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Practically Yours: Self-care tips for Counsellors – Physical Health

Posted by: Derrick Shirley on April 26, 2011 9:57 am

The basis for medicine in the 21st Century will be self-care.” Robert Ivker, D.O.

This is a very powerful statement. The purpose of the “Practically Yours: Self-care tips for Counsellors” posts are to provide useful, applicable, and indeed practical tips and suggestions on self-care for counselling practitioners. In my previous post, I discussed the importance of proper self-care. We know the theories and benefits of it, we talk to our clients about it, and we have been doing it all of our lives.

But what are the links between self-care and good health? To begin, we must first define what it means to be healthy.

In this post I will introduce six components of health as outlined in the book, “The Self-Care Guide to Holistic Medicine:  Creating Optimal Health” (Ivker, Anderson, & Trivieri, 2000), and discuss practical activities related to the first component, physical health. Being healthy is not just the absence of illness. “I am healthy because I am not sick,” is only a partial truth. The word health in itself means “to make whole.” Having a feeling of wholeness connotes elements of ourselves converging in balance and harmony. The Guide’s six components of health include: physical, environmental, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social (Ivker et al., 2000). In aboriginal cultures, this is akin to the concept of the medicine wheel and its four components: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Proper holistic self-care then, involves actions that seek to achieve and maintain balance between these various components of health.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA