Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic interventions—including a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection—as a primary modality, delivered by clinicians trained and certified in this specialty, to prevent, treat, and often reverse chronic disease. (As defined by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine)

Lifestyle Medicine can also be defined as, “The application of environmental, behavioural, medical and motivational principles to the management (including self-care and self-management) of lifestyle-related health problems in a clinical and/or public health setting” (Egger et al, 2017).

An important aspect of Lifestyle Medicine includes understanding the numerous societal and environmental drivers which impact non-communicable diseases. These are more challenging to modify as they require change at societal and political levels.

Lifestyle Medicine is the foundation of conventional medicine and bridges the gap between health promotion and clinical practice.  The majority of clinical practice guidelines for non-communicable diseases support Lifestyle Medicine as the first line of treatment.  Despite this, very little about the practical implementation of Lifestyle Medicine is taught at medical schools.  Ideally, Lifestyle Medicine should involve and include clinicians, allied and public health professionals, healthcare executives, researchers, scientists and educators working together to prevent, manage and treat conditions that result from:

  • Unhealthy diet or nutrition
  • Physical inactivity
  • Inadequate and poor quality sleep
  • Chronic stress and anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • Lack of social connectedness
  • And many more societal and environmental influences

Lifestyle Medicine is a scientific discipline and a global movement for a positive change in health, healthcare, society, environment and our future.

If you support lifestyle interventions as the first-line therapy for many chronic diseases, and if you support advocating for policy change so that a healthier society and environment can be created, then please become a member or sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed.

ABOUT SALMA

MISSION

SALMA seeks to nationally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first and optimal treatment option for chronic diseases of lifestyle; to collaborate with international evidence-based and physician-led lifestyle medicine organisations to represent South Africa in advancing lifestyle medicine globally; to support our members in their individual practices to promote the principles of Lifestyle Medicine, thus working towards eradicating the root causes of non-communicable diseases.

OUR BOARD

DR DAVID GLASS,

MBChB, FCOG (SA), DipIBLM

Chairperson

Born and bred in rural Africa, Dr David Glass obtained his MBChB at UCT in 1975, then spent almost 13 years at Maluti Adventist Hospital in Lesotho where much of his work involved preventative health care.  He returned to UCT to complete FCOG(SA) in 1993.  This was followed by private Obstetrics/Gynaecology practice in Port Shepstone for 27 years.  He completed the DipIBLM at the end of 2021, but has been active in the field of lifestyle medicine for many years through community screening, blogs in the local newspaper, developing health education materials, and personal interactions with patients.  He is retired from specialist practice and is based in Somerset West, South Africa, but still very much involved in Lifestyle Medicine.

DR JENNIFER BRUENTRUP-TAYLOR

MBChB, BScHons (Reproductive Biology), DipIBLM

Vice Chairperson

Dr. Jennifer Bruentrup-Taylor is a Lifestyle Medicine Physician in private practice in East London, Eastern Cape.  Her qualifications are as follows: MBChB (UCT), BScHons Reprod Bio (SUN), Dip IBLM.  She runs a Lifestyle Medicine practice where she focuses on disease prevention and chronic disease care.  Her passion is to educate and empower her patients to make healthy behaviour changes and live their healthiest life.

DR LYDIA ALTINI

MBBCh, DipIBLM, NBC-HWC

Secretary

Dr Lydia Altini is a graduate of the University of Witwatersrand and a Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician (International Board of Lifestyle Medicine), Certified Health and Wellness Coach (National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching), and Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher (University of Stellenbosch). Dr Altini is currently involved in the design and implementation of community based lifestyle change interventions.

DR ROXANNE BECKER

MBChB, DipIBLM

Treasurer and Vice President

I am a medical doctor with a diploma in Lifestyle Medicine as well as certification and a special interest in plant-based nutrition. My mission in life is to reduce human suffering through promoting a plant-based diet and lifestyle changes.”

 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Dr Yakira Mishan

MBBCh, DipIBLM

Executive Committee President

Dr Yakira Mishan, a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, is a Lifestyle Medicine Physician (DipIBLM) who is passionate about helping her patients to not only be less sick but also healthier.

“I work with my patients to assist them in changing their lifestyles to prevent the development of chronic diseases as well as to reverse and treat these diseases once they occur. I use a combination of Lifestyle Medicine, coaching, supplements, lab tests and medications to help my patients change their lifestyles and through that their lives. I am honoured to be the president of the South African Lifestyle Medicine Association for 2023 and to work with this amazing organisation to challenge and change the current sick care model of chronic diseases to one of health care in SA.”

DR ROXANNE BECKER

MBChB, DipIBLM

Treasurer and Vice President

I am a medical doctor with a diploma in Lifestyle Medicine as well as certification and a special interest in plant-based nutrition. My mission in life is to reduce human suffering through promoting a plant-based diet and lifestyle changes.”

Amanda oakes-Cornellison

B.Sc. Physiotherapy MLife Med

Executive Committee Secretary

Amanda Oakes-Cornellissen qualified as a Physiotherapist from the University of Free State in 2002.  She now runs her Private Practice in Kathu, Northern Cape.  During 2018 she obtained her post-graduate diploma in Lifestyle Medicine, through Avondale University in Australia and went on to complete her Master of Lifestyle Medicine in 2022 from the same institution.  She remains passionate about the field of Lifestyle Medicine and is in the process of working on her Ph.D.  In her spare time, Amanda enjoys taking her dog for walks and presenting Pilates Classes to Kathu residents”.

Dr Eden Lurie

MBChB

Executive Committee Member

I am a plant-powered doctor with a background degree in genetics and physiology passionate about empowering patients with research backed information and practical guidelines on how to improve their health and reverse lifestyle diseases through a holistic lifestyle medicine approach to health care

Dr Caela Van Niekerk

MBBCh

Executive Committee Member

I graduated MBChB from Wits in 2019 after completing my BNursing degree. Throughout my training, interactions with people from different walks of life fuelled my passion for seeing the patient as a (whole) person. During Community Service I spent a lot of time in the chronic care clinics and was astonished at how little patients knew about their diseases and what an impact lifestyle has on creation and remission of these. Lifestyle modifications are the first step of intervention for all chronic diseases, yet it is poorly taught and thus often overlooked. It has become a growing passion of mine to empower patients by educating them about Lifestyle Medicine and how to incorporate the pillars in combating chronic dis-ease. It is a global responsibility for change.