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Kripalu Guest Stories: Amanda S.

Rx for the future

A young doctor experiences a new approach to health care.

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Amanda S.

Halfway through the first year of my residency, working 16-hour days for eight months, I was completely exhausted. I knew I had to do something different, so I cleaned up my diet and started doing gentle yoga. I lost 10 pounds immediately, and it was incredible how much better I felt. I wasn’t depressed anymore, and the stress seemed more manageable. That started me on the path to exploring the power of nutrition and yoga, and eventually brought me to Kripalu to experience the Reversing Heart Disease and Reversing Diabetes programs as part of my education as a second-year resident.

As an osteopathic physician, I take a more holistic approach to medicine—I was taught to see each person as mind, body, and spirit, with everything they need to inherently heal themselves. But osteopathic physicians struggle with finding colleagues and mentors who embrace that philosophy. When physicians do give lifestyle recommendations, they often lack the time and resources to provide the follow-up support to ensure successful outcomes.

Now imagine a patient who has the support of a nutritionist, a life coach, and a group of like-minded friends. This is what makes healthy lifestyle change sustainable, and it’s what Kripalu does every day in its Healthy Living programs.

I was surprised by the fact that everything I learned here has a footnote—I never expected to see so many evidence-based studies presented in support of these lifestyle interventions. It gives me hope that, even as a young practitioner working in a traditional clinic, I can change the scope of my own practice, and do it in a way that makes an impact on my mentors. Bearing witness to the courage, determination, and openness of the Healthy Living participants, and seeing the stress fall away from them after a few days here, has affirmed what I see as my place in the future of medicine—and confirmed my commitment to caring for people as a lifelong career.

—Amanda S., Lenox, Massachusetts