I attended a conference at Yale University this week – The Science of Stress: Focus on the Brain, Breaking Bad Habits and Chronic Disease. There were some speakers featured I was really excited to see, but at the end of the conference I have to say I was a bit let down. I was disappointed to learn that much of the focus was on using pharmaceuticals to influence many of the hormones and chemicals associated with stress.
Let me say I’m not completely anti-pharmaceutical. For many disease states they can be a godsend. My issue is when pharmaceuticals are favored over lifestyle behaviors because of profits to be made. Big pharma wins out every time. They have bottomless pockets to lobby politicians and government agencies that determine health policy.
For example, a presentation was being made about successfully treating diabetes with better administration of medicines, and a participant who was a nutritionist asked why so much money and resources were being spent on treating disease on the back side with medications that are covered by insurance, yet appointments with a dietician to prevent or control diabetes through proper nutrition are NOT covered. Huh. Maybe because there’s less money to be made?!
Let’s wait for people to get sick and then we can make a ton of money off treating them with medications….
There was little to no mention at this conference on using modalities like nutrition, exercise, and mind-body techniques to deal with stress. Perhaps this wasn’t the “right” conference for me to attend to get much continuing education or inspiration, but it I have to say it did reinforce the need for my platform: using training techniques like strategic exercise and nutrition to be more resilient to stress…things that prevent ‘bad habits and chronic disease’ in the first place.