Wellness is a term that can be perceived and applied by people in a multitude of ways. When we think of wellness, we go by this definition: “The state of being in good health.”
In 1976, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute in the United States, Dr. Bill Hettler, developed a model of wellness stating there are seven dimensions that define our health: social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and physical. To achieve optimal wellness, the National Wellness Institute believes that their model of wellness should be adopted by everyone around the world.
However, wellness can have many definitions, and is much more than merely physical health, exercise, diet, and nutrition. Wellness is the full integration of our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Each of those seven dimensions act and interact in a way that contributes to our own quality of life.
Our mind and body are connected. This relationship or correlation between the two, can have a positive effect on an individual’s health and quality of life. In other words, awareness of this connection that our mind has with our bodies may improve the quality of life of healthy, active people as well as those who are suffering from chronic illness. For example, attitudes, beliefs and emotional states ranging from love and compassion to fear and anxiety can trigger chain reactions that affect every cell and organ in the body, from the heart, stomach, to our immune system. Emotions can also affect your body's reaction to stressors, which can cause a host of other physical problems.
That’s why it is important to recognize the connection between our bodies and minds if we want to feel our best, both mentally and physically. Psychological research has shown that through the mind-body connection, our thoughts and emotions can play a central role in all aspects of our health. Therefore, by taking care of our well-being, we may be able to achieve optimal wellness, by preventing illness, and speeding up our recovery if we do get sick, as our body has this amazing ability to heal itself.
Why Wellness Matters
Wellness matters, because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates back to our well-being. In turn, our well-being also directly affects our behavior and emotions. Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is extremely important to achieving a higher quality life, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Maintaining optimal wellness is a continuous cycle, requiring attention to continuing care. Having a primary care physician that believes in helping you achieve wellness can directly help reduce the risk of developing chronic illness.
A Family Physician Can Help
The World Health Organization’s 1948 constitution stated: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This is true, as the job of a family physician is to support, educate, and provide resources to their patients on how to live and promote a healthy lifestyle, and most importantly, achieve overall wellness.
The connection our body has with the mind, can help family physicians advise patients to understand the nature of their chronic disease, and create a treatment plan that will help manage and treat the patient holistically, meaning as a whole (mind, body, and spirit), as opposed to, just focusing on treating the illness as an entity by itself. By treating the patient as a “whole,” family physicians can get to the actual root of the problem. They determine what factors are exactly causing the patient to have this illness, and then create a treatment plan to not just treat the disease, but will also help manage it, and maximize the patient’s overall wellness.
Dr. Sham Juratli is knowledgeable in the philosophy of wellness, and what it takes to achieve it. She will evaluate your overall wellness by addressing your physical, mental, and emotional states, and look at the seven dimensions of wellness, and what could be affecting your specific mind-body connection and causing illness, such as:
- Environmental factors (home, school)
- Chronic pain
- Substance abuse
Although there might be different views on what wellness encompasses, the National Wellness Institute along with the help of other experts in health and wellness, have shared many interpretations of wellness. They believe that “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”
Dr. Sham has the knowledge and skills to help patients be more active in their own health care choices and decisions. As it is important to make healthy choices for both your physical and mental well-being, Dr. Sham remembers that wellness is not just about the absence of illness or stress. She instills in patients, that they can still strive for wellness even if they may be experiencing challenges in their lives.
What Does Improving the Mind-Body Health Connection Involve?
Many wellness programs make use of the mind-body connection through stress and weight management, support groups, counseling, medication, and providing other sources of health and wellness resources and advice. These methods are designed to improve both emotional and physical well-being. Family physicians often use one or more of these methods to help people live healthy lifestyles, and to provide support and guidance to those who are sick.
Dr. Sham Juratli provides the following treatment methods and techniques to help patients achieve optimal wellness:
Losing weight is not easy. It is all too often a continuing cycle, as we lose weight to only gain it back. People have an emotional and psychological connection to food. There are so many weight loss programs and diet supplements out there, so knowing who to turn to and trust can often be a hard decision to make. People tend to turn to fad diets. These diets are usually for people who want to lose weight quickly. These fad diets are those we see on TV commercials, internet ads, or in magazines, promising quick weight loss. But, what is often being offered are usually unbalanced and unhealthy ways to lose weight. Fad diets usually are done without exercise, and while they claim to make you lose weight, the loss you will see is mostly water weight.
It just takes a consultation with a reasonable doctor to know that yo-yo and crash dieting is linked to heart disease, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, inflammation, and ironically, gaining more weight. Yet, these ineffective treatments are still pushed on you, insisting they will make you not just thinner but healthier. In reality, 97% of dieters regain everything they lost! Most popular diets do not work, exercise combined with healthy eating does. So, what are people who are struggling with losing weight to do?
