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How psychographics are being used to advance corporate wellness initiatives

Posted By Anne Marie Kirby, Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018

Marketers have been using consumer segmentation models (also known as psychographics) for years to help track buying behavior and shape the customer experience. 


Image source:  PatientBond

The same approach to classification of people, based on their personality, values and lifestyle, is also increasingly popular in the health care and benefits industries as a way to influence and motivate both patients and employees. Studies show that using psychographics, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, helps health care professionals deliver a more personalized approach to well being through diet and exercise — as well as providing clearer clinical support – with amazing results.

Psychographics are beginning to enter corporate wellness and employee benefits programs as a way to boost employee engagement. Companies are relying on the latest research to determine the best ways to reach out to employees with different needs and wants. One well-known example is based on research from c2b solutions – a healthcare and consumer psychographics market research firm – which has narrowed down employees into five main health personality segments. They include:

1. Self achievers
This is the most proactive group that invests in health and appearance and will tackle a challenge if given measurable goals.

2. Balance seekers
They’re proactive about their health, but more open and independent about what success looks like. They want choices and don’t want to be told what to do.

3. Priority jugglers
They’re busy and may not take the time to invest in their own well being. They are reactive when it comes to their own health, but proactive when it comes to their family’s health.

4. Direction takers
They rely heavily on what their physician says, but are not strict about fitting those recommendations into their routine; and,

5. Willful endurers
They’re not unhealthy, necessarily, but focus on what they see as more important things in life. A visit to the doctor’s office is only when it’s considered a must, or a last resort.

These categories are then used by organizations to tailor how they notify employees about wellness program features and activities. For example, a balance seeker responds well to longer emails with lots of information on a wellness initiative, and would receive more regular updates. A willful endurer, however, responds more readily to shorter emails and texts; just scanning an email that’s “too long” may cause them to simply delete it, because for them, less is more. 

According to Mark Head, President of MDH Consulting, only the balance seekers and self achievers are proactive about their health and benefits – approximately 42 per cent of employees. With the use of psychographics, employers can activate the “why should I” in the other three segments, and connect more persuasively with the other 58 per cent.

By understanding these “habits of engagement,” organizations can increase response, participation and engagement levels in wellness programs by up to 50 per cent, according to cb2.

CoreHealth Technologies is currently working with PatientBond – an adaptive technology platform that embeds the c2b research into its workflows, on a pilot for its wellness software platform. Part of the research will involve determining the right number of invitations and reminders, based on the five personality segments, which are acquired through a short questionnaire. 

CoreHealth is building psychographics into a standardized wellness platform that can be scaled to a company of any size.  According to Mark Head, of MDH Consulting, who works with PatientBond, this can help create a meaningful increase in participation among employees in programs such health risk assessments, biometrics screenings, health coaching, and overall disease management. 

That’s good for employees, employers and the overall health system.

“For companies wondering about the worth of this personalization strategy, the goals of health improvement are directly in line with higher engagement rates, which helps realize the larger goal of cost stabilization,” says Head. “Some of the lifestyle interventions that have been achieved as a result of getting more people enrolled in these types of programs also support improved results from clinical treatment.”

Another reason why companies should get on board: it’s the future. This type of advanced and personalized platform aligns with how people are already tracking their activities with wearables and smart watches. The next logical step is through virtual personal assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Now. The day isn’t that far off when these systems are incorporated into wellness programs to help employees achieve their wellness goals. 

Imagine starting the week by asking Alexa or Siri, “How much exercise do I need to do this week to achieve my wellness goal?” These technologies – which can be enhanced by understanding habits of engagement - are advancing rapidly and will become yet another exciting tool to help motivate people to improve their health and wellness.


 Anne Marie Kirby is the founder and CEO of CoreHealth Technologies - A leading corporate wellness platform trusted by wellness providers, including corporate wellness companies, insurers, health facilities, benefits brokers, EAP providers and HR consulting firms, for 2+ million employees worldwide.


Tags:  behavior  corporate wellness  marketing  psychographics 

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Changing How We Think About Healthcare and Wellness

Posted By Heather Mason, Friday, July 13, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2018

health costs in the USA, as a percentage of gross domestic product, are nearly double that of ten of the globe’s other wealthiest countriesIt was recently reported in Journal of the American Medical Association that health costs in the USA, as a percentage of gross domestic product, are nearly double that of ten of the globe’s other wealthiest countries. Yet despite the high cost of healthcare, the US still experiences poorer outcomes; starkly illustrated by US citizens having the lowest life expectancy of all the countries analyzed. 

