EDS 143 Blog#10: My Final Reflections and Realizations

Health is the foundation of all living things on Earth. That being said, it is imperative to nourish, develop and further maximize our potential and capabilities as humans to fulfil our personal needs and wants while doing our part to the advancement of our society. Without a reliable foundation, our mind, emotion and body will just tumble down no matter how sharp and steady our resolve is.

The subject EDS 143 of Health Education of UP Open University had taught me many significant things and made me gained relevant insights that I can apply and connect to my daily activities at home and work (even at this mode of learning):

  1. I learned in the initial phase of this course that health isn’t just the absence of any illnesses or diseases but a “state of complete physical, social and mental well-being” that allows a person to live his or her life to the fullest.” (Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, WHO, Geneva. 1986).
  2. Health is a fundamental right that should be upheld by the people and the government especially. The government has a crucial role in ensuring that all its people should be provided and accorded with community and health programs and services to ensure human productivity and development.
  3. One of my favourite learning from this course is that wellness and health has seven dimensions according to University of California, Riverside – physical, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational and intellectual. These dimensions should be nourished and taken care of equally since all are interconnected and interdependent with one another.
  4. Health Belief Model (HBM) is a great strategy to use to educate, make people aware of the pros and cons of a program and empower them into action (info gathering, mobilization and assessment).
  5. In planning a health program or health education, it is important to know the target audience and learners since each set or classification of population (people classified either according to common demography, needs and wants lifestyle, economic and financial capabilities, educational attainment etc.)  has their own distinct needs and characteristics that require specific health approach and intervention. What might be good to community A might not be to community B hence proper in-depth analysis and first-hand methodologies of assessment must be done to “prescribe” a fitting solution.
  6. It is important to incorporate health education and curriculum in school (apart from the info dissemination by government, NGOs and private sectors) because Classroom (a typical and probably the greatest example where people converge to socialize and learn) is one of the places in our community where we spent considerable amount of time to meet and develop healthy relationship with our peers and teachers, learn new things and expand our current skill set, and the place where our capabilities are being challenged for us to grow as a mature and educated person. It is also a place and an environment where germs, virus and bacteria can spread easily because of the foot traffic present, rooms which are wet and humid (conducive for bacteria’s growth), varying weather affecting our physical health, lack of personal hygiene of some people, lack of measures and materials to promote cleanliness and other factors making school a cradle for diseases.
  7. Emergency risk management is “everybody’s business” – There are many emergency preparedness and resiliency measures that require cooperation and connection between groups of people for it to be successful. In a bigger picture, a barangay or community’s emergency preparedness program will be effective if a notable number of houses will not follow proper garbage segregation, the pile of garbage accumulated from their home and other houses locate on adjacent barangay will contribute to flooding of their area. Everybody or majority should work hand-in-hand consistently and think these emergency risk measures and health guidelines as partnership or group work not as an individual effort.
  8. In designing, implementing and assessing a health program, the PRECEDE – PROCEED model (Dr. Lawrence Green) will come very helpful since this participatory model provides a logical and organized structure that allows us to more likely develop a doable plan that addresses the laid specific issues. More importantly, it considers all the factors that affect the planning and execution phase of a health or community program.
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EDS 143 Bllog #9: Evaluating a Health Program

Health programs are integral part of a community since these kinds of initiatives and movements help the people in attaining a better way of living and more important, effective health programs pave way to the continuous nourishment and development of a person’s physical, emotional and mental health. Without any health program, the workforce, the students and members of families may not maximize their productivity and may not fully harness the benefits and sources healthy lifestyle and healthy food thereby affecting academic performance, job output and social skills.

Moreover, a health program shouldn’t just target one dimension of health, since our needs and the environment that we have keeps on changing; a health program should be multimodal and encompassing to target the different health dimensions of a person – physical, mental/intellectual, emotional, occupational, social, environmental and spiritual. An effective health program shouldn’t just deliver a short-term effect but it should be practical and sustainable for it to create a long-term effect to the community. Also a health program should shape and develop personal value base and beliefs that will fuel the person to pursue a healthier way of life not just for him/her but also to the people around him/her. Last, a health program should encourage and induce cooperation, collaboration and lasting involvement

In this blog, I would like to evaluate holistically a health program in using the “7 Dimensions of Wellness” model by University of California, Riverside.  In particular, I would like to personally evaluate the “Feeding and Nutrition” program of Feed the Hungry, Inc.  (FtH). FtH is a non-profit organization that reaches out to the street children in the Philippines and provides them a complete and healthy meal during special occasions, now FtH has evolved into an organization (sending their gratitude to the sponsors and supporters locally and abroad) with programs supporting educational endeavours of poor children by providing scholarships and learning materials, livelihood and infrastructure programs, building classrooms, and medical/calamity assistance. For this output, I will be focusing on their “Feeding and Nutrition” program.

