There is an ancient Chinese tradition that:
“You should only pay your doctor when you are well and not when you are ill”
The wisdom behind this tradition is that the role of a doctor is not only in treating illnesses but more importantly empowering patients to stay healthy and well. This resonates with Ibn Sina’s definition that Tibb is a science of medicine with emphasis on both the maintenance of health, and the treatment of illnesses.
Empowering individuals in health promotion has always been an important objective of the Institute. This is evident from the book “4 Temperaments 6 Lifestyle Factors” wherein the role of the Six Lifestyle Factors in relation to an individual’s dominant and sub-dominant temperament is identified and healthy living programmes have been designed.
Recognizing the role of lifestyle in health promotion and with the experience of including lifestyle adjustments in the management of illness conditions led to the training of Tibb Lifestyle Advisors – who are trained on how to consult and advise clients on appropriate lifestyle choices in health promotion and also illness management. The success of the Tibb Lifestyle Advisors programme was highlighted when this programme was introduced in the 126 clinics of the City of Johannesburg’s Health Department in 2018.
This was followed by a research project assessing the impact of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in health promotion and illness management, measured in terms of Quality of Life parameters on 120 healthy clients and 480 patients with pre-diagnosed chronic conditions.
The research was conducted by Ward Based Outreach Teams affiliated to the fifteen (15) clinics in Soweto, City of Johannesburg’s Health Department. The healthy group showed an improvement in overall health whereas the illness group showed a significantly greater improvement. The research “Impact of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in Health Promotion and Illness Management” was published in the International Journal of Recent Scientific Research (http://www.tibb.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Impact-of-Tibb-LF-in-HP-and-M.pdf)
Whilst the Lifestyle Advisors programme has been successfully established locally, in response to the positive feedback on the Institute’s website from the global community, where numerous downloads, on healthy living programmes and lifestyle advice on illness conditions, on a daily basis, highlighted the need to promote the role of the Tibb Lifestyle Factors in Health Promotion and Illness Management, at consumer level, internationally.
In planning to achieve this, the Institute reviewed not only the information on the website, together with the latest research conducted at the Tibb Treatment Centres in Cape Town, and also information from the Institute’s reference textbook for Tibb doctors “Theoretical Principles of Tibb”. This has resulted in exciting changes to the website with the addition of a series of YouTube videos produced by the Institute, with information aimed at consumers with content that is easy to understand and adopt into any lifestyle.
Why Consumer Empowerment?
Well, given that there are a limited number of Tibb doctors outside of the Indian continent, educating consumers on the philosophical principles of Tibb will empower consumers to take responsibility and actively participate in their health and wellbeing. Also, in patients with illness conditions especially chronic conditions, the inclusion of the Tibb Lifestyle Factors even with conventional/Western and/or other medication will most certainly improve overall Quality of Life.
In addition to the current Consumer Empowerment on Health Promotion and Illness Management the Institute has plans to research lifestyle regimen for infants and children as well as for the elderly which should be available during the course of the year.
Finally, before delving into further reading and understanding of “Health Promotion” and “Illness Management” we advise you to peruse through “What is Tibb” link, to gain insight into the understanding of the Tibb philosophical principles. These principles, which underpin the Tibb philosophy of ‘A Science of Medicine and the Art of Care’ will no doubt provide valuable insight into the awareness of the progression of health and disease and allow you the full benefit of Health Promotion or Illness Management depending on your needs.