Whole Health is VA's approach to care that supports your health and well-being. Whole Health centers around what matters to you, not what is the matter with you. This means your health team will get to know you as a person to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs and goals.
How is Whole Health Different?
Whole Health puts you in control of your care. It focuses on self-care, skill building and support. These services are not diagnosis or disease based but support the personal health plan of each Veteran. Approaches such as stress reduction, yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, nutrition, acupuncture and health coaching are available. You don't have to wait until there is something wrong with you to improve your well-being. Whole Health encourages you to set goals based on what is important to you, and work towards those goals with your health team.
How will Whole Health help me?
Studies show Veterans who use Whole Health services report being able to manage stress better and note the care they receive as being more patient centered. Veterans with chronic pain who used Whole Health services had a threefold reduction in opioid use compared to those who did not. Veterans report that pain management is not the only benefit to using Whole Health services. They are also having success with:
- weight loss
- improved mental health
- better vital signs and diagnostic test results
- higher levels of self-confidence
- better understanding of self-care
How do I start Whole Health?
Whole Health tools and resources including the Whole Health App are available to you now through our Whole Health office on the Lebanon VAMC main campus. The essential tenets of Whole Health services are based on the Circle of Health, which illustrates the big picture connections between your health and other aspects of your life.
The eight tracks for the Circle of Health:
- Power of the Mind
- Move the Body
- Personal Development
- Food & Drink
- Family, Friends & Co-workers
- Spirit & Soul
Learn more about the various classes available to you.
Power of the Mind Track
Whole Health includes all of you — your mind and your body. Your mind affects your body, and your body affects your mind, perhaps more than we realize. This relationship between our mind and body can improve our health or make it worse. Mood and thinking patterns can either positively or negatively impact our health and well-being. In this way, the mind has great power. Research has found mind-body approaches, such as relaxation, breathing, or guided imagery can help treat many health conditions
- Power of the Mind Overview
- Mind Resilience
- Intro to Mindfulness
- Advance Mindfulness Practice
Move the Body
Moving the body is any activity that uses your energy to move the large muscles in your body. Some activities increase your stamina while others improve your strength, flexibility or balance. Moving your body can improve your ability to do more of the things you want.
- Whole Health Exercise Introduction
- Cardio, Strength & Stretching
- Chair Exercises
- Light Weights/Resistance
- Tai Chi
- Function and Mobility group
The term "Surroundings" covers a lot of things. From a Whole Health perspective, it involves everything around you that can affect your health and well-being. Examples include: the place you live, work, spend time in, your neighborhood, climate, amount of tranquility or overstimulation and even experiences that affect your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
- Therapeutic Outdoor Adventures
Personal development addresses personal and professional goals, as well as highlights the importance of work-life balance. This is about moving toward what matters most to you. Taking the opportunity to learn and grow in your personal and work life can be empowering and affects your health and well-being.
- Creative Arts Wellness
- Creative Arts Treatment
Food & Drink
Making healthy choices about what you eat and drink is a powerful way to care for yourself. Food and drink give our bodies the fuel used to work properly, stay healthy and fight disease. Choosing foods that nourish rather than harm your body may help prevent chronic conditions and the need for certain medications in the future. Food can also be used to help treat some health conditions.
- Nutrition and Weight Management Orientation
- MOVE! Weight Management Program
- Healthy Teaching Kitchens
- Cook Along Classes
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- Diabetes Management Classes
- Low Sodium Diet Classes
“Recharge” sounds like something you do with a cell phone or other electronic device. “Recharge” for people is very similar. It refers to sleep, rest, and relaxation, which gives us energy. Our bodies need to have enough of these each day, so that we can live well and enjoy life. Recharging involves getting enough rest, relaxation and sleep. A good balance of these can improve your physical and emotional health.
Family, Friends & Co-workers
Relationships can affect our emotional, mental, and physical health and well-being. Connections to family, friends, community and even animals can reduce stress and improve your physical and emotional well-being.
Spirit & Soul
Having a sense of purpose and meaning can provide strength in difficult times. In addition, research has shown that religion and spirituality may affect a range of health issues.
- Moral Injury and Spiritual Resiliency
Local Exercise Options
In addition to the many opportunities available through the Lebanon VA Whole Health program, there are many other opportunities available to Veterans within our local community. Please read on to see a sampling of the variety of programs available in Lebanon County.
Options for Veterans:
Lebanon Valley Family YMCA
The YMCA is honored to serve Veterans and their families. As a Veteran there is no join fee and reduced memberships are available, among other benefits.
Millennium Health & Fitness
Millennium Health & Fitness is a VA partnered Health and Fitness company that provides a host of health and fitness services to Veterans. Once signed up with Millennium Health and Fitness Veterans have access to a variety of live and on demand classes; offering classes in the morning, afternoon and evening hours as well as weekends. Live and on demand (recorded) classes may include but are not limited to:
- Cardio Core
- Power Yoga
- Restorative Yoga
- Tai Chi
- Total Body Conditioning
- Wounded Warrior classes
Options for Veterans Over 60:
SilverSneakers is a fitness and wellness program offered at no additional cost to seniors 65+ on eligible Medicare plans.
What's included with a SilverSneakers membership?
- Specially designed exercise classes for all fitness levels online and in-person
- Community classes in your area offered in-person and online.
- 15,000+ fitness and community locations nationwide. You can visit as many as you like!
- Access to everything your fitness location offers: (Contact each location to see what's available)
Options may include but not limited to:
- Cardio equipment
- Hot tubs
- Tennis courts
- Walking tracks
- Online resources with nutrition and fitness tips.
Lebanon County Senior Wellness:
The Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging provides a variety of health and wellness programs for seniors at Senior Community Centers. Band Together, is a program in collaboration with Penn State Hershey Medical Center to provide free strength training among other classes. Other classes include:
- Evidence-based programs
- Tai Chi for Arthritis
- Healthy Steps for Older Adults
- Walk with Ease
- Nutrition education