According to their website, the feeding program is “designed to provide supplemental food to malnourished children aged 6 and below.” The program includes one complete nutritious meal five days per week for a period of 16 months. The beneficiaries are evaluated and monitored every month to check progress in weight and height, and overall health condition.  This program is in collaboration with DSWD. Also, the program includes training for mothers on proper nutrition, appropriate care for their children and family planning. Mothers are tasked to do the marketing and cooking part of the program.

“From 2001 to present, FtH has provided PhP5,395,158.00 to fund 53 modules of feeding program benefiting at least 3,165 malnourished children. Ninety percent of the children who graduated from the program attained the normal level of nutrition after participating in their respective modules.”

7 Dimensions of Wellness Does the program targets and nourished these dimensions?

(Reference: http://feedthehungryphil.org/feeding-and-nutrition/)

Social Wellness
is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.
Yes
Emotional Wellness
is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.
Yes
Spiritual Wellness
is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop congruency between values and actions and to realize a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to our Spiritual Wellness.
No
Environmental Wellness
is the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us. The ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, be it our homes, our communities or our planet contributes to our Environmental Wellness.
No
Occupational Wellness
is the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. Our desire to contribute in our careers to make a positive impact on the organizations we work in and to society as a whole leads to Occupational Wellness.
No
Intellectual Wellness
is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.
Yes
Physical Wellness
is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine check ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness.
Yes

Based on the results of the table (4 Yes and 3 No), the feeding program of FtH is not an encompassing and multidimensional health program which can target and nourish the 7 dimensions of wellness of a person. On its own, it focuses primarily on physical, mental, emotional and social health of a child. This kind of feeding program is better compared to other since this has a medium-term provision included in the program to ensure that the participants can actually graduate from malnourishment. We cannot eradicate the problems of the world in connection with community and health, but through programs like this, we can make the world a better place one plate at a time.

Reference:

University of California, Riverside. Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Retrieved from https://wellness.ucr.edu/seven_dimensions.html on July 30, 2015

Feed the Hungry. Retrieved from http://feedthehungryphil.org/feeding-and-nutrition/ on July 30, 2015

EDS 143 Blog#8: A Well-Planned Plan

We really can’t underestimate the importance of a plan. Planning is a prerequisite to all programs, process development and endeavours that are anchored to our set missions, visions and philosophies. Plan is a logical and there are systematic steps that must be followed to ensure the achievement of an objective and through well-planned plan. Yes sir and madam, you read it right, since we all know that plan is the basic foundation of every programs and actions out there. We have to learn how to plan our plan so our plan will turn out the way we planned it to. I also got lost there so let us make things easier.

In my experience in the corporate world for 9 years (been working since 17 and while taking my 1st undergraduate program), I learned (and still learning) that all good things begin with a good plan. Below is the SMART way of planning that I would like to share and I am quite sure that we are all familiar with the follow acronym:

S for Specific
Before, I used to set vague targets like “We have to deliver 200 residential units in 1 year” but now, it is “We have to deliver 200 residential units in 1 year wherein the 60% will come from in-house channel and the 40% will come from brokers and we have real estate associates that will deliver 5% of the target for buffer”. Yes, through experience and studying, I learned the importance of making detailed and very specific plan, not only this makes the vision very clear but specific plan can also be use as a guide throughout the program. The “Ws” (What, why, where, when, which, who etc.) should be answered by the plan.

M for Measurable
Setting a timeline allows us to measure our progress and gauge if the plan is still doable or needs revision. The measurable factors of a plan should be quantifiable or quantitative in nature. Instead of “Let us deliver the units on December”, it should be “Let us deliver at least 90% of the 200 units on the 15th of December and the remaining 30 days for documentations purposes.”

A for Attainable
Plan should be doable, practical and attainable. We have to consider the present resources (and potential sources) when planning so we will discern in the beginning if the plan is really possible or not. We have to be pragmatic in drafting a plan and not be carried off to the land of idealism, sometimes we are too enthusiastic about the fruits of our programs that we tend to forget the innate challenges and issues embedded in running a program like manpower requirements, time, etc.

R for Realistic
This is very close to attainable, goals should be realistic and can be done with current resources and connections, it is nice to include potential sources of resources but plan should be anchored to the most conservative amount of resources (so the plan is resilient for worst case scenarios). Instead of “We have to deliver 2,000 units this year”, it should be “Our target is 2,000 but according to sales trend, marketing support and cancellation trend, the best projected sales is pegged at 300 while 200 as the worst performance.”

T for Timely
By putting exact figures, we will be motivated with sense of urgency and we will be grounded on realism. Without time, it is easy to procrastinate and be defocused easily. Instead of saying “I will deliver 10 units this month”, the better version is “I will deliver 3 units every week for me to hit my monthly target.”

In this module, planning health programs also follow these basic principles for planning our plan. Since health programs heighten our survival rate and alleviates our living condition, it is important that a program is grounded on these principles and followed/guided by a concrete and systematic model like the PRECEDE-PROCEED model or the MAPP (especially if the program is participatory in nature and covers many groups of individuals). Careful and effective planning is important since this entails efforts and resources from people and worse, a poorly-planned program can cause more harm than good if the plan is poorly-planned.

EDS 143 Blog #7: Be Informed, Make a Plan and Get Involved

Different kinds of emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere – school, workplace, community etc. During times of unforeseen disturbances and hazards, our mind usually commands us to run onto the safest place we know, and usually it’s our home. However, we have to remember that even in the safest and coziest corner of our home, we are not totally safe and protected since our home can easily be obliterated or gravely affected by different external disasters.

Coming from that premise, lots of emergencies can easily happen at home especially if the house is not well-planned and poorly built (issues in structural integrity), people living inside are not aware of the heat and danger zones and when family members don’t have any plan and survival kit during weather and fire-related accidents/emergencies.

Below are some of the helpful and doable tips from Red Cross to prevent and minimize home-related accidents. It is always important to be in preventive stance than in curative:

  1. Install smoke alarms to immediately notify people inside or around the house premise regarding a starting and spreading fire. According to American Red Cross, 7 people die every day from home fire, 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires daily, and about $7 billion in property damage occurs every year.
  2. According from Red Cross Philippines, the first 72 hours after a disaster is very critical. Most of us went under the unfavourable experience of after-storms – house parts were damaged, properties got lost, family members got injured and many more. “Lifeline Kit” is very important to heighten the survival rate of family members, below are the contents of the kit:
    a. 1 gallon of water
    b. Non-perishable and easy to open food sufficient for 3 days
    c. Emergency tools and gear such as flashlight, extra batteries, cellphones, multi-purpose knife, candles, lighters, AM radio, ropes, blankets, whistle and sleeping bag
    d. Personal effects and hygiene kits
    e. Important documents and money
    f. First aid kit
  3. 2-3 days before the landfall of strong storms or typhoons, brace our homes (especially the doors, windows and other parts that can easily be damaged such as roofing etc.). Braces such as bamboos, iron railings and even wooden bars can fortify our home’s structural strength.
  4. Keep away accident-prone objects at bay such as knife, construction tools, pointy and sharp objects especially if there are toddlers at home.
  5. Make exit plans and conduct drills. Through these, people at home will not panic and will know what to do and where to go during accidents and disasters at home or affecting home.

Most of the time, we feel helpless and scared during accidents and occurrence of natural disasters especially if our loved ones are affected and their lives are at stake. We can’t avoid and predict emergencies, but we can do something to lessen its direct impact and effects on our lives. Remember, it is important to be informed, make a plan and get involved.

