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Scrolling through the extensive list of speakers for the upcoming Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine conference, I see many familiar names and faces … impressive researchers, academics, health specialists, writers, business leaders … and I’m just talking about the naturopaths! 

Yep, out of the 50 speaker’s list for ASLM 2017, alongside neuroscientists, psychiatrists, geneticists (just to name a few!), naturopaths are representing 10% of the line up … and that is important & impressive!

Lifestyle medicine, defined as “the intersection of medicine, healthcare and health policy with behavioural, social, environmental, socioeconomic, & political factors”, should by virtue be a broad conversation among myriad health professionals & stakeholders, and one that naturopaths contribute  to. The speaker list for this year covers over 20 specialties and includes a keynote presentation by Professor Tim Flannery…and in the naturopathic corner: Jason Hawrelak, Nirala Jacobi, Tabitha McIntosh, Danielle Fairbrother and myself.

When recently asked by a colleague to describe what she would take away with her from attending an ASLM conference, I compared it to a writer’s festival.  I love writer’s festivals.  This fact amuses my teenage daughter immensely, because as she quite rightly says, ‘but you don’t read!’…for pleasure she means 😉 But I love them because you leave with a bigger picture of the world, several completely new perspectives even of your own world and a head exploding with creative ideas that can spark anything from a new business project to a personal life-change.  This was my experience last year.  Wow! The bigger health, disease, psychology, behaviour and environment picture painted was vivid and the solutions that some of the presenters tabled were remarkable & empowering. 

The over-arching topics directing the workshops this year include

  • The brain you can change – Harnessing the power of the gut-brain axis
  • You can lead a horse to water – Behaviour change and Psychological Medicine
  • Don’t bite the hand that feeds – Public and planetary health converge
  • Mission Possible – Enhancing the lifestyle prescription & multidisciplinary team 

This ASLM conference is a melting pot of ideas and inspiration, and as you can see from the conversation points, it’s easy to understand why the naturopaths are coming!  If you’re not able to make it this year…I will do my best to report back on the ‘best of the bunch’ – both on Twitter (@RANutrition) live during the conference and post-conference (once I’ve caught my breath!) here :)

We’re experiencing an influx of enquiries about group mentoring this year, so we are working hard to prepare for 2018 to make sure no one misses out! You can read more about the Rachel Arthur Mentorship Programme (RAMP) here. Please get in touch if you would like to put your name down on the 2018 waiting list and we will contact you first to confirm your position. Keep an eye out for more information in October when we officially open applications for a January 2018 kick-off!