This week’s episode is of a different kind, but I am confident that you will enjoy it. I certainly learned a ton about healthcare, personal care and had huge take aways. I am sure you will too.
The conversation is with Payal Mehta who was a GP for over 9 years! She has now founded her own business, a health clinic, called Nirmana Life. She is guiding her patients in understanding the root causes of chronic illnesses. This conversation is not all about ‘business success’ but about success and looking at it in a more holistic way of health.
Payal is using the soft skills that she developed when dealing with her patients – counselling, communication, advice giving, mentoring, guidance and the ability to equip those same patients with the capability to look after themselves. That’s where she overlaps with the work I do in coaching and mindfulness, as she is also acting as a life coach and looks at the spiritual side of life.
Some might call her a healer, but the conversation is about stepping into authenticity, which is one of the key principles of success I defined in my book Principles for Success.
When looking at holistic health and wellbeing, the three areas to focus on are mental, physical and spiritual health. Traditionally she looked at the physical health, given her ‘Western medicinal background’. That’s where her up-skilling is coming in, as her true purpose is about helping people in all areas of life.
We discuss how she got into medicine and what makes her tick; plus the emotional part and empathy for people, which according to Payal might be missing sometimes within the NHS and the pressure they are under. She also explains that more younger people have multiple chronic illnesses, despite us living longer and spending on healthcare has increased. A fascinating discussing about age and longevity.
Whilst Western medicine is treating acute illnesses, and we are very good at that, the long term and chronic illnesses are better treated with traditional medicine like Chinese medicine. And the reason we get more of those illnesses is based on changing lifestyles, e.g. less sleep, less exercise, different food from what we were originally designed to eat – and instead of treating those chronic illnesses with the right medicine, e.g. a holistic approach, we are using the wrong medicine, Western medicine.
This really made me think about how we are treating our bodies and whether we live the right lifestyle for how our bodies are built? Hence, in my opinion, we cannot continue the way we are working and living throughout the 21st century without ruining our bodies, mental health and of course our productivity. Again, this is where the work I do on mindfulness and productivity comes in, looking at the long term effectiveness of teams, helping them to cope with stress and soft skills to perform better under the ‘new pressures’.
How do we stay healthy? Payal suggests it is all about three areas of genetics, lifestyle and environment. We discuss how walking, and particularly walking in nature, is beneficial for all mental health conditions and also works as an anti-inflammatory. Genetics is about 5-10% of influence, whilst 90% is down to lifestyle and environmental factors. That is huge.
To have a healthy lifestyle, we need to look at the following 5 areas:
Food: how and what we eat
Movement: how much we move, and what we do to exercise
Sleep: how we sleep and what we do before sleep
Stress: how we manage stress and mental health
Love: purpose of life and social interaction
Balancing all this and looking after yourself will result in a successful life. And we discuss that on the podcast, on how much of those 5 areas I look after. Am I on track? Are you on track?
Payal also explains another principle called Psycho Neuroendo Immunology. The lifestyle medicine is working from one side whilst coaching works from the other side. So by looking at the influence of psychology, e.g. how your thoughts influence your brain and chemistry, you start looking at its influences on your hormone production and changes in your cellular level; this then influences you on a physical health level. Most of the thoughts are on a subconscious level, and research is in its infancy; however, we agree the concept isn’t new, ‘we are who we think’, which is what Buddha said many years ago 😉 Another topic I could have spend a whole podcast on to be honest. I am fascinated by so many things I don’t know yet!
We close with her main advice which is to manage stress and hire a coach. I couldn’t agree more on either, offering both coaching and mindfulness or a combination thereof.
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor and business consultant. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his new book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019.
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).