Running Header: HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project 1 Holistic/Integral Health Plan Unit 9 Cheryl Brasel Kaplan University HW420-01 Creating Wellness: Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Healing October 19, 2011
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 2 A Holistic/Integral Health Plan It is important for health and wellness professionals to develop psychologically,spiritually, and physically. Psychological development, or training the mind, will help the healthand wellness professional have a healthy and grounded perspective on life. Training the mindcan promote optimal physical health, control and eliminate negative stress reaction, instill calmawareness, open true compassion towards clients, engages the ability to reach out to others, andcreates an atmosphere of calmness around the health and wellness professional. (Dacher, 2006)Spiritual development cultivates wisdom, love, and ethics. These character traits are essential ina service industry such as health and wellness. (Walsh, 2001) Physical health will worksynergistically with psychological and spiritual well being. It will keep energy levels up andprevent diseases. Physical health along with psychological and spiritual health is important toprogressively develop and benefit the health and wellness provider and to provide a testimonialexample for the client. A leader wants to be an example for those they are teaching andcounseling. (Dacher, 2006) “The more you learn, the less you know” is a common quote that is extremely applicableto my development in psychological, spiritual, and physical aspects. My goals are to be a leaderin my field of healing nutrition therapy. The more I learn about this field of study the more Irealize I need a great deal of development in all the three characters of psychological, spiritual,and physical health. Taking into account the six principles of integral assessment (Dacher, 2006, p. 105-106),I have assessed my health using the four domains of human experiences which arepsychospiritual, biological, worldly, and interpersonal. Each quadrant has the body, mind, andspiritual levels of development. (Dacher, 2006) I have assessed my development lines as follows:
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 3 Psychospiritual: The three lines of psychospiritual development are emotional, cognitiveand conative. Emotional motivation incorporates a more instinctual reactive response andusually is initiated by fear, anger, and lack of emotional control. I can have fear responses tocertain situations, usually involving conflict. I would put myself in the mind level ofdevelopment. Cognitive development levels start with reactive responses (body), progress tologic and reasoning (mind), and ultimately progresses to fulfilling level awareness (spirit).Cognitively my development is in the mind level, somewhat more developed that the emotionline. Conative also starts with instinctual reactions, progresses to character development fromour environment, education, and spiritual training; and reaches a fuller development fromwisdom, inner-development, and wholeness. My conative development is also in the mind levelslightly higher than the cognitive line development. Contemplative practice and mindfulnessdevelopment will significantly develop each line of the psychospiritual quadrant. (Dacher, 2006) Biological: The three lines of the biological quadrant are fitness, nutrition, and self-regulation. My fitness line of development has advanced past the minimal movement needed tosurvive to an inconsistent purposeful physical fitness program. Since I am still below amaintenance stage with my fitness program, I would place my level in the mind level. Nutritiondevelopment starts with animalistic feeding and progresses to purposeful selection of nutritiousfoods that have a low impact on the environment. This line of development changes weeklyfrom mind to spirit in relation to availability of foods and transportation. Self-regulation levelsare basic biological balance to contemplative practices to advanced body/mind/spirit capabilities.I am at the low end of the mind level which should continue to progress with the practice of theloving-kindness and subtle mind practices. (Dacher, 2006)
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 4 Interpersonal: Interpersonal lines of development are personal, family, and community.Each line is relational based with the same three levels of development, body-mind-spirit. Thefamily line is more developed than each of the other two lines. My devotion to family usuallytakes precedence over personal and community development. I would place this level ofdevelopment in the high-mind level. As my children mature, my personal line of developmenthas increased to mid-mind level. Community level is low-mind level. (Dacher, 2006) Worldly: Worldly lines of development are work, social activism, and generativity. Mywork line of development is at the spirit level. It comes easy for me to view my work as serviceto others. This attitude is reflected in the high level of satisfaction from those I serve. Socialactivism is on a low-mind level. I do not participate in many social events and tend to stay closeto home. I am comfortable with this level but see changes developing as my education goalscome to an end and career development progresses. Generativity refers to teaching andmentoring others. (Dacher, 2006) I rate my level in the spirit level. I have a teaching, sharingspirit and sharing wisdom gained from education and experiences comes easy. Setting goals in developing psychological, physical, and spiritual flourishing will helpcontinual life progression. My psychological goal is to develop my self-esteem. I have begun aleadership training program. I view this program as instrumental in developing a healthier self-esteem. My physical goal is to reach a maintenance stage of my daily physical exercise programfor a period of six continuous months. I will start this goal on October 24th. My spiritualflourishing goal is to engage in deeper communion with my God. I will develop this goal bycontinuing the daily contemplative practices of loving-kindness and subtle mind, praying oftenon a daily basis, and studying and meditating on Bible scripture every night.
