Moving Forward into Health and Wellness

Now that 2021 is behind us, many are hoping to move forward on better footing than they have for the past few years. At the start of the new year, I invited you to explore how you think about health and what you define it to be. After all, how can you reach your goals if you don’t have a specific aim that aligns with your beliefs and standards?

For some, health may start and end with exercise and dietary protocols, but this approach does not encompass the whole meaning of the word. Rather, one may want to ask what it is about diet and exercise that adds value to their life.

Being healthy is a complex interaction of several aspects that incorporate social, spiritual, environmental, economic, genetic, and lifestyle factors. Obtaining health is not a means to an end, but it can be used as a resource for better living and an enhanced life. Unfortunately, modern medicine in the United States has done a miserable job at promoting health, though having the best of intentions and viewpoint on it.

Living in the most expensive country for healthcare compared to much of the developed world, Americans get the least impressive results. They have the lowest life expectancy, use the most amount of preventative screening, have the highest rates of chronic diseases, and an alarming rise and prevalence in mental illness. (R, R, R, R)

It appears that today’s conventional healthcare approach, which is solely focused on eliminating disease and defending against infections, is not providing the solution to attain its measure of true well-being. Mechanistic applications can be helpful, but they have removed the human and soul element of medicine and ignored the many factors of health.

What is the solution?

In this article, I have compiled several resources from my social media and blogs that are based on helping you to start off the new year with a more person-centered, holistic mindset.

After all, there’s enough diet and exercise advice out there in diet culture world, and much is not personalized. In this post and throughout the rest of the month, I’m highlighting some other, unexpected areas.

We all have been deeply affected by the global events of the last few years. I am hoping that by expanding your viewpoint on what health truly is, it will support you in gently tending to whatever scars the current crisis has afflicted upon you.

Let’s read on…

Are You Really Well or Just Healthy?

I feel it is beyond time to shift from a sickcare system and into a model that embraces every aspect of an individual. Currently, naturopathic and functional medicine doctors are serving as agents of change to this model and transforming how healthcare is handled.

Wellness is an inclusive definition that contains all the attributes of wellbeing including physical, psychological, social and community, spiritual, and economic health. By implementing a philosophy in which all factors of health are seen on the continuum of wellness, medicine will likely achieve better outcomes in all areas. Thankfully, the use of integrative methods that honor religious and spiritual beliefs is becoming more accepted into mainstream medicine. This is a start.

A podcast with Chris Kresser and positive psychology expert Dr. Jordyn Feingold is a wonderful resource that expands on this topic. In it, they discuss what health really is and how we can all cultivate more of it, along with well-being and self-awareness, by using the acronym “REVAMP.” This is a six-ingredient framework consisting of relationships, engagement, vitality, accomplishment, meaning, and positive emotions. Topics include:

  • Jordyn’s background
  • Why relationships are the foundation of the “REVAMP” model for well-being
  • Harnessing the power of the placebo effect
  • The importance of engaging in the flow of life and within ourselves
  • Using sustainable habit change to increase vitality
  • Reducing burnout by reframing accomplishments
  • Finding meaning and purpose in life (this could be perceived as spirituality)
  • Learning how to prolong and deepen positive emotions
  • The importance of post-traumatic growth

I encourage you to listen to it.

Moving for Brain Health: New Year, New Love & Appreciation for Your Brain

Many of you know I’m not a big fan of diet culture.

I no longer promote various means to optimize body shrinkage since I became a HAES practitioner and was made aware of weight cycling and the problems with the food addiction theory.

That being said, nourishing the mind and body with vital nutrients to support functioning is so important for emotional wellbeing and mental health. (R, R)

One overlooked “nutrient” for the brain is movement. There are many studies on all different forms of exercise and their impact on mental and physical well-being. Examples include walking, yoga, running, and tai chi.

In a recent podcast from Dhru Purohit, various experts discussed how moving one’s body can change the brain for the better! Specifically, Dhru spoke with Dr. Kelly McGonigal, Ryan Glatt, and Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. They discussed:

  • How exercise can improve the treatment outcomes for depression and anxiety
  • How movement decreases our chance of cognitive decline
  • Simple ways to build exercise into your everyday life

Check it out here.

Perhaps this year you can make a resolution to love your body and care for it as it is now. Maybe show it some appreciation for all it has done for you.

Part of taking good care of your body is moving it in a way that feels good! Remember, joyful movement has no “rules of what counts.” Whatever you love to do, do it!

Note: It’s also okay this year to just rest for a bit if you are recovering from exercise addiction or diet culture pressure.

Adding Heart to Emotional Well Being: EFT and HeartMath

One of my favorite tools to use in my practice to calm the mind and ease tension, as well as deal with emotional reactivity to life, is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), AKA “tapping.”

Another modality I love is HeartMath. This is another research-based technique that combines the physiologic response with psychology to achieve more calmness, recenter, and to assist one to become more present in the now.

Both EFT and HeartMath connect the mind-body to a more serene state. When the heart-brain and body are in coherence, one can move forward through life responding vs. reacting negatively or harmfully to life’s stressors. This not only soothes one’s own nervous system but expands out to create healthier and more fulfilling relationships for overall well-being.

In a recent 30-minute podcast, “Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., our Add Heart® Podcast host, and her guest, Nick Ortner, best-selling author of The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living, and CEO of The Tapping Solution, LLC, talk about how we can better support our mental and emotional well-being during these uncertain times.”

They share some hopeful research, helpful information, and techniques you can start using right away to increase your emotional well-being. These insights are very much needed with the compounding pressures we are all experiencing at this time.

The podcast closes with a guided heart-meditation to “activate your heart power and create a reservoir of heart energy you can draw from any time you need an emotional uplift. ”

Listen to it here.

Minding Both Sides of Medicine

There doesn’t have to be a black and white, either-or position in medicine. One can treat acute pathologies with biochemical support using mainstream medicine as they also restore their vitality and ignite their own innate healing potential with natural and holistic methods.

A whole person approach, that not only integrates the mind and body, but also the spirit of a person and promotes social connections, is more likely to prevent the diseases we are “at war” against. At the very least, it will provide the body with resiliency to handle additional stressors and move through them with more ease.

Isn’t it time you feel more empowered and in control of your emotional and physical health?

How would it feel to work with a doctor that assists you in integrating your relationships, beliefs, economics, spirituality, life’s purpose, and religious practices into your wellness considerations for enhanced results in healing and stress relief?

Contemplate this.

Soon, I will have an invitation for you to a program that truly incorporates all these aspects of health. I’m excited to offer it to you live for a limited time.

For now, I encourage you to think about how you can take the tools and concepts here to create more wellness and enhance your life.

Please share this with any one you believe would benefit from it.

Feel free to post comments as well!

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Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)

This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.

Thanks Pixabay and Canva.