Wellness Tips To Improve Your Internal Health

Wellness – physical, mental and spiritual – is the essence of my work as a massage therapist. Helping individuals find their own path to wellness, whether directly through a massage or indirectly by encouraging my clients to adopt a life of self-care, self-confidence and self-love, is very important to me. And there is no better time to embrace health and wellness than in the New Year.

Almost every January, health and body magazines are awash with diets, exercise tips and resolutions for the New Year. I love all this dedication to health, and I wish that it could keep the spotlight all year-round.

This year (Welcome 2014!), I’d like to focus on an element of health that many people are not aware of: The body’s pH.

Most of us remember Ph (acidic vs basic) from high school chemistry. But you’ve probably forgotten that pH stands for “potential of hydrogen,” which is the measurement of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. In numeric terms, pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14, 0 being very acidic and 14 being very basic or alkaline. 7 is neutral.

So what does this have to do with health and wellness? Well a lot, actually.

Our bodies are designed to function within a very narrow pH range – slightly on the alkaline side with a blood pH of 7.4. If your blood’s pH fluctuates to a more acidic number, distress signals are sent out and you’ll start to feel a variety of unwanted symptoms – everything from skin breakouts to arthritis, chronic fatigue to irritable bowel syndrome. A blood pH lower than 7 is especially dangerous because it weakens the immune system and may lead to disease.

In American culture, it’s very easy to live with an acidic pH due to all the processed food out there, not to mention stress. So how do you keep your body alkaline then?

Having regular therapeutic massage is one way to help reduce stress and thus improve the body’s overall pH. Emotional stress releases acidic hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Opting for a relaxing, full-body massage not only counteracts this process, but it gets the natural fluids of the body – blood, oxygen and lymph — flowing in a healthy manner. The body’s adrenaline is slowed and cortisol is reduced.

Diet is another way to keep your pH alkaline. A diet high in natural vitamins, minerals and H20 will do wonders for your pH. In particular, you want to find foods rich in alkaline minerals such as:

Calcium (oranges, almonds, spinach)
Magnesium (kale, salmon, lentils)
Iron (olives, parsley)
Potassium (bananas, potatoes)
Sodium (shrimp, beets)
And avoid the acidic minerals i.e. sulphur and phosphorus

I would suggest adopting a diet high in leafy green vegetables, lean meats and low-sugar fruits. This will provide your body with the needed minerals, proteins and vitamins to keep pH within the healthy alkaline zone.

One of the best ways to embrace this diet is start each day off with a juice. I suggest having a green juice first thing in the morning – kale, green apple and parsley, for example. If kale doesn’t sound particularly appetizing at 8 a.m. (I hear you) then go for some low-sugar fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. Or better yet – a sweeter vegetable such as carrots.

All of these options will pack your blood with the minerals needed to stay alkaline, not to mention essential antioxidants and blood builders such as chlorophyll.

The reason you juice the fruits and veggies instead of eating them whole is that the pure nutrients can enter your system more quickly via juice. (Imagine how long and cumbersome it would be to eat half-a-bunch of kale without juicing it.) By eliminating the plant fiber, juicing lightens the digestive process and gets the healthy stuff to your system more directly. And that means a happy, alkaline body!

So go ahead and try it! Juicers are easy to come by at any kitchen store or online. If you’re not sure you want to commit just yet, you can always find a juice bar in the city.

Employee Health and Wellness Program

Companies want their workers to be aware of health care resources, but more importantly, to be able to effectively use them.

The poet, Virgil, once said, “the greatest wealth is health.” Although quality and coverage are ranked highly as health care goals, most Americans rate the U.S. system as unsatisfactory. Employers are interested in helping consumers be more conscious, thoughtful, and informed in making health choices.

The American Heart Association (AHA) promotes comprehensive programs that address the following:

cardiovascular disease prevention;
tobacco cessation and prevention;
physical activity;
nutrition education;
stress management/reduction;
weight management; and
early detection/screening.

Other features may include direction regarding effective use of the health care system, back pain prevention/management, alcohol and substance abuse assessment, adult vaccination, and maternal and infant health education.

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) agrees that “cultural competency is one of the main ingredients in closing the disparities gap in health care.” When developing a health wellness program, language and culture influence:

how health conditions and causes are perceived;
workplace wellness belief systems;
attitudes toward health care providers;
behaviors of consumers; and
delivery of health services.

According to an article in Family & Community Health, “culturally sensitive and appropriate programs must be developed to engage economically challenged minority and other underserved populations.”

The Top 3 Benefits of a Corporate Wellness Program

Did you also know one of the biggest challenges for employers is figuring out how to improve employee’s health habits to reduce their health care costs? Johnson & Johnson’s leaders estimate that corporate wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent. Do you need more reasons?

