What matters most to you? This question is the beginning to a new and innovate approach to medicine called Whole Health.
Whole Health centers around what matters to each Veteran, not what is the matter with them. It provides an array of support by shifting from a largely problem-based disease care system to a person-centered system focused more broadly on supporting health and well-being, as well as managing disease. It is also focused on each Veteran’s needs, values, and goals. This approach helps Veterans request the best possible treatment outcomes from multiple resources available at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. According to Mrs. Tammy Reid, Whole Health Coordinator, “Whole health can help with life’s obstacles by changing your life if you apply it. You can find your purpose, focus on the positive aspects of life, and weather the storm. Whole health is a journey. We are here to empower and equip Veterans to live their life to the fullest.”
Multiple Veterans have found a great benefit utilizing the Whole Health services offered at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. Army Veteran, Mr. Timothy Ferguson has routinely received acupuncture as part of the Whole Health approach for nearly two years. Mr. Ferguson states, “The acupuncture has improved my life and the lives of people around me. I can now pick up my grand-daughter and play with her.” He continued stating, “I can now get out and play with the grand kids, where before I would sit in the chair. If you’re in pain and taking medication, you’re just putting a band-aid on it. Not fixing it. I didn’t believe in it at first, but it changed my life”
Many other Veterans share Mr. Ferguson’s enthusiasm and excitement about the results they experience. A common theme seems to be hesitation at first when Whole Health Services are recommended. A few Veterans thought the idea of trying yoga and tai chi were silly and would be a waste of time, but after just one or two sessions they found unexpected improvements and were pleased with changes they were experiencing.
A 76-year-old, Vietnam era Marine Veteran, Mr. William Kable, participates in the Whole Health Tai Chi group. “At first, I said your nuts, I’m not going to that, but now I’ve tried it and it’s cool”. Mr. Kable stated that he is hyper by nature, but tai chi relaxes his mind and calms him down.
Mr. John Alsbrooks, a 67-year-old Air Force Veteran also has participated in tai chi as well as chiropractic and yoga services. Mr. Alsbrooks has seen a great improvement in his balance. He stated, “yoga has provided better flexibility, increased physical strength, and a better outlook on life. These services go beyond traditional health care, addressing needs that are not always direct medical problems, providing realistic and demonstrable solutions to challenges that Veterans face.” Mr. Alsbrooks enjoys the sense of community, seeing the same faces, and sharing concern for one another in the group. He participates in his yoga group using VA Video Connect (VVC). This allows the Veteran to receive the same great benefit of participating in an in-person yoga class from the comfort of home. Mr. Alsbrooks states, “I have a small farm and need to get chores done. It is much more practical for me to use the video option rather than taking the time to drive.”
Army Veteran, Mr. Rodney Riggleman also uses the virtual option for some of his Whole Health Services. Mr. Riggleman has routinely been seeing a chiropractor at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center for nearly three years. Between the chiropractic and yoga, Mr. Riggleman states, “I don’t have the pain that I used to have. I can move again, and I’m doing things I didn’t think I could do. I’m staying active, and my balance has greatly improved.”
There are countless Veterans who have seen improvements in their lives as a direct result of utilizing Whole Health Services. Whole Health is growing and expanding to more areas in healthcare. Find a full list below of current Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center Whole Health Services:
- Introduction to Whole Health
- Acupuncture / Holistic Medicine
- Battlefield Acupuncture
- Chiropractic Care
- Guided Imagery Group
- Health Coaching
- Mindfulness Group
- Tai Chi
- Taking Charge of My Life & Health Group
- Hypnosis (available at the Wood County Community Based Outpatient Clinic)
- MOVE! Weight Management Group
- Tobacco Cessation – Individual & Group
- Veterans with Guitars
- Project Healing Waters - Fly fishing
Talk to your primary care provider to discuss which of these services would be beneficial to you, or call (304)623-3461 ext. 2771 to directly connect with Whole Health. Take charge of your health and well-being, and reach your goals with Whole Health at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. To enroll in VA healthcare, please visit https://www.va.gov/clarksburg-health-care/register-for-care/, or contact the Enrollment and Eligibility Office at 304-623-3461, Ext. 3332 or 3590.