Overviews synthesize the latest research related to Whole Health and organize it according to the overall structure of the Circle of Health. The information is situated in the context of patient-clinician relationships and is divided into three major groups.
- Implementation overviews explain how to advance Whole Health in your life and workplace.
- Self-care overviews correspond with the eight areas of self-care within Circle of Health.
- Professional care overviews focus on integrative health and specific conditions.
At the end of each overview, there is a list of related tools that provide evidence-based practical information you can use at the point of care. For a complete list, refer to Whole Health tools.
Implementing Whole Health
Whole Health has spread rapidly thanks to grassroots efforts from clinicians and other health care workers who first applied the concepts to their own life. After they saw positive changes in their health and well-being, they were eager to share it with the Veterans they served and those Veterans are sharing it with other Veterans. If you are new to Whole Health, begin by asking yourself what matters most to you. Then join us in transforming health care and implementing a Whole Health System.
- Implementing Whole Health in Your Own Life: Clinician Self-Care
- Implementing Whole Health in Your Practice
- Implementing a Whole Health System: Patient and Team Perspectives
Mindful Awareness and Self-Care
Along with what matters most to an individual, mindful awareness is central to the Circle of Health and the Whole Health Approach. Being mindfully aware allows you to make conscious and proactive choices about every aspect of your health and well-being, including self-care. The eight areas of self-care within the Circle of Health are interrelated, meaning when you neglect one, others may suffer. For example, if you don’t take time to recharge, it’s very likely that you will make poor food choices and be too tired to exercise. The good news is, the opposite is also true. When you focus on getting enough sleep, it makes eating healthy and exercising easier.
The professional care overviews apply complementary and integrative health concepts and therapeutic approaches to specific conditions. The intention is not to pressure clinicians to incorporate new modalities they may feel uncomfortable with, but rather to equip them with the latest research so they can have informed discussions with patients who are likely already experimenting with integrative health. This is especially important if patients are taking supplements that could react with other medications. Knowing the latest research on complementary and integrative health also adds to your repertoire and could be a source of hope for patients struggling with chronic conditions.