Social prescribing is an innovative approach that enables healthcare professionals, particularly general practitioners (GPs), to refer patients to non-clinical services that can help improve their overall well-being. One such non-clinical service gaining recognition for its therapeutic benefits is baking, specifically sourdough baking. In this post, we will explore what social prescribing is, how it works, and how doctors can use baking as a form of lifestyle medicine for their patients.
Baking as a Social Prescription:
Baking, particularly sourdough baking, has been found to have numerous therapeutic benefits, making it an ideal candidate for social prescribing. These benefits include:
- Mental Health: Baking can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by providing a sense of achievement, a creative outlet, and opportunities for mindfulness.
- Physical Health: Sourdough baking promotes healthier eating habits by encouraging the consumption of whole grains, fermented foods, and other nutrient-rich ingredients that can improve gut health and overall well-being.
- Social Connection: Baking and sharing bread can foster social connections and reduce isolation as individuals engage with fellow bakers, friends, or family members to exchange knowledge, skills, and experiences.
- Skill Development: Learning to bake sourdough can help develop new skills and boost self-confidence, empowering individuals to take control of their health and well-being.
How Doctors Can Prescribe Baking as Lifestyle Medicine:
Once licenced then, doctors interested in prescribing baking as lifestyle medicine can take the following steps:
- Assess the patient’s needs and interests: Determine if the patient would benefit from and be interested in participating in baking activities.
- Collaborate with other Baking as Lifestyle Medicine Teachers. Connect with local bakeries, community centres, or baking schools that offer sourdough baking as Lifestyle Medicine classes or workshops.
- Write a social prescription: Provide the patient with a formal referral prescribing membership to The Sourodugh Club with a social discount code.
- We have a built-in form that allows you to monitor progress: Follow up with the patient to assess their engagement in the activity, its impact on their well-being, and any necessary adjustments to their care plan.
- Advocate for social prescribing: Share success stories and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to raise awareness of the benefits of social prescribing, particularly baking as lifestyle medicine.
By incorporating baking as a form of lifestyle medicine through social prescribing, doctors can offer their patients an engaging, enjoyable, and effective way to improve their mental, physical, and social well-being. As more healthcare professionals embrace this innovative approach, the potential for sourdough baking to transform lives and communities will continue to grow.