The Circle of Health - Whole Health
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Whole Health


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The Circle of Health

The Circle of Health illustrates the big picture connections between your health and other aspects of your life. Whole health opens the door to discuss not only your health conditions, but the things that impact your well-being.

The Circle of Health has four key elements:

Me: The equation begins with you, the “Me” at the center. Your story is unique and your whole health begins with what matters to you.

Self Care: Each of us has the power to impact our well-being. Whole Health offers the skills and support you need to make the changes you want.

Professional Care: Your health team is there to help with the prevention and treatment of disease and illness.

Community: Just as there is a “Me” at the center of the circle, there is a “We” that enfolds it. Your Community is the people and groups you connect with.

Click on the self-care practices to explore the Circle of Health. A small pop-up window will provide a short description of the practice along with additional resources. Links to information and resources for each Circle of Health component are also available on the lower half of this page.

Circle of Health Working Your Body - Energy and Flexibility Surroundings - Physical and Emotional Personal Development - Personal and Work Life Food and Drink - Nourishing and Fueling Recharge - Sleep and Refresh Family, Friends, and Coworkers - Relationships Spirit and Soul - Growing and Connecting Power of Mind - Relaxing and Healing Me - Mindful Awareness Community Prevention and Treatment Conventional and Complementary Approaches

Understanding the Circle of Health

Taking stock of where you are in each of these areas and thinking about where you want to be, is the first step in living a healthier life.

Mindful Awareness

Mindful awareness helps you be aware of thoughts and feelings, and focus on the present and what is most important to you.


Having comfortable, healthy spaces where you work and live impacts your physical and emotional health.

Personal Development

Personal Development is about moving toward what matters most to you and affects your health and well-being.

Food & Drink

The right foods help you not only to live but to live well.


Recharging involves getting enough rest, relaxation, and sleep.

Family, Friends & Co-workers

Having close, loving, and supportive relationships can improve your health and well-being.

Spirit & Soul

Spirituality is your experience of how you relate to whatever is greater than yourself.

Power of the Mind

Research has found mind-body approaches, such as relaxation, breathing, or guided imagery can help treat many health conditions.

Moving the Body

Moving your body can help prevent and treat dozens of diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Whole Health Handout

Whole Health: It Starts with Me

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Whole Health: The Veteran’s Experience

Meet Veterans serving as Whole Health Peer Facilitators and supporting their fellow Veterans.

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Connecting Employees to Whole Health Implementation

A 3-minute overview of VA’s Whole Health approach for employees to better understand the approach.

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Whole Health: What Matters to You?

This brief video explains VA’s Whole Health System.

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The Pathway To Whole Health

In a partnership with peers and their health care team, Veterans begin developing their overarching personal health plan.

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Skill Building to Promote Well-Being

This video examines the Well-Being Programs aspect of the Whole Health System model.

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Whole Health Clinical Care

Veterans and VA providers talk about the process of using the Whole Health approach in a clinical setting.

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Whole Health: A Shift Towards Health

In this video, Dr. David Rakel describes the notion of Whole Health.

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Whole Health: The Power of You

With greater detail, Dr. Rakel examines the components of health and well-being.

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Whole Health: Personal Health Planning

This video describes how you can use Personal Health Planning.

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The Radical Redesign of Health Care

This video explores the components of VA’s Whole Health System.

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The Road Ahead

This documentary-style video follows three Veterans as they pursue health and well-being.

My HealtheVet

My HealtheVet is VA’s award-winning online Personal Health Record (PHR) providing access to your personalized VA health care and information 24/7.

PTSD Coach

PTSD Coach provides service members and Veterans with self-assessments, symptom-tracking capabilities, educational materials, and stress coping skills designed to help manage post-traumatic stress symptoms.

MOVE! Coach

MOVE! Coach app helps Veterans, service members, their families, and other users track and receive feedback on their progress with weight, diet, and exercise goals as part of a 19-week weight loss program.

Moving Forward

The Moving Forward app allows users to access on-the-go tools and learn problem solving skills to overcome obstacles and deal with stress.

Stay Quit Coach

Stay Quit Coach provides information about smoking cessation, along with motivational messages, interactive tools, and support contacts to help users stay smoke-free.

Mindfulness Coach

Mindfulness Coach leads users through steps to learn how to practice mindfulness to reduce stress and cope with unpleasant thoughts and emotions.