The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that chronic diseases — such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis — are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.
Research demonstrates that lifestyle change programs focusing on nutritional interventions, resiliency, moderate exercise, and the development of greater love, intimacy, and emotional wellbeing can mitigate and sometimes even reverse the progression of many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and hypercholesterolemia. If widely used in primary and chronic disease care settings, millions of dollars could be saved through reduced health care utilization.
- Focus on determining the optimal diet for each individual, acknowledging that different bodies need different foods. The nutritionist and physician will assist the patients in the process of discovering their individual dietary needs by gradual changes and experiments with their diets.
- Biochemical tests as one of the tools in guiding the individuals in terms of allergies, intolerances, nutritional needs and deficiencies.
- Guiding and inspiring the patients and other participants in the IM Kitchen in choosing and preparing for example low and slow carbohydrate, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free foods and meals, focusing on healthy fats, wholesome carbohydrates and a variety of protein sources.
- Collaboration with nutrition researchers at Rigshospitalet and other university hospitals.
- Collaboration with Center for Ernæring og Terapi (CET) and other evidence- and research-oriented nutritionists, centers and institutions.
- Information for the public and patients on ecology, biodynamic foods, how to assess the products and interpret ingredients lists when shopping food, information on additives, unhealthy forms of macronutrients and so on.
The practice of yoga has spread enormously in the west in the last decades. It is a concept most people have heard of and, in increasing numbers, are willing to explore. In India, where yoga originates, there has already been extensive research on its benefits for all aspects of the human being: body, mind, and spirit. Research on the health benefits of yoga practice is slowly growing in the west and studies so far indicate that yoga has positive effects on various health issues. For example, the NCCAM/NIH has already successfully conducted scientific research revealing the positive benefits of yoga on health, balance and low back pain. http://nccam.nih.gov/video/yoga
The Nordic IM Center will aim to produce its own clinical research on yoga and its effects on relevant health issues, such as musculoskeletal pain, obesity, diabetes, metabolic and coronary disease, and psychological problems. Starting with smaller pilot studies, eventually the aim will be to carry out larger, randomized controlled trials, which are needed in the field.
Yoga therapy focus groups will be provided for patients with similar chronic illnesses. These structured courses will work in collaboration with the region’s general practitioners and hospitals, who will be both notified of patient participation and informed about their progress. Focus groups could for example be divided into lifestyle related (diabetes, coronary disease, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension, obesity), chronic pain, KRAM, psychiatric ailments, and cancer-related issues.
There will be a range of yoga classes provided; from restorative yoga for rehabilitation, pain, injuries and illnesses to dynamic yoga for exercise, strength and injury prevention. There are physical, psychological and spiritual benefits of yoga postures, breathing exercises and meditation. Yin Yoga, for example, is a restorative yoga posture system that focuses on non-straining, slow and intense stretches that work deeply on the connective tissues and release tension without forcing. It is ideal as a gentle form of yoga for patients with injuries.
All IM Yoga Therapists will be certified by the internationally recognized, Yoga Alliance. http://www.yogaalliance.org/ and specifically trained in yoga for cardiac and cancer patients based on the work of Nischala Devi, originally trained in Western medicine, founding developer of the yoga portion of The Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, and co-founder of the award-winning Commonweal Cancer Help Program.
Meditation / Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
The practice of mindfulness, or being highly aware and present in the moment, also termed meditation, is an integral part of yoga. The term mindfulness was introduced as a concept in the west in the 1970’s. Extensive research has been done on the effects of mindfulness on various health-related conditions, such as chronic pain, cancer-related psychological and physical symptoms, and psychiatric problems such as depression and anxiety.
- The IM-center will offer group meditation classes with simple and easy to apply techniques for increased mindfulness in everyday life.
- Mindfulness practice will be an important element in projects of preventive medicine in collaboration with schools and public and private work places.
- Research into the effect of the structured Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program on various conditions, among these chronic pain, PTSD and stress, anxiety and depression.