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 5 Personal growth strategies should be adopted in the three flourishing domains; physical,psychological, and spiritual. Implementing goals in the three domains will lead to the ultimategoal of health, happiness, and wholeness. Physical flourishing strategies can include a formal exercise program, activities thatpromote fitness accompanied with relaxation, and nutrition. A formal exercise program includesa ten minute warm up routine, 30 minutes of intense exercise, and is wrapped up with a tenminute cool down and stretching. The body of the exercise program should include aerobic andanaerobic exercises that are performed on alternating days. For example, aerobic exercise couldbe scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Anaerobic or weight lifting exercises couldbe scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Examples of aerobic exercise are walking ata fast pace, jogging, running, and intense dance such as Zumba, Jazzercise, and other forms ofaerobic dance. Examples of anaerobic exercise are muscle building exercises that target specificmuscle groups. Yoga and Pilates can also be considered anaerobic. Flexibility is a priority goaland becomes an important part of the cool down section of the exercise program. Yoga andPilates have effective moves that increase flexibility also. Formal exercise programs can becomeboring and too repetitive. In order to maintain the habitual behavior of exercising it would beimportant to change exercise routines and types of exercises. To avoid becoming too focused onfitness, it will be important to exchange an intense session with something more relaxing such asa slower walk, gardening, horseback riding, and social dancing. I will re-commit to my exerciseprogram. Relapse is normal in most behavior changes. I seem to be more “normal” than I wantto be. Nutrition is an important component to physical flourishing. Progressive improvement ofnutrition quality can be a lifelong endeavor. Top current priorities are to reduce sugar and
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 6simple carbohydrate intake, increase fresh and raw fruit and vegetable intake, and reduce proteinintake. In the essay by Halprin and Samuels (n.d.) they point out the uniqueness of our body andhow it “is designed to survive.” I will daily take these steps to give my body the aids it needs tosurvive and lead toward physical flourishing. Psychological growth requires knowledge of negative emotions and behaviors thatdetour psychological growth. Once there is an awareness of the personal detours to ultimatepsychological health, a person can learn and replace the stagnating behaviors with healthyemotions and behaviors. Strategies that can be implemented to promote healthy psychologicalgrowth are contemplative practice exercises. The Subtle Mind exercise has been particularlybeneficial in psychological growth. It develops the ability to control mental chatter and promotefocus and inner calmness. This exercise is completed in the following manner (Dacher, 2006): 1. Using belly breathing as a focal point, take ten deep breaths followed by returning to breathing comfortably as you ease into a relaxing state of being. Focus on your breathing. 2. As distractions enter your mind, notice them but let them pass by and then return to focusing on breathing. Forcing your mind to come back to focusing on the breathing after each distraction is essential in taming the chattering mind. As your mind learns to quiet, you can gently ease up on focusing on the breathing and start objectively witnessing your mental activity as opposed to being controlled by the mental activity. Practice this step for several minutes. This step is enlightening into how the mental activity involuntarily pulls you toward random thoughts. Observe the random thoughts and then let them move on.
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 7 Disallow any attachment or holding on, let them drift by. You are becoming aware of the witnessing mind, a state of objective observing how the mind works. 3. Be patient during the initial training; always come back to the focus of breathing and then observation of your calming mind. During this phase of calm-abiding consciousness it is the goal to balance the intensity of focusing on your breathing and the relaxation of the chattering mind. You want to be focused enough on the breathing to keep the mind from grasping on random thoughts but loose enough to allow the mind to ease tension. 4. Eventually, with effort and practice, the still mind becomes the focus, not the breathing. At this shift in focus, called unity consciousness, observe how you feel. Think abstractive and observe the qualities of the quiet mind. Explore it; observe how it relates to you as you are now. At first, this may only last a moment but practice will help your experience grow and mature. The goal is to look inward, know your inner self, see the quality of the inner essence and be assured it is always there. As you finish your exercise, slowly return to the consciousness of the room. Reflect onthe experience; allow time for inspiration and vision. Write notes in a journal of yourexperience. (Dacher, 2006) I have started consistently practicing the Subtle Mind exercise every morning.Controlling the mind chatter and learning to be objective to the random thoughts is challenging.However, I am determined to continue to progress. A second strategy to develop psychological health is to seek out skills that will aide inpositive behaviors. Some of these skills are positive self talk, learning to forgive, visualization,and being grateful. Being grateful during the difficult times as well as during the happy timescan promote a positive outlook. Being grateful is achieved by looking for the opportunity in
