Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Whole Health

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Veteran Boosts Body and Soul

smiling man and woman sitting on bench in front of trees making hang loose hand gesture

Joe Macupa is Living Whole Health and enjoying his life in Hawaii with his wife Sun.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Knee, hip, and back pain, overweight, blocked arteries, atrial fibrillation, COPD. If you looked at Joe Macupa’s problem list in his medical record, you might think he would never find his way to health and well-being.

At 73, the Air Force Veteran had to face some harsh realities about his health. Macupa’s primary care provider at VA Pacific Islands Health Care System referred him to Whole Health for pain management, which included battlefield acupuncture. Macupa was committed to improving his overall physical health but didn’t yet know how much Whole Health would change his life.

Whole Health is truly about the whole person.

Macupa went “all in.” He met with a nurse for nutrition education and to set weight loss goals. He started going to the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and taking VA yoga classes. Through daily exercise, modifying his diet, and eating his wife’s healthy meals, Macupa lost about 35 pounds. He says these changes had him feeling better, breathing better, and even sleeping better.

However, some emotional issues had been plaguing Macupa for years, and he was ready to tackle those with the support of VA staff and other Veterans he met through Taking Charge of Your Life and Health classes.

“Self-esteem was one of my issues,” he said. “I've been guilty of trying to compare myself to others. Sometimes you want to go back and think about the things you did wrong in the past. There was a lot of damage with thinking about the past. You look for ways to escape, like drinking [too much] wine,” he said.

Emotional health came through counseling and learning to practice mindfulness. “Mindfulness has been very helpful, just working on being present,” said Macupa. He said that finding Whole Health has been a good turn in his overall health and well-being. “It's like a lifeline, working with, interacting with other people. Because I can't do this alone. And if I can help in some way that would be a good thing.”

For more information about Whole Health, talk to your primary care provider or reach out to the Whole Health contact at your VA facility.


Get Updates

Subscribe to Receive
Email Updates