These facts raise a question: Is it time we change how we think about healthcare, and adopt a more holistic approach in the form of Integrative Medicine? Switching our focus from treating the symptoms of ill health to tackling them at the source — particularly in regards to general wellness — may well improve healthcare for individual patients, while significantly lessening the collective financial cost. 

In 2016, the USA spent 17.8% of its GDP on health. When compared with the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland (where health expenditure accounted for 9.6% - 12.4%) the high price of American healthcare becomes clear. The cost of everything from prescriptions to doctor’s salaries are higher in the USA, and as a result some people have found that their access to medical aid is compromised. 

While the other countries boast near-universal health coverage, in 2016 one in five uninsured adults in the US went without the required medical care as a result of financial constraints. According to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index a total of 12.2 percent of all adults now lack health insurance, with the increasing costs prohibitive for many individuals living with chronic conditions.

 

Integrative Medicine 

Health is a highly emotive subject, so inevitably the political arguments surrounding healthcare in the USA are fraught, and often divisive. But whatever side of the political spectrum we fall on, Integrative Medicine is a concept that could markedly improve the outcomes in US healthcare. Instead of focusing solely on alleviating symptoms — such as Type 2 Diabetes, depression or back pain — the idea of Integrative Medicine is to provide a range of therapies that are best suited to an individual’s unique circumstances. This includes a particular focus on prevention.  

The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine defines integrative medicine as “the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health care professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.”

Our traditional view of medicine in the West is that we visit a doctor when we are feeling unwell, and they address the pain, infection, emotional distress or chronic condition through pharmaceuticals, surgery and perhaps some lifestyle advice. This has undoubtedly benefited the lives of numerous individuals, however by adopting the principles of Integrative Medicine, we can enhance this success still further by focusing on the whole person, rather than just the disease, and direct our efforts to the root causes of illness rather than just the symptoms. 

 

Empowering the Patient 

Instead laying the responsibility for healthcare provision solely on the shoulders of doctors and physicians, Integrative Medicine empowers people to take more responsibility for their own health, and provides them with the ability to address their own wellbeing. 

For example, someone suffering with depression may rely on medication to manage their illness. But while in traditional healthcare this is the be-all and end-all of their medical contact (except perhaps for talking therapy), in Integrative Medicine alternative therapies such as yoga and meditation would also play a role. These practices can be done anywhere, anytime, and are something that (once learnt) the patient can use to manage their own health, in their own time. 

Meditation, yoga and other alternative therapies have a wealth of evidence based literature that supports their effectiveness on a variety of mental and physical health conditions. Including them in a person’s medical care, in a way which is tailored to them and their individual needs, allows that person to become more self-reliant and increases their capacity for self-care. 

This shifts the burden on the medical profession from treating an illness in a generic one-size-fits-all approach - which is often complicated, expensive and rarely the perfect solution for every individual - to guiding people towards the prevention of illness. A subsequent benefit is even when people are not subject to any particular illness, they can feel markedly happier and healthier, improving their wellbeing in a variety of unusual and often unexpected ways. 

 

The Cost of Wellness 

On first inspection, it may seem that Integrative Medicine would further increase the cost of healthcare. This concept requires a deeper relationship between patients and doctors, where medical professionals take the time to gain a more holistic view of their patient. It also demands individual access to a network of health professionals and services, such as nutritionists, yoga therapists and psychologists - with an aim that this comprehensive network fulfills the needs of the patient, and promotes a collaborative approach to achieving wellbeing. 

However over time, this approach could actually be far more cost effective, despite the increase in time and services involved. The Bravewell Collaborative Report demonstrated that lifestyle changes brought about through exercise and nutritional interventions, and the advancement of emotional wellbeing can actually reverse the progression of many chronic diseases - and reduce healthcare costs to an extent that could save millions. 

If we take heart disease as an example, research suggests that nine risk factors (smoking, lipids, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and psychosocial factors) account for over 90% of the risk of acute myocardial infarction. As a result, lifestyle changes could reduce the risk of an individual developing heart disease and even if rates were reduced by only 10%, the savings made through avoided surgery would reach $10 billion dollars each year. 