There is a difference between being overweight and obese. Obesity occurs over time and involves having too much body fat, while being overweight means weighing too much, commonly from compulsive overeating. Both are serious conditions which family physicians encounter regularly.
Obesity is an epidemic, and one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the United States, affecting 78.6 million people. There is no doubt that this disease is an epidemic that causes severe health complications. It’s a leading cause of death, associated with conditions and diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and cardiovascular (heart) disease. Obesity is defined as having an excess amount of fat (adipose tissue), well above what is considered a healthy range. A person with a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 30 is considered obese.
The prevalence of obesity in the United States is alarming. More than one-third of adults and 17 percent of youth are considered obese! Comorbid conditions associated with being overweight or obese can have serious effects on an individual’s health, but you should know that obesity is 100 percent preventable with the right help and dedication.
Try not to get overly discouraged, weight loss just based around healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet can often be difficult to achieve, with results not showing as quickly as other crash diets. Therefore, strategies from a weight loss medical doctor and programs that utilize tools such as medication, nutrition plans, and a personalized exercise regimen, can be effective and important tools for treating those who need to lose weight the right way. Losing weight using the benefits of a medical weight loss program will lower your risk of being a statistic in the obesity epidemic, and most importantly, reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and other life-threatening conditions. You will be on a journey to a completely healthy lifestyle.
To avoid other unsafe methods of weight loss, it is best to consult with a medical professional, and enroll in a medical weight loss program. Medical weight loss programs are always the healthier and smarter way to lose weight and achieve the body that you have always wanted. Medical weight loss is also known as physician-supervised weight loss. Losing weight through medically monitored programs will also ensure that you are eating a balanced diet, exercising properly, and getting the necessary nutrition that you need for your body to function properly.
Medical weight loss programs get to the root of the problem, and address both the psychological and physical problems someone has with themselves, and with food. These programs open the door for behavioral modification along with weekly meetings and weigh-ins, all there to help you maintain a long-term healthy lifestyle. Your weight loss team is your partner on this journey, changing your culture about what is and isn’t healthy, and instilling lasting habits.
Many patients accomplish weight loss with diet, exercise, and lifestyle modification. Others require more aggressive therapy. Weight loss medications may be appropriate for use by selected patients who meet the definition of obesity or who are overweight with comorbid conditions. Medications are formulated to reduce energy intake, increase energy output or decrease the absorption of nutrients. Of course, drugs cannot replace diet, exercise, and lifestyle modification, which remain the cornerstones of obesity treatment.
Good nutrition has an effect on your whole body. Taking control of your health contributes to your overall well-being. Losing weight or maintaining your ideal weight, reduces the risk of chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease. Eating healthy foods and regularly exercising not only helps you to reach your weight goals, it also keeps your entire body healthier and more energized. When you feel good, you want to continue doing those things, which helps you see the results you want.
Good nutrition is vital to successful weight loss and weight management, and for overall good health. Several benefits of good nutrition are: improvement in cholesterol levels, reduction of blood pressure, and an increase in overall energy.
Dr. Sham Juratli understands that losing weight is difficult. We also understand the physical and psychological toll it takes on a person. Today, we lose more people to diseases associated with being overweight than with being underweight. Massive portions are part of our culture, and they’re just one factor among many leading to high obesity rates. But, you don’t have to look far for help. People don’t always realize a family doctor can be your first point of contact for losing or managing weight.
Family physicians play a critical role in counseling patients about healthy interventions to prevent the onset of obesity. Some of the most patient-centered approaches family physicians can encourage for patients with weight management issues include:
- Identifying obstacles to nutritional eating habits and suggesting alternative food choices.
- Recommending positive behavioral strategies (such as approaches to coping with stress, cognitive behavior therapy options, food journaling, and establishing a social support network).
- Setting realistic and attainable physical activity goals.
Our practice believes in the potential to prevent many of the illnesses that Americans experience through lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, exercise, and nutritional supplementation. Part of Dr. Sham’s philosophy of care is to empower the patient by providing reliable information through our weight management program.
As a primary care physician, Dr. Sham will provide nutritional counseling, helping patients develop a customized diet and exercise plan, to combat obesity. We help the patient lose weight, and most importantly, how to make healthier choices. In turn, we motivate them, by advising that making these healthier choices will lead them to achieving and maintain a healthy lifestyle, eliminating complications such as chronic disease. We provide medications when needed. When clients reach their goal weight, our coaches guide them through a specific transition period into a dedicated maintenance phase. This helps clients maintain their healthy weight.
