Every person deserves respect, compassion, and justice. Those who treat another otherwise diminish themselves and all of us, each a unique and irreplaceable part of the human family.
Nature is the reflection of the innate order, perfection and interrelationships of creation. Life is not only physical and chemical, mental and emotional; it is also an expression of a profound spirituality, which we do not yet fully understand.
Given this, it becomes appropriate to approach health care from a whole person oriented philosophy which is educational, focused on disease prevention and, to the extent possible, fully engages the participation of individuals in their health recovery process.
— To facilitate the inclusion of whole health patient education, patient health advocacy and whole health coaching skills into the practice of medicine and health care in all settings.
— The purpose of the program is to educate appropriately credentialed individuals who wish to infuse their service to others with greater purpose and integrity by engaging and educating patients with evidence-based patient health education and patient health advocacy to address the current health care reform mandates: 1) using demystified patient health education and shared decision making to support sustainable behavior change 2) support disease prevention and to enhanced clinical outcomes through patient health advocacy 3) expand the role of patient health educators within the medical community 4) provide nationally accredited and approved continuing education contact hours to learners enrolled in our 3-in-1 Whole Health Education program.
Learners will be able to apply their skills to integrate whole health patient education, patient health advocacy and whole health coaching skills into their health focused service to their clients and into the practice of medicine and health care in all settings.
Our program goals are designed to achieve overall philosophy of our mission statement. NIWH develops, tests and offers comprehensive, evidence-based health education programs which are integrative and whole person directed, for credentialed healthcare and education professionals.
NIWH endeavors to provide programs originating from its 35 year history of research and development in the field of patient health education and health advocacy which approaches patient health education training from a unique perspective that blends and integrates health research and evidence-based information with natural health and holistic concepts of healing.
Programs are designed for appropriately credentialed individuals who wish to infuse their service to others with greater purpose and integrity and to be part of the solution for reforming our current healthcare system. NIWH Whole Health trainings are unlike either traditional or alternative health schools or training, as they are designed to provide those credentialed and working in the mainstream health and education professions, a holistic and whole person understanding of the cause and effect of health and disease.
as submitted to the Norman Cousins Award Committee of the Fetzer Institute
In 1976, I moved to Boston to complete post-graduate studies in clinical nutrition and begin a private practice in whole health care. I also accepted an invitation to teach a course on “Principles of a Whole Health Practice.” When a student asked, “What does an ideal whole health practice look like? “being with the patient, rather than practicing on him; on educating the patient, rather than merely treating the symptoms. It was a “relationship-centered patient education model”!
I spent considerable time reflecting on that question. As this ideal practice began to emerge in my mind, it was a total surprise. It was not a “practice” model at all, but a how-to-be-in-relationship model.
The Whole Health Education ® program is the product of a 38-year process that has redefined holistic education. Maslow’s five-stage hierarchy, Sir Isaac Newton’s Third law, Mother Theresa’s example of love-centered service, Buddha’s wisdom that everything is everything, and the Golden Rule meld into a perspective that encourages an appreciation for patients as whole and unique human beings.
This Whole Health Education program combines one-to-one peer counseling with respectful listening, unconditional Pure Presence, the big picture of health and current evidence-based medical and alternative health information. Our objective in creating this model was to invite people into the process of their own self-healing and self-care.
It provided the basis for a new health care modality that expands on traditional holistic education. By 1980, this model of patient interaction was being utilized at a Boston-area state hospital, where an additional nine years of clinical formation helped craft Whole Health Education into its present form.
The philosophy and application of Whole Health Education illustrate that, be it the practice of medicine or business, the micro-relationship of practitioner to patient or the macro-relationship of business to community, there is a rightness of relationship which serves the common good:
are fully present,
act justly and compassionately,
understand that we do not heal others,
invite rather than direct, and
recognize that each person possesses innate wisdom
we create healing and transformational relationships
A successful patient education model, Whole Health Education is also a way of being in relationship with others. It demonstrates a transformational power in clinical trials and healing environments when patients, physicians and caregivers experience being known in a profoundly respectful way.
It honors their emotional, social and spiritual selves, affirming that they are unique and irreplaceable parts of the human family. Whole Health Education represents a renaissance of relationship-centered care and has been called “a touchstone for the future of health care.”
It is an extraordinary privilege to steward this humble and simple vision which springs forth from the collective consciousness of the human soul. It has evolved in its own time to befriend us, to remind us of how we can be with one another. It is a response to the heart’s longing for the rapture which comes from embracing our authentic self, for in each of us lies the seed of potential for that wondrous possibility!