It’s a saving which could apply to many of the USA’s most common chronic conditions, from depression to diabetes. By taking an alternative approach towards general health and wellbeing, we can address the growing healthcare crisis, and ultimately improve treatment for everyone.


Heather MasonHeather Mason is the founder of The Minded Institute, which is a culmination of her personal and professional work. She was the first person in the UK to train to teach trauma sensitive yoga under the guidance of the Boston Trauma Center, and Heather is also the director of another company, the Yoga and Healthcare Alliance (YIHA). This company is a social enterprise devoted to integrating yoga into the NHS. You can contact her at themindedinstitute.com


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Congratulations to Our 2018 NWI Award Recipients

Posted By NWI, Thursday, July 5, 2018

NWI Halbert L. Dunn Wellness Award

Mark PettusMark Pettus, MD
Dr. Mark Pettus is a triple-board certified Internist, Nephrologist, and Integrative Medicine physician practicing for over 25 years. He received his A.B. from Boston University and his M.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His postdoctoral training was at Harvard Medical School. He completed his renal fellowship at The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Pettus is also an alumnus of The Advanced Program for Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Mediation at The Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Pettus currently serves as the Director of Medical Education, Wellness and Population Health at Berkshire Health Systems in western Massachusetts. In addition, he serves as the Associate Dean of Medical Education at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In that capacity, he oversees undergraduate and graduate medical education at Berkshire Health Systems, a major affiliate of the medical school. He is the physician lead on population health initiatives for western Massachusetts. He is the former Chief of Medicine at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Pettus is the former Medical Director of The Kripalu Institute for Integrated Healing. He is the author of two book: The Savvy Patient: The Ultimate Advocate for Quality Health Care and It’s All in Your Head: Change Your Mind, Change Your Health. He serves on the teaching faculty at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C. and The Meditation Institute in Averill Park NY. His podcast, The Health Edge, is heard by people all over the world.

Learn more about the NWI Halbert L. Dunn Wellness Award and view previous recipients


NWI William B. Baun Lifetime Achievement Award

Meg JordanMeg Jordan, PhD, RN, NBC-HWC, CWP
Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, CWP, is currently Professor and Department Chair of Integrative Health and Somatic Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies and former co-president of the National Wellness Institute. She has authored five books including How to be a Health Coach. Dr. Jordan is a clinical medical anthropologist specializing in integrative and behavioral health, editor and founder of American Fitness Magazine, and on the executive board of the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching. She has helped many individuals on their path to wellness and has empowered hundreds of wellness professionals. Dr. Jordan is thoroughly committed to enjoying a wellness lifestyle with family and friends and spreading word to new recruits.

Learn more about the NWI William B. Baun Lifetime Achievement Award and view previous recipients


NWI Multicultural Competency Award

Marvin BurrussMarvin Burruss, CWP
Marvin Burruss seeks to provide support, motivation, accountability and education, helping individuals achieve balance of mind, body and spirit, ultimately improving their personal well-being. He is employed by Weight Watchers International as a telephonic Personal Coach and is a coach in the employee wellness program at the College of Lake County (CLC) where he serves a diverse multicultural, multiethnic, and multigenerational population at the urban campus of the county. For four years, Marvin has served as the president of the CLC Wellness Club, and he is also a member of the CLC Wellness Commission, which supports the college initiatives to infuse diversity, multiculturalism, and environmental sustainability into the curriculum and college activities. Marvin holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is an NWI Certified Wellness Practitioner.


NWI Young Wellness Professional Award

Romuald Antoine Jr.Romuald Antoine Jr., CPT, CHC
Romy Antoine, millennial engagement expert and author of the Ultimate Guide to Engaging Millennials, is the founder and CEO of One Stop Wellness, a workplace wellness company that helps organizations empower their employees to improve their lifestyle. His work has been covered by Men’s Health and others. He was named Top 100 Modern Man Influencers of 2017 by Black Enterprise. Romy is a fitness trainer and nutritionist with clients all over the world. He is an authority on how organizations can inspire well-being and managers can better engage millennials to attract and retain top talent. Romy is a graduate of USciences with a BS in Biology and serves as a workplace health educator for the American Heart Association.

