Integrating Health

Integrating Health

This week, the Institute of Medicine convened hundreds of physicians, patient advocates, and policymakers in Washington, DC, for the Summit on Integrative Medicine.

Dr, Dean Ornish told the Huffington Post, “Integrative medicine uses the entire armamentarium, both traditional and nontraditional, to give an individual a full array of what they need to maintain and improve their health.”

The overarching objective of integrative medicine is that the patient is the center of care. So what do you do to integrate your health?

This week on, I’ve shared some of my personal perspectives on my building blocks to integrating my own health: spirituality, food, clothing, and finance. In this last Perspectives post, let me add some additional approaches I believe add life to years and quality to days:

Arts, crafts and creativity. I take time, nearly every day, to call on the right side of the brain to make something. I love to make Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Sized at 2.5″ x 3.5″, like a baseball card, these are mini-collages. Sketch them with pens and watercolors, layer images and words, and let your stream of consciousness drive the design. You can keep them in a folder, display them on a rolodex, or trade them as kids would trading cards. There are scores of ATC trading groups online – another social network channel in which I partake.

Move around. It’s winter on the east coast, so my lovely neighborhood walks on icy patches can sometimes be an extreme sport. The Nintendo Wii has been a great addition to our family’s exercise menu. I’ve especially been enjoying the Wii Fit’s aerobics choices: the Island Lap run is an engaging 11-minutes, along with the advanced (fast) step aerobics module. The balance games and yoga positions, too, help to enhance balance — a key to good health.

Time to share and connect with family and friends. The Wii Fit and Wii Sports games have also become one of our Family Game Night activities, along with traditional board game favorites like Scrabble, Sorry!, and the vintage Careers game that my husband has from his childhood. Too many people don’t make time for these simple activities. But we’re creating lifetime memories doing small things together like this and the fun and laughter add to our sense of family wellbeing. Cooking in the kitchen together, going to movies (yes, at a real cinema), and trips to the museum vary family time beyond sports-themed weekends.

In my last guest post of the week here on, I’ve shared my personal perspectives on health beyond health “care.” In my role at THINK-Health, that’s my job: to help clients ponder, imagine and ideate new ideas for health and health care. I hope I’ve done the same for you! It’s been a real privilege to share.

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn is a health economist and management consultant who has worked with every segment of health care stakeholder in the U.S. and Europe for over two decades. Jane founded THINK-Health, a strategic health consultancy, in 1992 after spending a decade as a health care consultant in firms in the U.S. and Europe.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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