References:

American Red Cross. Prepare Your Home and Family. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family on July 21, 2015

Philippine Red Cross. Lifeline Kit: Be Ready All The Time! Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org.ph/component/k2/item/837-red-cross-lifeline-kit on July 21, 2015

EDS 143 Blog #6: Home Tips for Respiratory Diseases ( Cure and Prevention)

I have slightly weak lungs. During moments of respiratory distress like hard cough, recovery is usually longer compared to others. My mother told me that I had asthma attacks when I was small that’s why I am always isolated from potential allergens such a black smoke fumes from vehicles and fireworks, fine animal furs and thick dusts. During those bad times of hard cough and other respiratory-related sickness, breathing (which is the most important and basic thing a human must do) is really taxingly hard and physically exhausting – sleep is hard, few actions will make me catch my breath and every second is an ordeal.

Currently, I am living on my own in Quezon City. I have to move here since UPOU’s learning center is here and my office is also located in QC. I immediately noticed that upon move-in, my eyes don’t get irritated as much as before and I seldom get sick, and the better part, I am not having hard cough anymore. I am happy because unconsciously, I was able to “get rid off” allergens or elements that are affecting my physical health.

Apparently, my asthma and hard coughs are triggered by certain kinds of allergens. For others, it is triggered by fickle-minded weather, lack of nutrients in their diet or can be exposure and infection of bacteria.  No matter how healthy we are, avoiding cough and common cold (and other typical respiratory illnesses) is really next to impossible to the point that we are somehow considering them as part of being a human. Below are some home remedies from Health Me up to fight cold and cough:

  1. Lukewarm water. Drinking lukewarm water reduces the throat inflammation and it replenishes fluids in the body and helps in washing out infections in our system.
  2. Ginger tea. This tea is known to ease the problems brought by cold and cough such as itching of the throat, phlegm build-up (aids in expulsion) and congestion of mucus in nose.
  3. Gargle therapy. Salt-water gargle plus turmeric fight cough and its accompanied throat itch.
  4. Ginger “candy”. Cut ginger into julians and add honey and bit of salt, chew and consume to relief itching and sore throat. It also fights col.
  5. Fruit juices. Apart from the fact that fruit juices are natural, filled with nutrients and refreshing, freshly-prepared fruit (better if mixed with vegetables) speeds up recovery and replenishes lost fluids in the body.

It is better to be in a preventive stance than curative, so below are some of the tips from Web MD for avoiding cough and other respiratory-related diseases:

  1. Always wash your hands with soap and clean water.
  2. Try to avoid getting close to people who are infected.
  3. Keep surroundings clean and as much as possible, stay away from areas that have lots of pollutants.
  4. Keep a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly.
  5. Eat variety of food rich in nutrients.

People who embrace healthy eating, exercise regularly and maintain cleaner lifestyle are less vulnerable from respiratory-related sickness and other forms of common diseases in our country compared to those who have poor eating habit and sedentary lifestyle. In this modern time where stress are almost everywhere, plus the continuous evolution and revolution of viruses and bacteria, it is important to follow basic yet effective measures and actions to avoid catching a disease. A person with healthy body, mind and emotion is capable of doing more compared to those who aren’t unhealthy within. Curing a disease is about ten times more expensive than preventing one, hence the famous quote “prevention is better than cure”.

References:

Remedios, Trina. 2013. Health Me Up. 15 Best Home Remedies for Common Cold and Cough. Retrieved from http://healthmeup.com/photogallery-healthy-living/15-best-home-remedies-for-common-cold-and-cough/23712/7 on July 9, 2015

Redfearn, Suz. Web MD. Stay Healthy This Year: 6 Tips for Avoiding Cold and Flu. Retrieved from http://symptoms.webmd.com/cold-and-flu-map-tool/avoid-cold-flu on July 9, 2015

EDS 143 Blog #5: Sugar, Salt, Fats and Everything Nice

At some point of time (past or even now), we are one of the loyal fans and avid supporters of processed-foods and fast foods ; one they’re cheap, they are very convenient to prepare and dispose, they can be bought almost everywhere and fourth, they’re tasty and they really make our taste buds happy (probably due to high level of salt, fat and sugar).