Learn more about the NWI Young Wellness Professional Award


NWI Circle of Leadership

Susan Morgan BaileySusan Morgan Bailey, MS, CHES®, CIC®
Susan is a high energy leader with diversified experience in health, benefits, and education settings. She currently serves as the Director of Health and Wellness Services at Marsh & McLennan Agency-Michigan. Susan holds a Master of Science degree in Health Promotion and is a Certified Intrinsic Coach® and Certified Health Education Specialist and is SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified. Susan helped develop NWI’s Worksite Wellness Program Manager certificate program and continues to share her expertise as a lead instructor. 

Lisa MedleyLisa Medley, MA, CMT
Lisa Medley, owner of Soulistic Arts, is a wellbeing mentor with over 20 years’ experience and specializes in body intelligence. She holds a Master of Arts in Expressive Therapy and is a certified bodyworker and conscious dance catalyst. Lisa is passionate about empowering others to move freely in body/mind/spirit and in life. She is the creator of a variety of body-centered programs designed to guide participants to embody greater ease. She believes that as we create more peace in our body, we create more peace in the world. Lisa is an active member of the NWI Membership Committee.

Rob OwensRob Owens, EdD, CSCS
Rob Owens is an experienced performance coach and instructional designer with subject matter expertise in applied sport and exercise psychology; health and wellness counseling; and physical cultural studies. He is currently an adjunct professor in Sport and Performance Psychology at the University of Western States and an Instructional Technology Consultant for the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He holds a doctoral degree in kinesiology and his credentials include Real Balance Global Wellness Services’ Health and Wellness Coach, the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and the Functional Movement Specialist through Functional Movement Systems. Rob is a valued member of the NWI Council for Wellness Certification Excellence. 

Bridgette StewartBridgette Stewart, MEd, CWP
Bridgette Stewart is the Program Coordinator for Health and Community Wellness in the College of Education at the University of West Georgia (UWG). She is an active member of Shape America; the Southern District of Shape America; and the Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (GAHPERD) where she serves as the current president. She also serves as the chair of the community health council as part of the health division of Southern District Shape America. Bridgette brings her expertise to NWI as chair of its Council on Wellness Certification Excellence.

Learn more about the NWI Circle of Leadership and view previous inductees


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Valuable Partnership — adds value to your Membership too!

Posted By Mim Senft, Thursday, July 5, 2018

Because of the partnership between National Wellness Institute and Global Women 4 Wellbeing, NWI members and friends can attend the GW4W event in the Boston area on July 19th at the GW4W member rate!   

You’ll hear from top researchers and medical professionals regarding the need for better health research for women and the economic benefits. If we want women to lead well in their organizations and communities, this research needs to get done. You’ll also be able to network, take part in the Q&A with the speakers and round table panelists; and be able to spend time with like-minded wellness leaders.  

Three renowned researchers from Johnson & Johnson and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will share their wisdom and experience:

  • Susan Nicholson, MD, Vice President Women's Health, Johnson & Johnson
  • Eileen McNeely, PhD, Co-Founder of SHINE, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 
  • Mariko Gakiya, Ed.D, Researcher, SHINE Advisory Board Member, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health It’s a night of information, inspiration and connection.

Location: Tupper Manor • 295 Hale St, Beverly, MA 01915
Date and Time: Thursday, July 19, 2018

3:30pm - 5:45 EST - Focused Networking and Exhibit Showings
5:45 - 8:00 pm EST - Roundtable Research and Audience Discussion
8:00 - 8:30 - Networking

Cost: GW4W Members - $50 • Non-members - $75

 

Join us and add your voice to the conversation.

Register


This link has all the information listed, including speakers. Just choose the GW4W member rate. 


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Updates from Bright Pink

Posted By NWI, Monday, July 2, 2018

 This is a excerpt from Bright Pink's "Bright Now" newsletter. To receive the full newsletter sign up on their website.


 

Did you know we're working to ensure your doctor knows their stuff? Now via online learning!

With Call Your Doctor Day still fresh in our minds, we've been thinking and reading about the patient/provider relationship and how we can work to improve this partnership. A recent article from The New York Times eloquently sums up some of the common frustrations that women experience when visiting a healthcare provider: feeling unheard or that their concerns are downplayed. We're doing our part to ensure providers understand how important it is to engage women about their family health history. Have tips for finding the perfect healthcare provider? Send us a message. 

