When a good old story becomes news again

Posted March 16, 2014

By Gerry Barker

In a recent article in the Mercury, it was announced that the  “Exercise is Medicine”  (EIM) program had arrived at the University of Guelph. The article proclaimed this was a relatively new movement in Canada.

EIM encourages doctors to prescribe exercise by patients as a component of lung and cardiac disease prevention and treatment.

Well, it isn’t quite as new as described in the article. Dr. John Schaman operates a clinic for heart and lung patients to revitalize their lives through an exercise program that also includes dietary advice.

Dr. Schaman has been practising his life-saving methods for more than 35 years at his clinic, known as the Ontario Aerobics Centre, located near Brezlau. Several of his patients living in Guelph were perturbed that the article did not mention his work and accomplishments in the field of heart and lung preventative medicine.

While his work is recognized around the world, his experience as a sports medicine physician including some years as doctor of the Canadian National Ski team, make him a leader in heart and lung disease treatment.

One of his more innovative methods is to use the harmonica to increase a patient’s lung capacity. His programs of making music with the harmonica are easily adopted by many of his patients. A healthy lung works in concert with the heart to support an exercise program in order to stay healthy and alive.

Over the years, his accomplishments have been recorded in the media including the Mercury.

His selflessness has extended the lives of thousands of patients who have arrived at his clinic for guidance, encouragement and exercise. Many are from Guelph as well as Kitchener-Waterloo and areas beyond.

This oversight failed to recognize the work of Dr. Schaman. The University of Guelph’s Communications Department should have researched the Schaman EIM experience before releasing the news to the media.

Why do I know this? I have been a patient of Dr. Schaman for more than four years. I can personally attest to his drive to make people better and in control of their lives through exercise and counsel.

Dr. Schaman’s closing statement: “Look after yourself because nobody else will.”

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