M tarnow hw420unit9finalproject

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  • 1. Integral Health: My Integration Plan<br />Melanie Tarnow<br />Kaplan University<br />January 18, 2011<br />HW420<br />Mark Maule<br />Introduction<br /> As a health and wellness professional, it is important that we must be able to practice what we preach. The strive for health and wellness must incorporate improvement, achievement and maintenance in all three aspects…mind, body and soul…or psychologically, spiritually and physically. I need to be able to demonstrate and prove that the achievement of health and wellness is something that any person can obtain, but the realization that it is difficult, time consuming and draining not only physically but mentally as well is something that is easily overlooked. <br /> To achieve wholesome and authentic happiness is in the eye of the beholder. For a person to achieve what they term as happiness, is exactly that…happiness on their terms. For happiness is going to be different for everyone depending on lifestyle, personality and general goals in life. I truly think that demonstrating any inadequacies from my personal experiences and perspectives might distort my client’s or my patient’s perspective on what they should expect, should they attempt to pursue a better equality of integral health. <br /> From my own perspective as to how I think I am doing with a balanced integral health, I believe that I am lacking in the spiritual aspect of things. I haven’t always been that way either. I grew up learning a different perspective than what I have today. Somehow I have fallen out of that spiritual rhythm and I would like to get it back. I think for myself, in order to get that sense of “wholeness” and inner peace that I am looking for, I need to make larger strides and effort toward my spiritual side. I guess that I feel that everyone from some standpoint wants to have health, happiness and wholeness but from different angles. <br />Assessment<br />In order to assess each of the aspects of health and wellness I broke each one of them down individually and analyzed them from my own perspective honestly. Here’s what I found: <br />~PHYSICAL~<br /> This is my strongest aspect of health and wellness. If I were to rate this on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being optimal physical shape I would rate myself at an 8. I have slacked slightly over the past few months having had knee surgery, but that was not my fault. I strive to keep myself in shape by running, weightlifting, biking, snowboarding, etc. etc. etc. My lack in this area comes slightly from my diet. After doing competitive bodybuilding for so many years and eating very strict, I have kind of fallen off of that wagon and just been eating some of the things that I want to eat. I think that I deserve that! But, from this change, my body is recognizing it. My workouts aren’t as effective, I feel that I have not as good as night’s sleep as a result as well. <br />~MENTAL~<br /> This aspect of health and wellness is fairly strong, but not super. I think I would rate this a 6/10. Most of the time I am able to stay focused, think clearly, and be decisive. Mentally I feel that I am quite strong and able to handle many different types of situations. I can control my emotions quite well, and manage my stress without problem most of the time. That is one area of my mental health that I would like to improve though…stress. I don’t stress very easily, but when I do, I don’t feel that I am able to harness it in a productive and healthy way sometimes. Having some ground control with my thoughts and emotions and just knowing how I am going to react to a certain situation is definitely a benefit to me, so therefore I would like to improve it. <br />~SPIRITUAL~<br /> This is the aspect of my health and wellness that needs the most focus and the one that I feel lacks the most as far as how I incorporate it into my life. I think that I would give it a 4, even a 3! When I sit and try to assess this aspect, what is wrong about it for me is that there isn’t much to assess, that is why I give myself such a low score. When I think of spiritual health, I think of the incorporation of the religious aspects of course, but also inner peace and the connection that I have to my inner life. I don’t do well with either. I used to be very involved from the religious standpoint in my younger days, and my parents tried to instill that in me. They did, but it seemed to have fallen off the radar as soon as I hit my college years. I simply didn’t make the time for it, so therefore the priority of it was put on the back burner. Actually it was completely taken off the burner! My inner peace/life has also not been promoted as it should be. As far as practicing any relaxation techniques or exercises that challenge my deeper thoughts, I haven’t done any. This just isn’t in my nature to sit down and put my focus it. This is the aspect of health and wellness that I feel needs the most work, and therefore going to be my focus on rebuilding some strength there. Because I had it, once. <br />Goal Development<br />~PHYSICAL~<br />For my physical health, my goal is to eat more fruits and veggies. I need to have a more balanced and well-rounded diet again as I once had. Over the course of the past few years, how strict I had been when it came to my diet has now tapered off. I kind of eat what I want to now, and as I had said before, I think that is because when I was competing I had to be strict. That carried over into my everyday life to some extent in my off-season. Now, I think that I have the I’m tired of being so strict with myself mentality, so I just threw it out the window. I would like to get it back, but not to the same degree. I still have the same build physically largely due to the fact that I still work out. But I am not as toned as I would want to be. I am also pretty proud of what my cholesterol was at one time, 147, and hopefully I haven’t completely destroyed that by just eating whatever. <br />~MENTAL~<br /> My goal for my mental health is to always challenge myself mentally. I think it is going to be hard to recognize purposefully doing that, but it could be as simple as doing even a crossword puzzle or Sudoku once a week. Those are mind challenging games. I think that just by being in school again I am challenging my mental health. I also feel that I challenge my mental health everyday at work by continuously having to evaluate patients through a treatment session. I want to keep my brain on its toes! <br />~SPIRITUAL~<br /> I see two different aspects of spiritual health. So I have a goal for each. The first is for the religious aspect of spiritual health. My goal is to get to church more and become more involved with the congregation. I want to give my 5 year old son the exposure to the Bible and the teachings of God and Jesus Christ and allow him to make up his own mind in regards to his beliefs. The second goal is to dedicate more time to meditate and relax. I know that I have said this before, but I am going to actually schedule time to meditate. That is the only way that I am going to remember to do it. That way, when I am able to recognize whether or not I gain benefit from the meditation, rather than scheduling time for it I will JUST HAVE time for it. I hope that makes sense. <br />Practices For Personal Health<br />~PHYSICAL~<br /> I cannot speak specifically of exercises from the course because I do not recall doing specific exercises related to physical wellness. But, if I were to try to implement specific strategies into my daily regimen to better my physical health, in specific relation to my goal as stated above, they might be: 1)Pre-planning out meals and designating a serving of fruit and veggie for each, with the exception of breakfast of course 2)Cutting back on certain simple carbs/empty calories that I love to eat such as bagels, crackers and other breads 3)Eating more proteins; fish and chicken as opposed to red meats 4)Decreasing sweet intake; although this isn’t horrible for me anyway. <br /> Trying to have control of your diet in general would probably show more results. So by implementing more of a well-rounded diet as opposed to focusing on specific food group might make things easier. I think that planning out meals and sticking to that plan is going to be the way to go. <br />~MENTAL~<br /> As far as mental strategy, in relation to my specific goal, I would have to say that there are a couple of stress management/prevention exercises that I could implement. One is what I call the “Negative to Positive Exercise”. What this means is, when I see a negative situation presenting itself, especially in my case being that it might cause unneeded stress, I have to immediately try to change the perception of the situation by finding something positive about it. Here is an example: Something that irritates me more than stresses me is that I have to go home every single day at lunch to let my dog out. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my dog, but it wastes 25-30 minutes of my lunch just driving in the car to get home. So, every day I get back in the car and drive home to let him out. What can I find positive to come out of this? Well, my dog is very happy to see me, and I feel good about that because he is lonely all day home alone. Also, I can have lunch at home, which is saving me money in the long run from having to buy lunch at the clinic or elsewhere. Make positive out of negative to prevent a potentially stressful situation! I think that it could work. <br /> The second exercise that I could use for mental strength could be the implementation of could be the Subtle Mind exercise. I think that it is important to have a clear mind, free your mind of the trash that doesn’t need to be there. Thinking more clearly will strengthen thought processes, decision-making skills, and general knowledge base. This is mentally strengthening and the Subtle Mind exercise would be a great way to try to achieve that on a more regular basis. So, to begin, I am going to implement this exercise every Monday night, the night before I begin my work week. I would like to see if I can go into the beginning of my work week feeling more focused from this exercise. I struggle with Tuesdays, because it is my Monday. Coming back to work after the weekend sucks. Maybe this will clear my mind of clutter and I will be able to regulate my focus better. It is worth a shot. <br />~SPIRITUAL~<br /> I know that my two favorite exercises regarding spiritual health and wellness are visualization and meditation. These are the two that are easiest for me to perform and see results from. But again for me, it is not the actual act of performing the exercise, it is making the time to do them. So, as I discussed with regards to the religious aspect of spiritual health and me making time to go to church and be more of a part of things, and as I said I was going to have to schedule time to exercise my mind mentally, and for my physical health I have to plan meals…I am seeing a trend. I am not taking time for ME. So, I will have to take time to meditate and visualize. I should do a journal or something and document how I feel on the days following meditation or visualization versus the days following that I do nothing. Do I see any differences? And if I do, what are they? Are the differences positive or negative? If I realize that they are positive, can I implement them more intuitively, or does it have to continue to be scheduled? <br /> Those are the question that I find asking myself, and the difficulty within myself regarding trying to make some changes. Integral health has definitely brought a different dimension to my health that I didn’t give much thought to, or for that matter, didn’t even realize existed. <br />Commitment<br /> I think that the easiest way for me to check progress over the next six months would be to start a daily journal now. That way I can see the day to day changes or progress that is taking place. I should be able to see a trend, whether I am able to stick to a scheduled plan with these things or if I fall back into my present pattern. I think that a journal would also be a way for me to try to maintain my goals toward the health and wellness that I seek. I will probably have to check in on myself, whether it is every two weeks or once a month, and then try to make adjustments, if any are needed, from there. I don’t think that I will ever achieve the health and wellness that I seek, because once a positive is achieved, I ask myself even now…will it be enough? Will it be satisfactory? I think that is where the question arises in regards to true happiness…can I be achieved? At that leads back to my originating statement. Happiness, I believe is in the eye of the beholder. <br /> <br />