 

What We’ve Been Up To

Did you download a #MomMoments conversation guide? 
This year, Bright Pink leaned into the amazing stories of our ambassador community to feed our Mother's Day Campaign, #MomMoments. We collaborated with three women to develop custom Conversation Guides to support women of various backgrounds to have conversations about health and wellness with their mothers and mother figures. With the help of our partners, this campaign reached over 73,000 people and drove over 100 individuals to download a conversation guide. A huge thanks to these women for sharing their personal stories and fostering community! Didn't download a guide? It's not too late.

We *chatted* with nearly 900 women on Call Your Doctor Day
Our annual holiday, Call Your Doctor Day, is focused on empowering women to call their doctor and schedule a well-woman exam. This year, with the help of a customized Facebook Messenger chatbot, we "chatted" with nearly 900 women about their well-woman exam and shared resources to help them go into their appointment with confidence. Our amazing partner Aerie played a critical role in this campaign by sharing messaging on their digital platforms, social media (#AerieREAL model Iskra even shot a video for us!), and high-traffic billboards. Didn't get to chat with the chatbot? It's not too late.


Bright Pink
670 N. Clark Street
Suite 2
Chicago, IL 60654

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

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2 Powerful Stress Busting Techniques—Backed by Research

Posted By Theona Layne, Friday, June 29, 2018
Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2018

You feel the strain every day don't you?

Whether it's work, finances or taking care of the kids, stress is an unwelcome visitor that never seems to leave. Well, you're not alone.  According to a recent Gallup poll, 8 in 10 Americans report feeling stressed out.

Over time, stress can contribute to a plethora of health issues like chronic headaches, heart disease, depression, anxiety; the list goes on. Managing stress levels, on the other hand, ups your chances of living longer and healthier, provides clarity of mind and sharpens cognition.

Try these two effective stress blasting techniques to help you find your Zen. 

 

1. Tap Away the Stress

With the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), the power to melt away stress is literally at your fingertips. The principle behind EFT is relieving negative emotions by gently tapping specific meridian point on the body.  Tapping while focusing on a negative feeling or a particular problem helps the body release stress hormones.

Tap Away the Stress

According to Eileen Lichtenstein, a level two certified EFT practitioner, "Doing EFT brings serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone, up to the section of your brain called the Amygdala." The Amygdala is the part of the brain which deals with feelings and emotions.  

EFT is so effective that it's even used to help war vets suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. In a recent study, published in the Permanente Journal, the technique reduced PTSD in war veterans by over 60 percent after 5-10 sessions.

Tapping is quick and painless. You can do it anywhere and at any time to help resolve negative emotions like anger, depression, anxiety and of course, stress.  All you need are your fingertips, a tapping chart and a few minutes.  

 

Tapping Points ChartFollow these simple steps to tap way stress and anxiety. 

  1. Start by identifying the problem.  Are you worried about someone? Are you anxious about giving a speech, plagued by bad memories? Do you suffer from panic attacks?
  2. Rate your stress on a scale of 1-10. Ten = very anxious, and zero = no anxiety at all. 
  3. Focus entirely on one issue. 
  4. Use two fingers to begin tapping the Karate Chop point while using a setup statement.  (See Chart at right)

A setup statement looks like this: “Even though I’m stressed out about [insert problem here], I deeply and completely accept myself.”

So, for example, if you're anxious about giving an upcoming speech, you can use the following set up statement. 

“Even though I'm anxious about the speech I'm giving next week, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Now continue to tap while saying the following statements. Of course, you can adjust this script to suit your specific situation. 

Top of the Head:  "This anxiety is giving me knots in my stomach." 
Eyebrow: "I'll probably forget my speech."
The side of the Eye:  "What if I make a fool of myself in front of everyone?"
Under the Eye:  "Just the thought of giving a speech in front of all those people makes me break into a sweat."
Under the Nose: "Maybe I can pay someone to give the speech for me."
Chin: "I  really hate giving speeches!"
Collarbone: "This anxiety is too much!"
Under the Arm:  "The thought of giving this speech makes me want to throw up."

Now, take a deep breath.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how intense is your stress?
Tap through the script again until your stress levels disintegrate. 