Most of the time, processed-foods and fast-foods contain high level of sugar, salt and fats which can lead to obesity and cardiovascular illnesses and eventually to death if there are no interventions (exercise, lifestyle change etc.). According to Fitday and Mens’ Health, below are some of the effects of junk foods to us especially if we make these as our daily staple:

  1. Junk food affects our energy levels
    We all know that a typical junk food doesn’t have enough good nutrients to keep you going until the end of the day. As a result, we feel tired (without knowing the main cause and without doing anything strenuous) and drained. The article mentioned that the high levels of sugar in junk foods puts our metabolism under stress, refined sugar pushes the pancreas to secrete high amounts of insulin to prevent sudden increase in sugar level.
  1. It contributes to poor performance and obesity
    Junk food typically contains heaps of fat which piles-up in our body if left unburned due to idle lifestyle. The more weight we gain, the more we’ll be closer to the risk of chronic and cardiovascular illnesses such as heart attack, diabetes, hypertension etc since fats heightens levels of trans fatty acids and cholesterol levels.
  1. Junk food messes with our brain
    Canadian researchers experimented in mice that followed a high-fat diet felt more anxious after 6 weeks compared to another set of mice on low-fat plan.  The research states that diet that’s high in sugar and fat changes the chemical activity in our brain which makes us depress and manifest signs of withdrawal if we stop consuming this type of food.

This type of food may give us the sudden jolt of energy that we want but processed and junk foods don’t have adequate amount of vitamins, protein and good carbohydrates – our blood sugar levels will wane shortly making us feeling bloated, fatigued and craving for more. Indulging once in a while (like once or twice a week) isn’t bad since our body needs diverse kinds of vitamins and mineral

I am not saying that we shouldn’t eat these types of food, I know that in this era where everything must be fast, convenient and cheap (food is definitely not an exception), we tend not to be particular and conscious (and cautious) about the food that we are putting inside our body. It is fine to eat our favourite munchies but we need to learn the importance of balance and moderation, in this way, we can eat what we want without jeopardizing our health. And, being healthy inside and out can’t be brought by food alone (no matter how nutritional that is). Exercise, social interaction and multimodal learning must be done regularly to achieve wellness and holistic health development.

References:

Fitday. Retrieved from http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/fast-food-nutrition-junk-foods-effect-on-your-body.html on June 19, 2015

Domonell, Kristen. 2015. Men’s Health.  5 Weird Things Fast Food Does to Your Brain. Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/health/fast-food-brain on June 19, 2015

EDS 143 Blog#4: Impact of Positive Attitude to Health

I often heard from other people, especially from some of my friends from my work, that being happy and positive (instead of lamenting your illness) can actually help people recover from sickness and those states of mind actually lessen the pain a person experiences. Is it placebo, subjective or positive feeling or attitude does have a science-based impact on person’s recovery? According from US National Library of Medicine (2010), there are studies that examined the effectiveness of optimism as a psychological phenomenon which leads to numerous theoretical formulations to explore the a person’s positive state of mind and its connections and influences with a person’s over-all health – “disposition”, “attributional style”, “ cognitive bias”, or “shared illusion”.

I believe that positive thinking or attitude is a choice of a person wherein s/he tends to incline more on the positive side than the negative side. I mean I believe that there is no absolute happiness and sadness in life, it’s always a combination wherein in most cases, there is a dominant emotion and thinking that makes us decide if what we are experiencing is happy or sad, pleasurable or painful etc. I would like to point out also that being positive doesn’t mean that we are forcefully trying to forget the real problem and trying to manipulate our state of mind, positive attitude is appreciating the blessings that we have (sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true) and making the most out of it.

We learned from the initial modules that the 7 dimensions of health (physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational and environmental) are interconnected and greatly affects one another, hence, it is imperative to nurture each dimension to achieve balanced lifestyle and to attain positive health being. According to a theory from Mayo Clinic, mind and the physical body is connected – people who possess positive attitudes are better in coping up and adjusting to stress and anxiety. Also, Mayo Clinic suggests that many health benefits have been brought by positive attitude such as better life longevity, increase resistance against common cold, lower rates of depression, increased cardiovascular health, reduction in stress symptoms, and perceptible physical and mental vigour.