As obesity is a problem throughout America and for all ages, our medical weight loss methods are not just limited to adults. We help teenagers and the elderly, too. They can count on effective, age-appropriate support that gives them a better chance to lose the weight that is affecting their health.
Being overweight or obese means you are more likely to have health problems. It's just that simple. It can affect the quality of your life, while also shortening your life expectancy. Our goal is to help you lose the weight, so that you can live a more comfortable and fulfilling life.
Stress is defined as the body’s physiological reaction to stressors, or anything that throws somebody off balance, i.e., danger, injury, fear, or pain. In other words, stress is what a person feels when they have to handle more than they are used to. Many things can trigger the stress reaction, including danger, threat, news, illness, as well as significant changes in one's life, such as the death of a loved one. Stress is not always a bad thing, but most of the time, stress negatively disrupts body balance and function. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger, by secreting hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy or adrenaline.
At rest, your heart may appear to be working fine. However, when you have chronic stress, during this release of adrenaline, your heart rate and blood flow increase in order to be able to provide your cells with more oxygen and nutrients (oxygen-rich blood) and remove the bad blood. In other words, the heart beats harder and faster, raising blood pressure.
A region of the forebrain below the thalamus, called the hypothalamus, detects stress, and this specific response to stress starts when the sympathetic division of the nervous system is activated. This reaction is called the fight-or-flight response. Within the sympathetic nervous system, this is our body's natural response to a stressor or threat, telling you to fight it or run away, hence the name “fight or flight.” As this response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly, stress could cause problems for you mentally and physically, and unfortunately put your health at serious risk.
If stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. As our body and our mind are connected, stress can be linked to causing hypertension (high blood pressure), headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, and trouble sleeping. It can also weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse, causing further complications when left untreated.
There are ways that you can learn to manage your stressful situations, working through and potentially finding and solving the root of the problem. Stress management is a wide spectrum of techniques and psychotherapies, such as counseling, aimed at controlling a person's level of stress, especially chronic stress. Learning to manage and avoid stress helps everyday functioning and overall quality of life. Stress management encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with their psychological stress.
Stress can come from a variety of different situations that can be either good or bad. It can also come from within. In other words, there are many facets to stress. Stress manifests itself in many different ways and can be either self-induced or something that occurs in life. We can never eliminate stress from our lives as stressful situations are part of life. However, we can learn to react to stress in a positive manner and take control of the situation rather than allowing the stress to take control.
If you are one of the many people who want to alleviate your stress, you can learn some simple techniques to help you get out of the vicious cycle of leading a stressful life. Stress does not just affect you, but everyone around you. It affects your relationships, and most of all, as mentioned before, it can actually make you physically ill.
It is vitally important to figure out what causes stress for you, as everyone feels and responds to stress differently. Tracking your stress may help you find out what is causing this problem, and why. Dr. Sham Juratli can help her patients take the necessary steps to reduce chronic stress and advise on how to handle it better.
Many people don’t realize, but stress can also be positive rather than negative. Sometimes it is clear where stress is coming from, highlighting a situation that needs to be addressed. You can count on stress during a major life change such as getting married or having a baby. However, other times it may not be so clear why you feel stressed. As many people feel the pressures of everyday life, stress can negatively impact an individual’s health and well-being.
Once you realize what stress actually is and how it manifests itself in your life, it is much easier to gain control. Most of us experience stress because we feel out of control over a particular situation. While we may not always be able to eliminate the factor that is causing the stress in our lives, it is possible to control our reactions to the stress.
Dr. Sham and her staff have developed a stress management program designed to counsel patients, to help them identify and understand the sources of their stress, and the link between chronic stress and disease. Instead of internalizing what is causing the stress, patients will be able to externalize and take control of their bodies. In other words, we help define our patient’s stressors, the impact the stress may have on their health, and educate them on ways to cope and manage it throughout all aspects of their lives. Stress management teaches patients to control their reactions in a positive manner. Therefore, we will not only be able to alleviate stress, but actually get it to work in their favor. If you have been experiencing stress in your daily life and do not know how to regain some sort of sense of order in your life, know that it is possible.
At our practice, you will turn a negative into a positive, and learn positive ways to deal with your everyday stressors. Your body is no longer in control of you, you are in control of your body. Our goal is to increase your quality of life and restore function and homeostasis.
To learn more information regarding weight and stress management, and how we can help you, call Dr. Sham Juratli at (313) 451-8253 to request an appointment, or you can use our secure online appointment request form.