It’s hard to be a man. In fact, just being a man is a risk factor for early death. And Integrative Medicine, by and large, is failing at doing much to impact this – as evidenced by the fact that more women seen integrative services than men [REF]. In this presentation, I will explain why men die younger than women and are winning in 9 of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. and failing in the top 5 behaviors that contribute to longer life. I will discuss how Integrative Medicine messaging needs to shift from a wellness orientation to a goal-achievement orientation in order to engage men, presenting a practical toolkit for engaging men.
I will discuss the top health concerns of men and the role integrative approaches plays in these concerns. Using published studies and my experience as an integrative medicine researcher, educator and clinician, I will show data on what has been shown to make a difference in men’s health behaviors and how that translates into years of life saved. I will present case studies representing general avatars of typical male patients, providing tools to successfully equip practitioners to attract, engage, retain and help men in their integrative health practices.
I know that men aren’t engendering a lot of sympathy these days, but the fact of the matter is that some of the reasons behind some men behaving badly are also the reasons men are less healthy than women. The need to feel strong and the fear of being perceived as weak has undermined men’s own self-interests. I will discuss the literature on this, referring to experts such as Dr. Brene Brown and others, who have studied the challenge of engaging men on the level we seek to interact with our patient in integrative health settings.
Most importantly, as mentioned, I will deliver a useful toolkit for participants to engage men and attract men to their practices, clearly explaining that these tools are useful for anyone, regardless of gender, who thinks in a more goal-oriented and less abstract way about health and wellness.
- Participants will be able to identify the reasons men die younger than women.
- Participants will be able to describe general types of male patients and ways to approach each one.
- Participants will be able to discuss proven ways of engaging men in the improvement of their own health.
- Participants will be able to discuss ways in which men respond differently to health messages than women.