Additional benefits of having and living life mostly with positive thoughts according from Sammy Nickalls of inspiyr:

  1. It keeps anxiety and stress at bay
  2. It helps you to be more successful in relationships
  3. Blood pressure is managed
  4. Being happy encourages higher pain tolerance
  5. It pushes us to follow healthy practices and measures
  6. According to a study in University College London, positive thoughts are linked with “healthy aging”
  7. Being happy reduces cardiovascular-related sickness
  8. Being positive improves physical and mental performance

According to the book written by James Clear titled “Transform Your Habits”, below are his three ideas that increase our positive thinking in life:

  1. Meditation
  2. Writing
  3. Play

References:

Conversano, Rotondo, Lensi, Vista, Arpone, and Reda. 2010. US National Library of Medicine. Optimism and Its Impact on mental and Physical Well-Being. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894461/ on June 10, 2015

Butler, Alia. 2013. Live Strong. The Importance of Positive Attitude to Health. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/126155-importance-positive-attitude-health/ on June 10, 2015Nickalls, Sammy. Inspiyr.

The Importance of Optimism: How to Think Positive Thoughts. Retrieved from http://inspiyr.com/think-positive-thoughts/ on June 11, 2015Clear, James. Transform Your Habits. Retrieved from http://jamesclear.com/positive-thinking on June 12, 2015

EDS 143 Blog #3: Importance of Friends for Health Promotion

Friends (those dependable and trusted few but can really be called as friends) are important extensions of ourselves that are always there to help us and advise what is the best and worst for us – be it fashion, choice of party place, games, food and most importantly, our health. We all know that health isn’t just the mere absence of physical sickness and illnesses, modern health definition is the attainment and maintenance of people in the positive state of wellbeing physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, occupationally, spiritually and environmentally.

There are times that our friends get into our nerves but true friends can give us substantial benefits which can push us to be better. A friend, as a social support system, provides many help and assistance to us in the following forms to achieve overall health wellness:

  1. Emotional support
    – Sense of belongingness, acceptance, love, understanding, trust, care and motivation
  1. Instrumental support
    – Errands, things we borrow and ask, acquaintance and companionship
  1. Informational support
    – Personal advices and suggestions for self or work
  1. Appraisal support
    – Constructive criticism and information for evaluation

According to the study conducted by the Centre for Ageing Studies at Flinders University, wherein nearly 1,500 older people were followed for 10 years, it is found that those who had large network of friends outlived those with fewest friends by 22%.  Lynne C. Giles, one of the four researchers who conducted the study, give emphasis that social networks and support such as family ties are important for longevity and survival.

In line the stated case, in 1989, Dr. David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, published a landmark paper which showed that women with breast cancer who participated in a support group lived twice as long compared to those who didn’t. It is also noted in his report those who participated in social support programs experience much less pain. To add more merit to these studies, Dr. Sheldon Cohen, psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, stressed that strong social support helps people cope with stress. Moreover, Dr. Cohen said, “Friends help you face adverse events. They provide material aid, emotional support, and information that helps you deal with stressors. There may be broader effects as well. Friends encourage you to take better care of yourself. And people with wider social networks are higher in self-esteem, and they feel they have more control over their lives.”

Achieving positive state of health and maintaining it in the appropriate state takes time and effort. Like friendship, the short sacrifices that you will be encountering will be worthwhile at the end of the day because of the residual and long-term positive effects of having a good set of friends and for being healthy in and out.

References:

Valeo, Tom. Web MD. Good Friends are Good for You. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/good-friends-are-good-for-you on June 4, 2015

Health Fitness Revolution. Why Good Friends are Good for Your Health. Retrieved from http://healthfitnessrevolution.com/good-friends-good-health/ on June 4, 2015

EDS 143 Blog #2: My Commitment towards a Better Health

My personal pledge to myself to the promotion of positive and better health is;

“I will be more participative to our company and local government’s programs with the goal of uplifting the general health condition of myself, my colleagues and the people who are part of our circle. I will set an example by sincerely following basic rules even if others can’t see it.”

When was the last time you get yourself checked? Let’s admit it, most of the time we feel strong and bit invincible, there are many times that simple aches (sometimes worse) can be brought down by a single or couple of paracetamol.  We always run to our kitchen cabinets and pop out tabs of those over-the-counter saviours to erase the pain away. I wish all our sickness can be driven off with simple self-medications and techniques we learned from watching YouTube and too much time engrossing in the internet (I hope it’s really educational).

