Who are you as a person and a medical professional?
As a person I am fun, loyal, a bit stressy sometimes, and honest. As a professional, I am a collaborator, an empathetic listener and try to always be open and frank. I very much value the relationships I make with people through my work.
Why is health important to you?
Health is important because health is everything. When you or those you love don’t have health, other priorities just fade into the background.
What are the problems you see for people these days?
In general I think people try to do too much and multitask too much and take on too much ‘work’. When you do this, you leave little space for wellbeing and self-care. I also think there’s a problem with too much (and the democratisation of) information about how to look after yourself and people becoming over loaded with health “advice”.
What are the best solutions for these problems?
Be realistic about what we can achieve in an hour/a day/a week. Schedule in time for your own health. Taking your daily walk or doing a workout should be just as much a part of your day as getting your work or family tasks complete. So should sitting down and savouring your meals!
Regarding being bombarded with health info- ask experts and professionals you trust and check your sources. Sadly, the fact that someone wrote it on the internet somewhere does not make it true. Especially with eating and lifestyle advice, if it sounds too quick, too simple or too easy, IT IS!
How did you hear about Reset health? And why are you excited to become part of the team? How does it help solve any of the problems you have been seeing in your patients?
I met CEO David Wong through my work as a fitness professional. I’m so excited to be part of the RESET team because I believe that this protocol and this team can truly help empower people to take control of their health once and for all. I see people time and time again who have tried every quick fix going to improve their health and they only get further and further away from their goals. Reset is not a quick fix. Reset is with you every step of the way and recognises that long term behavioural and physiological change has its ups and downs and that members need evidence-based and individualised support.
How is Covid-19 affecting people? And what should they do to increase their resilience?
How isn’t it affecting people?! I don’ think I’ve spoken to one person this year who hasn’t been challenged by the Covid-19 epidemic. And these challenges come in so many different forms, from the loss of loved ones to fears about our health and that of the vulnerable people we love, to social isolation, to the stress of being at home working with kids at your feet all day, to the grief we all feel about a life ‘once lived’. Again, I think self-care is vitally important here. 2020 is NOT the year to stop looking after yourself because things are so stressful. Put your walking shoes on, take that break from your kids, read a trashy magazine, learn a stupid dance and laugh your head off (no I didn’t do this in lockdown…) and be kind to yourself. No one is going to win any medals for self-improvement this year! Let's just take a day at a time.
What people or organisations or start ups are doing interesting things in this general space (either in UK or elsewhere?)
I’m part of NHS England's task force on bringing family members into the decision making space for sick patients. I think this is such a great person-centred venture because often family really do know best and have a lot of insight that health professionals do not get.
There is also some really exciting research going on in nutritional science.
I also love social enterprise, Zinc, which helps to build new companies that tackle the most important societal problems faced by the developed world such as mental health and wellbeing in later life.
My favourite health app at the moment is ‘Drink Less’, which was built by colleagues UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, my old research group. It’s one of a few apps out there that skilfully uses the science of behaviour change to, y’know, change behaviour. My personal favourite and effective behaviour change technique in the app is ‘Social Comparison’. Drink Less very cheerfully tells you how much you drink compared with other people in your demographic in the UK. Oh dear!
What's the future of great healthcare and how do you want to play a part in making it happen?
The future of great health care is preventative and person-centred. In other words intervening ‘up-stream’ before the problems occur, rather than once people are already sick. We in healthcare also need to recognise that wellness is not one size fits all. I’d like to be a part of a more tailored approach.
Do you think people want to take control of their own health? If so, what has been stopping them so far? And what is the one thing you would tell people to do - the most important thing?
Of course people do! And here I go again about the democratisation of too much information….
Honestly I think the most important thing most people can do for their own health is move more. We are animals. We are not supposed to be sitting in chairs all day. Move more, eat more vegetables, and for Goodness sakes stop smoking! That wasn’t one, was it?