The majority of people in the United States receive most of their healthcare from doctors (MDs or DOs), nurses, physician’s assistants (Pas) and other medical providers who practice in in a medical setting like a hospital, medical clinic, or doctor’s office. This system is what most people think of when they hear the term “healthcare”. The Caring Ambassadors Program refers to this system as “Western Medicine”. Also known as “allopathic”, “conventional”, or “traditional” medicine, this is the most common form of healthcare in the United States and the western world.
All aspects of health are connected—exercise can improve your physical health and have a positively impact the mental aspects of your illness. Developing an exercise plan and sticking with is a key piece of your journey and a component of your plan that cannot be ignored.
You are what you eat. This is a fact of life. Our bodies transform what we eat and drink into the very substance of our physical selves. Diet is one of the most important factors that influences health in our society. A healthy, nourishing diet can prevent the onset of many diseases, slow, halt or reverse the effects of diseases that have already struck, and contribute to a longer life. Every individual, but especially those fighting a long-term illness, should consider making a sound nutrition plan part of their healing process.
For thousands of years, spiritual practices have been an integral part of worldwide healing traditions. When you open up to spirituality, things may happen that do not seem logical or rational. When discussing spirituality, frequently the concepts of religion and prayer come to mind. Not all individuals take part in an organized religion or believe in prayer, but that doesn’t mean that spirituality is not, or shouldn’t be, a part of their life and self-care. So for our purposes, spirituality is simply defined as the unique connection between an individual and what they define as the source of healing. A spiritual practice can be spending time in nature, being of service to others, reading poetry or inspirational literature, communicating with ancestors, meditating, choosing to practice harmlessness.
Complementary Medicine is a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of western medicine. Complementary therapies can often help improve quality of life and health outcomes in individuals living with long-term illness.
Well-being is a broad term that means different things to different people, and for which there is no single definition. Several factors contribute to (or take away from) one’s well-being. A few of these are included in the below word cloud. These individual factors impact our emotional and mental health, which in turn impact our overall well-being state. The CDC describes “well-being” as judging life positively and feeling good. For purposes of My Journey My Choices, “Well-being” is a description of your mental and emotional health.
No one needs to face a long-term disease alone. When people with a long-term disease seek and receive help from others, they often find it easier to cope. Developing and nurturing strong relationships is one of the most important steps in healing, and it’s something you can work on right now to immediately benefit your health and well-being.
Chronic stress contributes to anxiety, obesity, and heart disease, is linked to mental illnesses and pain, and is also a risk factor for substance abuse. Taking control of your stress with relaxation techniques is an excellent way to protect your overall health by counteracting its negative effects.