Last April of this year, our company had an annual physical check-up to all its employees. All of us went through the mandatory series of medical diagnostics and episodes of scrutiny of people working in the healthcare industry. Despite being busy at work, I believe that health should always be on the very top of my list, well without a good and able vessel all will tumble down. After hours of queuing, answering to questions, enduring the needle and doing other “awkward” stuff, I finished the entire course (including the drug test). I have a colleague, who is also a department head, who didn’t go to the annual check-up, he said that he is fine and he gleefully said that he religiously takes his vitamins everyday and he has set of medicines inside his bag whenever head ache pins him down. I said, “C’mon, it’s still best to see a doctor to make sure you’re healthy inside and out, you’ll never know.” He replied with a quick smile then he darted his face onto his laptop again.

After two weeks, I received the results and I am quite happy for the outcome- everything is normal and there isn’t any reason for me to worry (for now I guess). I guess the discipline imposed in eating and forcing myself to exercise despite the hectic schedule in work (plus school responsibilities) are paying off.

Just few days ago, my colleague who isn’t fond of having himself being checked were on leave for about 3-4 days as I write this blog. I found out from his staff that he is experiencing migraine and started to experience this “piercing and grave headache” since the early months of 1st quarter of this year. “Ellen”, his staff, always reminds my colleague to visit a nearby hospital since check-ups are covered by our health card and they are literally free.  Ellen told me that my friend always pull-up beds of paracetamol from his bag and always letting its short-term wonders and miracles save the day.

As we can observe from my experience, we should always consult health professionals if a certain illness becomes persistent. Second, self-medication is not really advisable (even though if it is effective) since we don’t know its adverse effects and we are not really sure if we are really ingesting the right medicine. Last, health should always be our priority – we only have one life and it is always better to be in preventive stance than curative.

EDS 143 Blog #1: Maintaining Balanced Scorecard

According to University of California, Riverside people shouldn’t be too focused on physical wellness alone because the university asserted that an individual has seven dimensions of health namely: physical, social, emotional, occupational, spiritual, mental and environmental.  These are the seven health dimensions of a person that must be nurtured and fed with variety of tangible and intangible nutrients for a person to grow holistically. You cannot nourish one dimension alone since the mentioned seven are all dependent and interconnected with each other, failure of one component will lead to the detrimental development and interaction of a person with himself/herself and to others.

I actually agree to URC, apart from the fact that “a man cannot live on bread alone”, human beings need one another and need to interact with each other in order to obtain his/her wants and needs for he/she simply cannot do everything on his/her force and mind alone. On one of Plato’s writing (Greek philosopher), “man is naturally a social being; that’s why there are states (Polis).” And so, my experience, yours, academic and scientific researches, and Plato’s unfathomable philosophy truly prove that we have to keep our over-all health “well-oiled” or we might end up to what happened to a college friend of mine.

Let’s call him “A”, he is my classmate and a friend in my previous university when I took Hotel and Restaurant Management as my first undergraduate program. He is actually healthy – physically because he doesn’t have any serious or dreaded disease way back and he swims every weekend, mentally because he is good in Math Class and he draws very well, emotionally because he is in a relationship with his girl for about 2 years (that year) but the problem is the way he sees others’ religion. He is a member of a religious organization we all know very well, as a friend and concerned individual, he often get into oral arguments (sometimes bordering physical argument) because of his manner of refuting and  disproving other people’s beliefs and perspectives in their religion. Most of the time, people steer away from A whenever religious topics are up. As we can observe from my personal account, A is considerably healthy however, his behaviour and attitude get into his spiritual and social health thereby affecting how people perceive him generally.

We have to understand that as one of the living units in a society composed of intertwined threads of diversity in cultures and religions, we have to connect with each other with sincere respect, openness and acceptance. Especially, religion and other personal beliefs are quite sensitive so it is better to handle any conversation with this topic with extra care and empathy to understand different beliefs.

Last, as complex beings who need many tangible and intangible things in life beyond food, we have to remember to nourish the seven dimensions of our health. Just like a machine, if one gear is rusted it will definitely affect the function of the entire body, thereby affecting our efficiency and productivity.

Reference:

University of California. 2014. Seven dimensions of wellness. Retrieved from http://wellness.ucr.edu/seven_dimensions.html on May 18, 2015

Olleta, Javier E. Plato. Summary of His Thoughts. Retrieved from http://www.e-torredebabel.com/History-of-Philosophy/Summaries/Plato-Summary.htm on May 18, 2015