 

2. A Walk Among the Trees

For 20 seconds, close your eyes and imagine walking in a lush green forest with sunlight streaming on your face and a babbling brook flowing in the distance. Now open your eyes. Do you notice how much more calm and centered you feel?

That's one of many benefits you can expect from participating in Shinrin-yoku, the Japanese term for forest bathing, or spending time in forested environments.

A Walk Among the Trees

As Amos Clifford, author of the book Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature, puts it, "forest bathing is about slowing down, coming into our bodies, and coming into our senses. The forest in a way gives back the gift of ourselves, of who we are, who we tend to forget on a daily basis."

Amos could be on to something.  Spending time in nature, not only reduces stress but provides additional health benefits.  According to a recent meta-analysis study of 700 people, individuals who practiced forest bathing had significantly lower blood pressure and cortisol levels than non-forest bathing participants.

Don't live near a forest?  No problem.  City dwellers can still reap the benefits of connecting with nature by visiting local urban green spaces.  Urban green spaces are part of, you guessed it, urban areas. 

Urban green spaces are usually entirely or partially covered with grass, trees, shrubs and other vegetation.  Examples of green spaces include parks and community gardens.  Studies show a direct correlation between green space availability with increased physical activity and improved mental health.

 

If there isn't a green space near your home, consider using the following resources.   

  • Call your community recreation center and ask about area parks and trails.  You can also check out your state government's website for similar information.
  • Find protected areas in your region by visiting the Nature Conservancy website at nature.org.  
  • Visit FindYourPark.com. It's a website sponsored by the U.S. National Park Service and the National Park Foundation that serves as an online directory for national park areas.

Use one or both of these natural stress busters to chill out and find your Zen.  


EFT Tapping Chart used with permission from Thriving Now.
Telephone Interview with Amos Clifford, author of the book Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature
Telephone Interview with Eileen Lichtenstein, a level two certified EFT practitioner


Theona LayneTheona Layne is a Pittsburgh-based freelance health and wellness writer. For the past four years, She’s provided reader-friendly, scientifically grounded researched articles for businesses and publications helping individuals achieve optimal health. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Writing as well as a certification in Medical Terminology. Her work has appeared in publications like Clean Eating Magazine and Health and Wellness Magazine. Writing samples are available on request, or you can read a few writing samples right now. When she isn’t writing, Theona enjoys staying on top of the latest health-related news and information. Connect with Theona Layne by visiting her website.

Tags:  EFT  Emotional Freedom Technique  forest bathing  PTSD  resilience  Shinrin-yoku  stress  thriving 

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How Food Heals: Understanding Nutritional Therapy

Posted By Trevor McDonald, Saturday, June 16, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2018

Food is the original healer. Nutritional therapy uses evidence to optimize a person’s health and well-being by designing customized nutritional plans—not “diets.” The goals are the inclusion of wholesome, organic, unprocessed foods in a person’s diet. There’s also an element of therapeutic effects in certain foods that can help heal some health conditions. Nutritional therapy is a holistic approach to health, treating the entire body while pinpointing the root of health issues. It does not only treat symptoms.

Nutritional TherapyNutritional therapy works on the idea that every person is different, as is their heritage, DNA, and history. There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to nutritional therapy, particularly since it’s best to eat locally and regionally (as an overarching rule), which makes good nutrition vastly different around the globe. Nutritional therapy has been prescribed and proven effective in treating a number of ailments, and can help recovering addicts, too.

Getting Started

The first step when pursuing this path to wellness is to see a qualified nutritional therapist. This may or may not be covered under different insurance policies, but nutritional therapists will work with clients to create payment plans if necessary. Most nutritional therapists have a three-year diploma and have a background in pathology, biochemistry, physiology, and have completed a set amount of supervised clinical practice hours. They may work in private practice or in a group setting.

Your nutritional therapist well help devise a lifestyle plan that's personalized just for you based on health goals and needs. This can include dietary recommendations, recipes, and ideas on how to better infuse positive changes into your current lifestyle. You don't need to have a specific complaint, or a number of complaints, to benefit from a nutritional therapist. You also don't need to be under- or over-weight. Anybody of any age can benefit from better nutrition. At the heart of nutrition therapy is figuring out which foods help a person feel their best.

