencing how we feel on a day to day basis. Each lifestyle is different, and your approach to diet and lifestyle should be equally exclusive to you.
For every health decision we make, we should choose the most effective option that causes the least side effects. For some, medications fit this criterion, but for many others, they do not. You have probably heard the quote from Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” How far have we strayed when the words of the “father of modern medicine” are considered radical and threatening to mainstream medicine? Well, let this be an opportunity to us to reclaim our health through what we eat and how we live.
More than just medicine
Medicine plays a vital role in healthcare, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only answer and more importantly, it’s not always the right answer. So many of my patients have been prescribed medication for a set of symptoms only to discover a set of unpleasant side-effects, short-term relief followed by longer term issues, or no relief at all. Irregular periods, anxiety, sleep issues, erectile dysfunction, sexual issues, water retention, digestive issues and energy deficit are the most common complaints that fall into this category.
Whilst it’s convenient to take a pill and hope for instant relief, many of us have forgotten how to listen to our bodies. All the “little” symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that something is out of balance. If we start tuning in and listening, we have the power to delay or to minimize conditions or disease in later life. Keep in mind that treating a disease is much like trying to resolve mould once it has set in. It can work with aggressive, often damaging side-effects, but it would be far better to keep the water out in the first place and prevent mould from ever starting. Your body is no different.
When we take pharmaceutical drugs, consider if you are silencing a bigger issue. I don’t advocate my patients becoming Doctor Google hypochondriacs, but there is value in questioning if your sleep, stomachache, slow libido, or constipation could be handled another way.
A holistic approach
Most global healthcare systems have very little attention to healthcare in a preventative context. It’s really “sick-care” more than protection of health. For me, medicine should be a holistic approach to achieving and maintaining optimum health – including better sleep, sharper focus, better sex, increased energy, fewer toxins, less stress, and of course – less sickness and disease.
Instead of two polarised camps, the “alternative” and the “traditional”, I believe that global healthcare will evolve into a fusion of medicine and holistic wellness. My career to date has been in pursuit of bringing this vision to the high-street.
This commitment to preventative healthcare was the reason we launched LifeClinic and LifeHub Hong Kong; a new space where we practice evidence based wellness called WellCare.
We focus on finding and fixing the root cause of symptoms. We use with science and medicine-based methods such as heavy metal, hormones, genetic, and gut testing. We treat patients using scientifically evidenced supplements and therapies combined with lifestyle changes. Our goal is to enable patients to resolve issues organically for long-term relief instead of just popping a pill. Sound like just another health fad? Take a look at some of the evidence.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to my healthcare philosophy. Stay tuned for the next articles to learn more about how to achieve optimal health!
Written exclusively for WELL, Magazine Asia by Candice Chan