Health care workers learn lifestyle medicine in outdoor classroom

Published 30 March 2012

Stephen Myers
A group of health professionals is set to learn about lifestyle medicine options for their patients as part of a four day adventure walk along a NSW North Coast coastal trail, from May 17 to 20, organised by Southern Cross University.

This is the first time the University’s School of Health and Human Sciences has offered the workshop topic ‘The science of evidence-based complementary medicine and the interface with lifestyle medicine’ in an outdoor setting. Health professionals taking part in the Eduventure are able to earn Continuing Professional Development (CDP) points/hours.

Participants will encounter vast heathland plains, long sandy beaches, crystal clear creeks and lagoons, rocky headlands and abundant wildflowers and birdlife as they trek the 65km Yuraygir Coastal Walk from the coastal village of Angourie in the north to Red Rock in the south, while crossing the traditional homelands of the Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl nations.

Leading the Eduventure is Gut Busters founder and Professor of Lifestyle Medicine at Southern Cross University Garry Egger, who has more than four decades’ experience in health promotion and epidemiology.

“Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers will get to practice what they preach during the daily treks and evening workshop discussions as they learn new information to inform their patients,” said Professor Egger.

“They’ll learn new ways to deal with lifestyle issues such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep and smoking.”

The evening workshop discussions cover topics such as:

• The inflammatory basis of lifestyle-related chronic disease
• Evidence-based complementary medicine in general practice
• The interface between lifestyle medicine, allopathic medicine and complementary medicine

Joining the Eduventure is Professor Stephen Myers, director of the NatMed-Research Unit in the University’s Special Research Centre, Southern Cross Plant Science.

Professor Myers is an expert in complementary medicine and has a special interest in the pharmacology of natural products.

Professor Myers said surveys suggested more than 30 per cent of GPs were now incorporating complementary medicine into their practice.

“Things like acupuncture, meditation and mindfulness, or nutritional medicine and evidence based herbal medicines. It's a wide gamet of use and there's growing interest from GPs.

“The Eduventure is an opportunity for health professionals to engage with Garry and I on a whole range of topics as we walk through what is one of the most stunning pieces of coastal scenery in the country,” said Professor Myers.

The Lifestyle Medicine Eduventure is Royal Australian College of General Practitioners approved and endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing Australia. The event is also eligible for CDP points/hours.

Early bird registrations close Friday, April 6, with late registrations accepted until April 20.
Photo: Professor Stephen Myers. Event: The Lifestyle Medicine Eduventure runs from May 17 to 20 on the NSW North Coast, starting at Angourie and finishing at Red Rock. Health professionals can register with Associate Professor John Stevens at the School of Health and Human Sciences on 02 6620 3306.

Media contact: Sharlene King media officer, Southern Cross University Lismore, 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349.