Second Opinion Magazine
Thermography of Wisconsin - The Gift of Health
What comes to mind when you hear the word “gift”? Do you think of a surprise present? Something expensive? Or something practical like socks? Maybe you think of someone who is gifted with a remarkable talent or ability. What about the gift of a blessing? The online definition from Oxford Languages (among others) describes gift as, “a thing given willingly to someone without payment.” Other definition: “without the expectation of anything in return.”
What about the gift of health or wellness? Can we give a gift of health or a gift of wellness? I believe the opportunities of giving toward health and wellness are endless. Permit me to just scratch the surface of each of the seven dimensions of wellness in effort to stimulate your creative juices.
Physical: This would include physical health and access to healthcare—from surgical correction of cleft palate in children, to realignment of one’s energy meridians, to physical therapy to help a stroke victim to learn to use her hands, to personally training an elderly person on the proper technique of using the leg abduction machine. Volunteering your professional expertise to a charity or providing a gift certificate to a service may provide access to these services otherwise not affordable or even considered.
Emotional: Emotional health directly affects physical health. Positive emotions trigger the brain to produce chemicals that increase our awareness, understanding, attention and memory. This is not the same as being happy, which is conditional, but is holding an intentional focus on joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love as written about in so many books. Conversely, worry and negativity robs us of peace and restorative rest, leading to greater susceptibility to disease and chronic dysfunction, including cancer, heart disease and addictive behavior. This may sound overly-simplistic, but the “gratitude rock” in my pocket has helped remind me to look for things for which I am grateful. Maybe the pet rock craze of the 70’s wasn’t so far fetched…
Spiritual: Studies have shown that belief in God, actively practicing one’s faith and engaging in prayer and meditation may all improve a person’s health and wellbeing. These activities reduce the effects of stress and provide social interaction and community which all redirect one’s focus away from self to others. Can you “gift” someone a ride to church or Bible study some day?
Intellectual: Education empowers us with better understanding, stimulates interest and expands our horizons. Learning has neither an age limit nor expiration date. Think about the daily wonderment experienced by babies and toddlers a they discover the world around them. This fascination of learning new things doesn’t need to belong to children or youth. To be a life-long learner keeps one’s mind active and a person engaged. Studies show that learning new information and skills may help to offset dementia and help keep the brain active well into later years. The wisdom of the elderly is highly regarded in some cultures, and many discoveries have been made by researchers and theorists in their advanced age. Consider the gift of a continuing education course or a cooking class or an online brain-teaser program.
Social: We live in a comparatively fast-paced culture during unpredictable times. Many of us live a great distance from family and do not know our neighbors. We miss out on the support of a close community. Our schedules are packed with work hours, dance lessons and soccer practice which limit opportunities to just drop in on a friend to chat or host an impromptu playdate. Our device has become our mode of interaction. Social engagement and involvement helps a person identify as being a part of a community, encourages putting down roots and inspires support of others. Do you have a friend or neighbor who is recovering from an illness or tragedy and who could use a listening ear, someone to shovel the sidewalk or who would just like having you there? You could even gift your neighbors by organizing a block party or a progressive dinner party. What a great way to make friends and influence people!
Occupational: Having a profession helps to give a person a sense of purpose, whether the profession is keeping the home or manning the space station. The opportunity to use one’s abilities to contribute to a greater good is satisfying and rewarding. All types of abilities are valuable and useful in the right workplace or volunteer opportunity. Do you know of someone whose abilities would be a good fit in a particular job or committee or for a specific task? Honor them with the gift of acknowledgement by providing a referral.
Environmental: Just looking at the physical environment, so many giving opportunities abound. Join a community beautification group who plants and maintains gardens or donate money to their cause. Help clean up empty lots and abandoned buildings. Paint a mural, plant trees, pick up trash along the roadside. Give the gift of cleanliness, beauty and organization.
‘Tis the season of giving. The thoughts I provided for each of the seven dimensions of wellness only hint of possibilities for giving the gift of health. The seven dimensions of wellness are not stand-alone but work together holistically, therefore your gift can touch many areas. Let’s extend the season and make the giving gift of health and wellness our lifelong practice.
Thermography of Wisconsin serves patients at the main office in Eau Claire, WI, in River Falls, WI, and Park Rapids and Northfield, MN. Ms. Seuferer is a Certified Clinical Thermographer and a member of the American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT).
Bring this Second Opinion article with you to your next thermography screening to receive $25 off the price of the screening.