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Growing Health Profession Could Unlock Key to a Healthier America
Date:9/25/2008

Whole Health Educators Form Army in the Battle Against Chronic Disease

Wellesley Hills, MA (PRWEB) September 25, 2008 -- Can overeating be a symptom of negative emotions? Could a skin problem be caused by not getting enough time outdoors, poor diet or anxiety? Yes, says an international organization whose uniquely trained Health Educators empower their patients with knowledge about how their emotions, nutrition, spiritual beliefs, environment and physical health are making them ill. Working in concert with other health practitioners, this growing profession is providing the tools and knowledge for good health and longevity with education rather than drugs, while saving health insurers, patients and employers millions of dollars annually.

Today, the National Institute of Whole Health (www.niwh.org), an organization that has trained thousands of Health Educators in a unique model of whole-person health education focused on empowering behavioral change, has announced its increased effort to push for change in how healthcare is delivered. Following the report from the Trust for America's Health that was released in July, which showed that an investment in disease prevention could save American more than $16 billion in five years, the organization is beginning a nationwide campaign. They are urging health facilities to invest in one Whole Health Educator per facility to help solve our current healthcare crisis. A massive letter-writing campaign and petition to healthcare executives and legislators is underway.

"People are getting sicker and healthcare is getting more and more expensive because people do not have the right kind of information to make changes in their lives," said Jerry Kantor, Executive Director of the National Institute of Whole Health (NIWH). "For the past 32 years, we have researched and uncovered the most effective methods for empowering individuals with health knowledge. We have worked with national billing and coding experts to identify appropriate opportunities and CPT codes for physicians to bill for patient education. This proves to be a win-win for the patients, physicians and insurers--physicians who must demonstrate their pay-for-performance initiatives and insurers who will realize significant savings from preventing disease rather than treating it."

From 1997 until 2001, Whole Health Education® was tested at a Harvard affiliate hospital with a population of cardiac rehabilitation patients. High patient compliance and improved quality of life motivated the hospital to start a department of Whole Health Education and bring the model into four other hospital departments. Since then, Healthways, the largest national network of integrative health care providers to major insurers has identified NIWH Whole Health trained graduates as preferred providers of health advocacy, health education and health coaching services.

The concept of health coaching, which has risen in popularity in recent years, is not a new one. Many health and medical experts feel that patients' having the right kind of information and awareness to take control of their behavioral choices is prohibiting disease prevention programs from being as effective as they can be. Research has proven that educational efforts to reduce or prevent disease, such as the Whole Health Education model, can save the sizable sum of $50 per patient per month for many months after an educational session, but many believe the savings could be far greater.

"Prevention is not related to information alone," said Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Love, Magic & Mudpies and 365 Prescriptions for the Soul. "Self destruction and addictions are not related to ignorance but to a lack of self-worth and a healthy emotional state. One must provide inspiration and, in a sense, re-parent patients so they develop self-esteem, worth and love. That is why we must see our national health problem as NIWH does and treat the whole person. When we do, the inspired individual will seek the available information and use it to remain healthy and prevent disease."

Since 1977, NIWH has provided evidence-based, integrative whole health education, delivered in a relationship-centered, whole person focused curriculums for health and medical professionals who desire to provide better patient care. This approach integrates the most current medical research with a natural outlook on healing and the wisdom of various spiritual teachings, all of which are grounded in integrity and compassion.

Author and researcher, Norman Shealy, M.D, Ph.D, founding president of the American Holistic Medical Association, said, "NIWH's pioneering work over the past 32 years has moved forward a transformation of health care towards a more effective and compassionate care model."

NIWH is an Accredited Provider of Continuing Professional Education through the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetics Association; an approved provider of Education and Training through the U.S. Veterans Administration, approved by the Department of Higher Education; endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association; and approved to provide Continuing Professional education by several other national credentialing associations includes, nurses, social workers, health educators, acupuncturists, yoga teachers and licensed nutrition professionals.

About the National Institute of Whole Health
Founded in 1977 and headquartered in Wellesley, MA, the National Institute of Whole Health (NIWH) offers the most respected and credentialed integrative whole health certification programs in the US. NIWH's offerings include a Norman Cousins Award nominated Best Practice model - the Whole Health Education certification program, a Whole Health Educator program for Nurses, endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association, a Nutrition Educator certification program and a Whole Health Coaching certification program which can be completed in-person or via DVD distance learning. Recognized nationally as the pioneers of Whole Health Education®, the school has instructed thousands of students from varying health occupations from all over the U.S., and now offers DVD distance learning with students located on five continents. For more information, visit www.niwh.org or call (888) 354-HEAL (4325).

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/niwh/healthyamerica/prweb1383784.htm


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