A corporate wellness program can benefit your company massively by investing in your employees’ health, happiness and satisfaction at work. You will also improve their productivity, teamwork, morale while reducing your healthcare costs. What is not to like!!

Corporate Wellness Program Benefits: There are many benefits and reasons for why you should start a corporate wellness program. Here are just a few:

Saving in health costs: Today the average healthcare cost is $11.304 per employee. Wouldn’t be nice to be able to reduce that?

In a report released by RAND in 2014, a company found that for every dollar they invested in chronic-disease management program, it saved $3.78 in health care expenses.

Also a report released by makinghealthcarereformwork.com, discovered that every employee who smokes tobacco can cost his business $3.400 per year in health care and lower productivity. How about investing in a program to help smokers quit?

There are many ways you can reduce your medical claim costs:

Physical Activity: It is proven that exercise makes people happier and happy employees produce more! It is also proven that employees who exercise are:

• less stressed

• concentrate better

• more satisfied with their jobs

• create a better sense of teamwork

Prevention (Preventive Care): When you offer regular checkups, your employees can realize what their situation is and improve it, what can reduce future healthcare costs.

Increase Human Resources Savings

Enhance Loyalty: Healthy employees are happier and that translates into better employee retention. Think about how a corporate wellness program can also decrease your hiring costs!

Attract top talent: When your company is openly recognized as having the best working environment and investing heavily in employee corporate wellness and health, some of the best candidates will want to work with you! Don’t forget how your employees will become your company ambassadors talking about all the great activities they do and how much fun they have working there!

Cut Down Accidents and Absenteeism

Reducing Accidents: Did you know healthy employees have fewer accidents overall.

A study produced by the National Council of Compensation Insurance found that obese claimant’s costs related to job accidents are nearly triple those of non-obese during the first year. That’s a lot of money that could have been partially saved!

Reducing Absenteeism at Work by improving our immune system through exercise and regular checkups.

The main challenge when implementing corporate wellness programs is getting employees to participate.

Training Amigo is a corporate wellness company offering software and services that will help you improve your company work environment, social engagement, health and corporate wellness and bottom line with our fully customizable platform.

Our reporting and analytics offer your HR and Management team an efficient way to track employee progress and results. Improve your company health score and overall success.

Types of Health and Wellness Businesses and Their Contribution to Society

The health and wellness market is a booming industry. People are buying health products such as targeted vitamins and minerals and wellness services such as massage and acupuncture so as to ensure physical wholeness and overall good health. The motivation comes from the improved knowledge that the modern man has about his body and environment.

The public has obtained access to health education and promotion through various media, and as a result, there is a rapid transformation on how we have looked at health and wellness these last 30-40 years. A few decades ago, the house-call doctor who had a strong educational background but an equally strong intuitive knowledge went the way of the dodo, to be replaced by institutionalized “Big Health” that has proven over the years to be faceless, uncompassionate, and ridiculously expensive.

In the meantime, we as a people have been exposed to theories of health and wellness from the Far East and our own ancient times, and we’ve come to recognize that perhaps there’s more to staying healthy than popping pills and getting broken bones set.

Health and wellness products have indeed been in demand over the last few years, and this is due in part to the exposure they have received through the media. We see health issues addressed in internet websites, magazines, books, newsletters and even on television, where Oprah’s ‘Doctor Oz’ now has his own show, and ‘The Doctors’ is a common daytime panel show about health and wellness.

Health journals are cropping up, even major news magazines such as Time, Newsweek and Focus have contributed a lot of articles, editorials and special issues to nutrition and wellness.

Economists in the United States suggest that in the years to come, the wellness business will be one of the leading contributors of economic growth. In fact, in this country, the sales of this industry have already reached $200 million and will soon match the sales of the ‘traditional’ health care sector!

The health and wellness industry is all about selling wellness products and services which improve the health of their customers. Since there is a wide range of products and services included in this scope, we can divide them into a variety following types of health and wellness businesses. Here’s a partial list:

Voluntary medicine – examples under this type are lifestyle drugs and plastic cosmetic surgery.
Wellness resources – these are the information segment of the society, or media informing the people regarding wellness products and services.
Wellness insurance – financial resources for a large number of wellness services and preventative medicines, including chiropractic care and even acupuncture.
Nutritional services and products – including vitamin supplements, nutritionist, local organic food stores, etc.
Fitness services and products – including massage therapists, spas, chiropractor, etc.
Preventative health care – treating, modifying or controlling health risk factors
Alternative health care – this includes meditation, yoga, herbalism, homeopathy, hypnosis, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy, etc.
Health and wellness tourism – characterized by customers who would use traveling expenses to look for medical tourism hubs across the globe, offering products and services for these health and wellness seekers.