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 8situations, good or bad. (Steindl-Rast, n.d.) Lee Brower (Byrne, 2006) teaches the activity ofcarrying a gratitude rock. Every time you put the rock in your pocket, feel it when you put yourhands in your pocket, or take it out when emptying your pocket; express gratitude for specifics inyour life. This simple but effective exercise produces a positive attitude. I carry my owngratitude rock which continually promotes a positive attitude. Spiritual development can be directly connected with psychological development in thatit is achieved by a deeper inner-self development than psychological health. Spiritualitydevelops wisdom, peace, loving-kindness, and compassion. One contemplative practice that hasbeen helpful in developing spirituality is the Loving-Kindness exercise. This exercise developscompassion and promotes an other-oriented focus. The steps to the Loving-Kindness exerciseare (Dacher, 2006): 1. To help in visualizing loving-kindness, picture someone in your mind that you hold an abundance of loving-kindness. Fully experience the feelings by opening your heart and letting the loving-kindness felt for this person completely envelope your being. 2. Turn these feelings toward yourself. Start with your body, accepting every part, every aspect; flooding yourself both physically and mentally with the loving-kindness. Release all holdings and cut all ties that prevent complete freedom in loving and being kind to yourself. 3. Embrace your inner mind, specifically the peace, stillness, and gentleness that now abides in your spirit and soul. Let the loving-kindness permeate your mind, body, and soul.
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 9 4. You are precious and uniquely created. Embrace yourself as you are, with complete and unconditional loving-kindness. Take time now to let this self love completely permeate your body to the cellular level. 5. Picture a loved one who is suffering. As you breathe in, all their suffering will follow the breath and be dissolved in your heart. On the out breath, health, happiness, and wholeness will indwell this loved one and permeate every cell in their being. You can picture this as being an instrument in God’s hands as you do this step by the Father’s hand, through the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ. This is a time to listen for inspiration in how you can help this loved one. 6. Now expand the taking and giving to include those beyond immediate loved ones to acquaintances and strangers. 7. Enlarge the circle of taking and giving to include your enemies. Continue this step to the end of your practice time. (Mathew 5:43-44, love your enemies) It is important to reach the goal of deeply feeling this loving-kindness, to expel the self-centeredness, and to quiet your mind. Take time to reflect on the practice noting your feelingsand your current state of mind. Write down any notes that come to mind. Quietly return to yournormal activities. (Dacher, 2006) I always finish this exercise with a sense of being loved,calmness, and peace. I will practice this exercise two to three times each week. Other forms of meditation can also provide significant spiritual growth. The MeetingAsclepius can have a tremendously spiritual affect (Dacher, 2006, p. 56). Meditating on theBible scriptures can also provide wisdom and foresight. Prayer and other religious devotions canlead to human flourishing. (Dossey, 1997) Dossey also defines prayer as a communication tool tothe “Absolute”. Dean Ornish (1993) also acknowledges that mind-body techniques such as
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 10meditation and prayer provide a transformation and up-lifting demeanor that relieves stress andcreates inner peace, joy, and well-being. Personally I will implement prayer on a continual basisthroughout the day and at times in the night if I am awakened by an urgent feeling to pray.Scripture study and prayer go hand-in-hand. Although my desire is to study scripture everymorning and night, I lack the self discipline to follow through with this daily. However, I cancommit to a scripture study every Sunday in addition to sporadic study and meditation during theweek. Remaining motivated to continue the progress toward physical, psychological, andspiritual flourishing can be challenging. As this class ends, so does the main motivationalsource. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure continual, life-long progress.Monthly assessments will be set up to help evaluate progress or lack of progress. Involvingfriends and family to provide accountability with the evaluation process will be a strongmotivator in reaching a maintenance stage of practice. Rewards for consistent progress can be amovie night, a night out, and reserving space at a retreat. Having the goal of establishing anutrition counseling business is also a strong motivator. As a health care practitioner in healthand wellness, being well and progressing in wellness physically, psychologically, and spirituallywill promote confidence from perspective clients.
HW420-01, Unit 9, Final Project, Holistic/Integral Health Plan 11 ReferencesByrne, R. (2006) The Secret. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publilshing.Dacher, E. (2006) Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.Halprin, A., Samuels, M. (n.d.) Healing and Transformation Through Expressive Arts. Taken from Schlitz, M., Amorok, T., Micozzi, M. (2005) Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Medicine. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Churchill LivingstoneSteindl-Rast, Bro. D. (n.d.) Gratefulness. Taken from Schlitz, M., Amorok, T., Micozzi, M. (2005) Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Medicine. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone