Embracing The Tides of ChangePrint
Is there any doubt that current times are influencing our health and well being in ways never seen before? As phases of the moon influence the tide, they affect life on the planet through weather patterns, animal migration and even land mass movement. Similarly, these historic economic times shift human patterns in physical, mental and emotional tides, often creating a heightened sense that the land beneath our feet is shifting. It is a new type of stress leading to new health conditions and a perpetuating cycle of concerns.
Our economic downturn simultaneously presents a catalyst to reform our healthcare plan. While we investigate what would work for us as a nation, we must consider what would work for each individual. We need an efficient and attainable plan that addresses individual needs and steers clear of cookie-cutter solutions that diminish personal choice. The United States has made progress by including some alternative modalities into new legistlation, such as massage and acupuncture, yet there is the need for much more.
Is there a way that we can use the momentum of this time and really put healthcare choices into our own hands? We could call it America’s Self Care Plan with the hopes that in the near future, our values of holistic modalities will be included in our healthcare system, creating more choices for all.
We must set the example and create the solution ourselves. Caring for the self starts before a doctor is needed by bringing awareness to our attitudes and actions. It involves a system that includes everything from stretching, nutrition, and hydration, to injury recovery, posture and overall daily wellness.
The simplest techniques to wellness are often overlooked because they are so easy. For example, breathing is something we do without thinking. However, when focused on, deep breathing can dramatically reduce physical stress on the heart and change the heart rate, in turn, affecting blood pressure.
Pain and stress are present as alarm systems that inform us when something needs to be changed. For example, if our back hurts from sitting at the computer all day, stopping and bringing awareness to our posture and adding a stretching routine may break the cycle of pain. Self care can be that simple. In the long term, as confirmed by Dr. Matt Sanicki of Chiropractic Release and Acupuncture Center in San Diego, this practice can even prevent degeneration of our skeletal structures and dramatically reduce the risk of nerve damage.
Most importantly, self care includes working with, managing and being able to change physical, mental and emotional patterns that do not serve our highest health goals. The first step to creating a self care system is the awareness that implementing one is necessary in the first place. The second step is researching and finding holistic health models that serve our individual purposes. Adjusting unhealthy habits—whether they concern our diets, exercise patterns, or emotional tendencies—and adopting new patterns that promote daily health can be easy once we make the choice to do it.
Once individually examined, awareness and accountability are the cornerstones that support a healthy model resulting in the most powerful of changes. The physical body is made up of an amazing circuitry that informs us of its needs. Self care starts with tuning into our intuition. If we listen, instead of ignoring the signs and going about our daily routines, we will know when change is needed.
We are fortunate in that if we seek out holistic health modalities in our country, we will find them. As a Holistic Health Practitioner in the field of bodywork and a student for 13 years, I am amazed at how many healing modalities are available. Holistic health professionals such as naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, herbalists and nutritionists are becoming more popular in today’s western world. We have many available models in our multi-dynamic culture that help us to increase awareness, support prevention and provide solutions for day-to-day wellness.
Holistic modalities are even entering the field of allopathic medicine. A western medical doctor by the name of Dr. Janet Travell worked with President John F. Kennedy to relieve his back pain with her form of Trigger Point therapy. Trigger points are pain patterns between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system that can be interrupted. Dr. Travell created and implemented this therapy using anesthetic injections on trigger points in the body to relieve pain. Her technique evolved to a manual touch therapy known as Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), which is currently used without injections by massage therapists to similarly deactivate trigger points in the body.
Though massage therapists are not doctors and would not diagnose an illness, they are great resources to call upon for wellness tips as a part of a holistic health care team. Massage therapy is one example of alternative healthcare. Self care involves researching the options, speaking to wellness professionals, and selecting the course that is right for you.
Alternative plans involving self care can empower a nation in times of change and encourage a cultural attitude that takes more of a driver’s seat on the road of prevention. This can become a path to self-discovery—rather than turning solely to our political leaders for answers, we can lead ourselves. It is an opportunity to embrace the tides of change and implement a more accountable self care program within a healthcare plan that promotes a cultural sense of wellbeing. Self care can be attended to in our own corners of the world and someday it may be a part of a universal health care plan for us and for future generations.
Self Care Plan in Action
- Create Time for Yourself
- Make time to be present with yourself
- Find the right space to tune in
- Set a regular schedule that is realistic
- Design a Personalized Check-in System with:
- Educate Yourself
- Research holistic alternatives
- Attend community health events
- Explore open houses for schools and clinics
- Try a new modality
- Attend workshops
- Be Patient with yourself
- Set aside funds for self care as best you can
- Treat yourself as you would like others
- to treat you and pass it on!
About the Author
Rhonda Grace Sandhu is a Holistic Health Practitioner who teaches at the International Professional School of Bodywork and leads wellness retreats. Learn more at www.bajawellnessretreat.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.774.7887.