Whole Health: An Overview

(inspirational piano music) Whole Health recognizes you as a whole person and helps support your unique answer to the question, what do I want my health for? What is your mission in life? Whole Health goes beyond illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. It focuses on your values and aspirations, your health and wellbeing. It may include self-care strategies and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga along with your conventional medical care. As a Veteran, you committed your life and health to mission success in defense of our country. Now we want to help you be mission ready for your life. The core mission of the Veterans Health Administration is to honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and wellbeing. Exceptional care is different than I used to be. It now includes getting to know you better, learning what matters most to you, focusing on your goals for your life and health, and supporting you in addressing your wellbeing and self-care. By engaging in this shift to Whole Health, you are not only contributing to your own health and wellbeing, but to the transformation of health care for your fellow Veterans and the nation. Health care usually focuses on preventive care, lowering risk, and illness and disease. Are your cancer screenings and flu shots up to date? Do you feel sick or are you injured? Do you smoke or is your weight healthy? What medications are you on? And how are your test results? These things are still important and Whole Health is more than that. Whole Health goes beyond traditional health care and focuses on what is important to you in your life and how you want to live your life. It includes self-care and things you can do to increase healing and improve your health and wellbeing. Research shows that the most important ingredient in being healthy is how you take care of yourself, and you don’t need a medical background to do that. Medical care is important. And how you live your life between medical appointments makes a big difference. Self-care is not something you have to figure out on your own. In the Whole Health approach, you have the opportunity to look at all areas of your life. Areas of strength and aspects where support could be helpful to you. We call these the components of proactive health and wellbeing. These areas of self-care include: Working your body, exercise and movement for energy, flexibility, and strength. Surroundings, how things around you affect your body and emotions. Personal development, learning and growing throughout your lifetime. Food and drink, nourishing your body. Recharge, sleep, rest, relaxation. Family, friends, and coworkers, your relationships with others. Spirit and soul, a sense of connection, purpose, and meaning. And power of the mind, tapping into your ability to heal and cope. You may be wondering, how will Whole Health help me? Think about your own experiences. Military missions are each unique and need to be adjusted as conditions change. You may have to adapt and overcome. Likewise, there’s no one approach to help all people be their healthiest. In a Whole Health approach, each person is unique. Care is geared to your needs and goals. You are at the center of care. (gentle guitar music)

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