As you can see, the health and wellness industry has grown significantly, thanks to the huge support it has obtained from several other sectors. New opportunities have opened for health and wellness initiatives, whether it be on the side of selling products and services or in the dissemination of valuable health and wellness information.

The industry is indeed a huge network of products and services, all together with a common theme of being the answer to the sicknesses and diseases that are growing rampant in our society today. Many of these are caused by industries that sell unhealthy goods and commodities. All the types of health and wellness businesses have blossomed in order to come to our rescue.

Because of all of this blooming and blossoming, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business, a health and wellness business is an excellent choice — the competition might look stiff, but it’s an industry where the consumer is trained to be suspicious of success and look for the local, ‘little guy’…which is exactly where you could fit in!

Chris is an entrepreneur in the areas of Health and Wellness, Internet Marketing, and Leadership Coaching. He specializes in training people in Internet Marketing and has a growing Health and Wellness business.

What Is Health And Wellness Coaching?

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Org., 1948)

Health and wellness coaching is a result-oriented process designed to help individuals meet the challenges and demands of 21st century living. Coaching helps you jump the hurdles and obstacles in your life, stay focused, develop positive mental skills for creating change, and move forward with energy and hopefulness.

Coaching is not psychotherapy. As Judy Rosemarin, a coaching teacher at New York University’s Center for Career Education, says, “Psychotherapy is looking through the rear-view mirror at life, and coaching is looking through the front windshield.”

A coach is someone who motivates you, provides support, identifies strengths and obstacles, and partners with you to plan creative solutions you need to reach your goals. A coach works with you through skillfully conducted “coaching sessions,” using any combination of planned activities, hand-selected educational resources, and methods such as active imagery, restructuring negative beliefs, encouragement, personal development, and venting.

You can talk with your coach about whatever is needed to help you take action and produce results. You might focus on goals, strategies, and establishing boundaries; set up systems to assure that you stay motivated; strengthen other areas of your life that serve as the basis for change; develop a plan to establish the necessary support network and environment to assure your success; implement methods to avoid relapse; identify stale habits and mindsets that you must let go of so that you can excel; find new ways to create the time and energy you require; celebrate your accomplishments; and reverse your setbacks. However, keep in mind that much of your progress is measured between sessions, when you implement the actions that will most likely lead to the positive results you want.

True health–or what we commonly call “wellness”–is a dynamic state of vitality and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It does not occur though a focus on alleviating disease, but rather occurs when you commit proactively to a focus on health and wellness. In wellness the focus is on supporting your core being and vitality. As you optimize your health and wellness, you will be better able to handle the stress of day to day living, leading to a reduction in stress-related illnesses and setting the stage for healing to occur. Health and wellness coaching topics include identifying stressors, creating a complete health/wellness vision, identifying key motivators to change, identifying roadblocks to change, identifying successes, creating pathways around barriers, stress management, using adversity as an advantage, and building upon natural strengths, skills, and abilities.

Coaching is effective in this process due to its focus on both short- and long-term goals, the use of written commitments to fulfill the action plan, tracking progress and holding the client accountable to those commitments, and providing a structured and supportive environment. Individuals who benefit include those who need motivation, discipline, or accountability to meet their goals; those who need a personalized plan that meets and evolves with their unique needs; and those who want the privacy and confidentiality provided by their coach.

Your coach will form a powerful alliance with you in order to both guide and facilitate you in a dynamic process of positive change, assisting you, for example, in your efforts to lose weight, control pain, manage blood sugars, control blood pressure, and reduce stress. The ultimate result of this partnership is improved health, a boost in energy and positive outlook, and a more balanced approach to life. The main goal is typically to empower clients to facilitate their own healthy lifestyle changes through a directive, individualized, structured program that includes ongoing assessment of quantifiable goals and necessary corrective modifications to treatment.

Dr. Fields is committed to moderation in his own health habits and, certainly far from believing he has achieved optimal health, continues to work at self-improvement by partaking in his favorite activities of hiking, camping, coaching his two sons’ baseball teams, and spending time with his family. He holds a doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

With over five years of experience providing one-on-one, private, personalized Health and Wellness Coaching, he combines a balanced mix of 14 years of professional experience as a licensed psychologist, specializing in the psychotherapeutic treatment (cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic oriented) of diabetic individuals and seniors in healthcare settings, with over 40 years of experience personally facing the challenges of living as an insulin-dependent diabetic. His background also includes the facilitation of a weekly motivational support group for diabetics at Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, as well as research into the health beliefs associated with an optimal sense of well-being.