Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Price of Image to Health

In our society, which has become more dominated by screens, image is a big deal. It's not just the realm of celebrities, performers, and athletes these days. Image affects all of us in today's world. How we portray our lives and selves to others can become such an influential part of daily living that it can affect how we treat our bodies, health, and those close to us. Image can impact both physical and mental health in ways that can eventually lead to chronic health issues and take us farther away from what we want in life.

What is image? Image is typically what we want others to see despite what we're feeling underneath or what is truly going on in our lives. We all have an image, and that in and of itself is not a bad thing. Image, or persona, can help create healthy boundaries between ourselves and our environments, including other people. That bit of distance helps us have space and privacy where we need it. Everyone doesn't need to know everything. What becomes dangerous is when image evolves into more of a lie that we even start believing when we're alone.

We may want to believe that we're perfect, and try to show that to others instead of facing fears that are surfacing. These days, you may also notice social and media-induced peer pressure to show happiness to ourselves and to the world, even when we're feeling sad, angry, disappointed, or some other feeling instead. The idea of image can then start to encroach on personality and even become who we are to some extent, often to the detriment of our physical and mental health. The pull to be immune and safe in this world using an artificial image is something each person goes through at times.

Image is a tool that can be helpful in the roles we play at work and in life, when it is mostly in tune with who we are already. When it instead plays a more suppressive role in blocking out real emotions, thoughts, and expressions of who we are, it can also naturally suppresses health, hormones, neurotransmitters, and our personalities. It can become a cage in which we live with our unacknowledged fears and emotions.

The price of image overtaking who we are can be costly. Yet, it's okay to admit this and honestly look at what image you're showing to others, and ultimately to yourself. We live in a culture where image too easily becomes everything, and many people are dissatisfied with this way of living. Even when image affects health and stifles life, it can still be an addictive thing to pursue. However, if you remind yourself of what you really want in life, it can become easier to see how the image you're portraying might be blocking that. And then you can ask, what benefit is image really bringing to your life?

You know who you are, so what price are you willing to pay for image?

Our book, Modern Day Fables

Hi everyone, hope you are having a great spring time!
My boyfriend and I wrote some short stories we decided to put together in a book.  It is self-published which by the way is easy to do through Amazon and Createspace, so if any of you ever write something you want to turn into a book, I'd be happy to explain the process to anyone who might be interested. Just let me know, it's actually quite easy and fun to do.  The world of self-publishing is growing fast, and offers a way for anyone to put their creative works out there into the world.  Anyways, we just wanted to share the link to our book, Modern Day Fables, and if any of you are interested in reading our stories we'd be really excited to share them with you (and if you want to leave a review that would be awesome too!). 

We're both in health care as most of you know, and while on the surface most of these stories may not seem to be about health, you may see some connections to health hidden within them, especially through the theme of living life your own way despite what others or society may be telling you.
So just wanted to share the news, and hopefully you will pick up a copy!  We're doing an introductory price of just $2.99 for the e-book.  Thanks!
Aarti aka Dr. Patel

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When Medicine Gets Lazy

Medicine can get lazy, that's a fact. While research and technological advances in medicine are happening everyday, the nuts and bolts of a doctor's appointment don't always reflect the benefits of this work. Yet, the doctor's appointment is where healing should start taking place. Too often, patients are given the run around through differing diagnoses, put through batteries of tests, given discouraging messages about their health, and sparked with fear toward their own bodies. What can we do when medicine gets lazy and fearful?

Health is not meant to be built around fear, so the first step toward supporting your body and well-being is to question and debunk the fear tactics used toward you in a doctor's office, if you do encounter them. It's not a common topic of conversation, but medicine is both a business and an institution in many cases, and therefore will have its own agenda that doesn't always take into account how you're feeling. At the same time, we're told to see medical establishments and the providers working there as an authority over our health.

You can see the conflict of interest that can arise in this setup. If you are told that you are helpless without a specific pharmaceutical drug, that lab results define everything about your health, or that your health is somehow a burden and nuisance, it's time to take a step back from the medical system and get back in touch with your body and how you want to feel in it. You can still seek advice and second opinions from trusted health professionals, but recognize yourself as an authority on your health too. After all, you're the only one living your life and in touch with your body on a daily basis.

Next, don't wait until a doctor's appointment to pay attention to your health, daily habits, and how you're feeling. Your body gives you signals and clues on a daily basis as to where you can show more care to yourself and how you're feeling. How you're feeling means not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Suppressed experiences, emotions, and thoughts are a leading source of chronic symptoms and fatigue, and often apathy about life in general.

Today's medical system often does not get at the underlying roots of how you're feeling on a mind-body level. However, you can do this type of investigation of your health on your own. When you try this approach, you'll be employing preventive health measures that can help you feel better, avoid excessive symptoms, and make your health visits more effective when you do have them.

Third, stay informed. Try not to lose curiosity and the desire to learn about yourself and your health just because modern medicine doesn't always feel like a caring or healing environment. There are resources and services out there in the medical field that will work with you and use a more educational and preventive style toward health care. However, there are also less healthy influences in medicine which can be discouraging and make you want to give up at times. Listen to yourself when these unhelpful voices enter the picture, and that way you can stay informed and educated about your options when it comes to supporting your body's health, vitality, and longevity.

Your health is not a burden, chore, or hopeless situation and if you allow the space in your own life to acknowledge this, you will be prepared if you happen to encounter negativity and discouraging messages out in the world of medicine. You and your body possess an innate intelligence and healing potential, so communicate with it and you will find that it will respond back to you too.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Free and fun reading for 2016

Enjoy free e-books of "Screen" and "The Art of Health" from Sunday 1/3/16 through Thursday 1/7/16. Pass it on! Reviews are always appreciated on Goodreads or Amazon. Happy new year.

Screen | Free E-book

The Art of Health | Free E-book