Common Complaints

Although nutritional therapy is for everyone, there are a few common issues that are commonly addressed with this type of approach. One of the most popular is digestive problems, including IBS, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, and food intolerances. Naturally, nutritional therapy is a great match for addressing weight issues as well as blood sugar imbalances, sugar addiction, and type-2 diabetes. Many people with cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, seek help with nutritional therapy. From mental health (fatigue or anxiety) to skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, you’ll be surprised by just how much nutrition plays into these issues. It can even help with some autoimmune conditions like lupus, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis—particularly if these conditions aren’t responding well to conventional drugs or therapies.

medical historyDuring your first consultation, you’ll go through an intensive medical history and pinpoint your current health. Health symptoms may be discussed, and together you’ll identify needs and goals with the nutritional therapist. All recommendations will center around natural, whole foods that are not processed. This can be challenging for some clients, which is why meal planning is also included. Even in the first consultation, clients are often recommended to remove or reduce certain foods from their diet (at least for a short time) to figure out if they are tied to an issue. In the meantime, alternatives will be recommended that will keep nutritional needs in check.

In some cases, supplements may also be prescribed. It’s nearly impossible to get all the nutrients you need from diet alone while maintaining a reasonable caloric intake and actually enjoying your meals. Key probiotics, minerals, and vitamins make a big difference in a person’s overall health.

For those in addiction recovery, a poor diet is very common. Many dangerous substances interrupt the physiological functioning of the body and don't allow the body to process nourishment correctly. A lowered appetite while using is common, and getting the drug or alcohol (instead of proper nutrition) becomes top priority. Some addicts also suffer from a damaged liver, pancreas, stomach lining, and intestines, which all get in the way of absorbing nutrients. Nutritional therapy can help those who are in the recovery process re-learn how to prioritize their health through proper nutrition.


Trevor McDonaldTrevor McDonald is a freelance writer and recovering addict and alcoholic who's been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.

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Did You Miss This? A farewell to a fantastic lady—our former Executive Director; Linda Chapin

Posted By NWI, Thursday, June 7, 2018

Linda Chapin—Former NWI Executive Director
1952-2017

Linda ChapinLinda R. Chapin, age 65 of Amherst, WI passed away on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at her Wisconsin residence following a courageous battle of cancer with her family, and closest friends by her side.

Linda was born on August 19, 1952 the daughter of the late Jack and Wilma (Steinmetz) Chapin in San Diego, CA. She graduated from University of Oklahoma with three degrees. Bachelor of psychology, Doctor of dental science, and a masters in nutrition. Linda was the first woman to graduate dental school at University of Oklahoma. Linda enjoyed traveling, gardening, spending time with her granddaughters, and painting. She served as the Executive Director of the National Wellness Institute for 13 years.

Linda is survived by her husband, Michael Gaul of Amherst; daughter, Meghan (Steven) Kubisiak of Amherst; granddaughters, Ava and Kinslee of Amherst; and many other relatives and friends.

Published in Stevens Point Journal on Sept. 29, 2017


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Thank You for Your Service—Bob Boyd!

Posted By NWI, Thursday, June 7, 2018

Bob BoydAt the National Wellness Conference this year, Bob Boyd will be stepping down from the National Wellness Board of Directors after serving his limit of two full terms. NWI has cherished Bob’s vigorous engagement spanning over twenty years. For many years Bob would arrive from his home in Brisbane, Australia after an 18-20 hour plane ride and immediately plunge into work as a conference volunteer. A pioneer in his country’s wellness movement, a dedicated university instructor, and Founding President of the National Wellness Institute of Australia, Bob brought tremendous experience and continual passion for wellness to the NWI Board

Bob has spearheaded NWI’s International efforts, networking and recruiting wellness professionals from around the globe to become engaged in our organization. This has resulted in the formation of the NWI International Standing Committee furthering involvement by international members and developing ways to spread wellness globally. He will continue to be involved with the work of the committee as a member volunteer.

For more than forty years Bob has been contributed professionally across all areas of personal and corporate wellness. His involvement includes research, consulting and teaching.

A Ministerial appointment to the Queensland State Steering Committee on Health Promotion in the Workplace preceded his appointment as the inaugural Director of the Queensland University of Technology Wellness Matters Program. He is an accredited Workplace Wellness Director, Certified Wellness Practitioner, Certified Workplace Program manager, Wellness Culture Coach, and Wellness Coach Trainer (for Real Balance Global Wellness Services, Inc.).

While exiting the board, NWI and all of its members look forward to continuing to enjoy not only Bob’s professional contributions, but also his joyous embrace of life that we all love to experience.  Cheers mate!


Michael ArloskiMichael Arloski, Ph.D., PCC, CWP, National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Real Balance Global Wellness Services, Inc.
michael@realbalance.com
www.realbalance.com
1-970-568-4700
Fort Collins, Colorado

President, Board of Directors, National Wellness Institute


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Meet Our Summer Interns!

Posted By NWI, Wednesday, June 6, 2018

We are so excited to have Mallory Price and Emily Randerson working in the office this summer. Both are earning a degree in Health Promotion and Wellness at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Read on to learn a bit more about them and their wellness journeys.


MalloryMallory Price

My name is Mallory Price and I am an intern at the National Wellness Institute. I am going to be a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point pursuing a degree in Health Promotion and Wellness. 

My passion for wellness developed from spending time in the great outdoors and helping others. I grew up in the small town of New London, WI; where I learned how to swim in the Wolf River and hike up our small local nature reserve called “Mosquito Hill”. My father and I would run up and down Mosquito Hill in the summer and you best believe my dad would beat me every time! Together we grew stronger not only our physical bodies but our relationship as well. I went on to swim for our community’s club swim team and then swimming for our high school team. To this day, I love to be in the water and teach water exercise in the mornings at the Stevens Point YMCA. 

A fun fact about me is--I love bow hunting (you could say I enjoy a challenge). At my time here at UW-Stevens Point, I have had the opportunity to be a part of the National Wellness Institute-Student Chapter (NWI-SC) on campus. I took on the role of president of our student organization and I enjoy creating pre-professional experiences and opportunities for our members. Being a part of NWI-SC has given me the chance to grow as a leader and gain knowledge and experience in my field of study. Being a part of the Health Promotion and Wellness major is really like being a part of a community—we all strive to help and improve individual’s lives. 

My wellness journey really began in my youth; my wonderful parents created a healthy and well-balanced environment for my sister and I. My mother was an experimental cook always trying to make healthy options in the kitchen, while my father was always outside, whether it be teaching us archery or showing us to be grateful for the nature surrounding us. As children, my parents also educated my sister and I on the importance of empathy and the value of hard work. I believe that is what brought me on this path to wellness. Being able to place yourself in someone else’s shoes and be a guide for them in their own journey to wellness is my calling. Wellness to me is being happy and being able to do the things you love while maintaining a balance throughout all dimensions of wellness. 


EmilyEmily Randerson

My name is Emily Randerson and I’m a summer intern at the National Wellness Institute. I am going to be a senior this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, majoring in Health Promotion and Wellness. I am from a small town called Freedom, WI; close to the Appleton area.

I grew up playing sports and being active all year around, going from one sports practice to another. You could say I have a competitive side in me, hence why my favorite sports are softball and volleyball. I am a group fitness instructor at Cardio Center, a gym right on campus. I teach Zumba and Butts N’ Guts. I really enjoy my job because I have an opportunity to help and improve someone’s day. An interesting detail about me—I am also a vegetarian!

My wellness journey really started back in high school when I tore my ACL my junior year during volleyball practice. Going from constantly being active to sedentary for 7 months was a revelation for me. I realized how passionate I was about my physical wellness and how easily I took that for granted. I will always remember my physical therapist saying I was one of the quickest recovery’s he’s ever seen (he even had to tell me to slow down sometimes because he was worried I was pushing myself too hard). Fun fact: my brother also tore his ACL two weeks before me. Things happen for a reason, and I believe we both had this injury together to get through the long, strenuous journey. We encouraged each other, as well as challenged each other. I learned that I liked working with others and that having a community is what brings people together and gets you through hard times. It helped me realize I wanted to be more on the preventative side, not the reactive side of wellness.

Wellness is an endless journey of constantly and consistently improving your wellbeing. Like any other journey, there are its up and downs. But those moments are what get you through your day and help motivate yourself to go above and beyond. My passion is in the physical wellness dimension; I consider the gym my second home and I love the idea of nutrition. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and it brings me joy to fuel my body with healthy foods. Do not get me wrong, balance is needed in a healthy lifestyle and you can find me digging into ice cream when my sugar craving hits!


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