wellness

The Poor and Wellness

For this discussion, I decided to use Sociology for my subject of wellness in the social sciences. The idea that social status affects wellness is an important thing to take into account. Many who live in poverty or are struggling for money cannot access good healthcare or food. Because of the serious struggle with money, so many people have poor mental health which causes them to neglect or abuse others such as spouses or their children. Abuse could be looked over if it is emotional or mental abuse because many do not realize it is even a way of abuse. I know for a fact that even though Medicaid covers a lot of regular health issues, it barely covers dental or vision.

There were not many articles that I could find that showed the idea of “Wellness,” but I found one article about how poverty affects people’s health. There has been a lot of issues with access to good health because either the doctors in those areas are ill-equipped to help, make “too much money” for Medicaid, or have no time between jobs to take their children or themselves to the doctor. After all, in most places all across the country, people are only able to make minimum wage and many retail chains only offer part-time jobs. According to an article by the Center for Poverty Research of the University of California, suggests that a single parent of one child has to make about 12,486 a year to be above the poverty line. However, with the current federal wage as only $7.25, they would have to work an average of about 43.8 hours a week instead of 40. (What are the annual, 2018, January 12, para. 8)

Since many single parents try to work two jobs to make ends meet, either two part-time or a part-time and full, many families cannot obtain medical insurance because the insurance rates are too high. These families are above the poverty threshold as well so, unless they have a special situation such as disabilities, they cannot obtain many governments funded programs such as Medicaid and SNAP. Yet, many families still cannot afford proper healthcare and only obtain insurance that is cheap and for emergencies only. Though, many single parents cannot make the hours they need to get over the poverty line and many choose to use many benefits from the government to survive. The problem here is that there is only so much they are given for food and living expenses.

Children living in poverty, in particular, suffer the most. Even before they are born, their homes are filled with stress, unsteady nutrition, and toxic environments. Kids with low-income families cannot catch up with health because of the various healthcare gaps. Medicaid only allows people to go to only certain doctors, and in the case of those in poverty, that may mean they can only afford to go to physicians and specialists and depending on how good or poorly they are looked at they could easily miss important diseases. (Esposito, 2016, paras. 1-2)

More factors of negative effects of Poverty include the fact that children increasingly get into accidents and deaths because of the poor environments they live in. There has also been an increase in obesity because the lack of money only allows families to buy the cheaper, non-fresh, foods and fast food. (Espisito, 2016, paras. 6-10). The cities the poor children live in also have a tendency to have tap water that is contaminated with lead. A big example of this would be Flint, Michigan that has gotten Nationwide attention, (Espisito, 2016, paras. 18-19).

Living in poverty has a very high challenge when it comes to wellness. Those living in these situations usually cannot really take advantage of the ideas and ways that wellness offers. The sad part about this situation is just that. There needs to be a way to help all of these people who are struggling yet many people in charge of health and wellness do not care about these people. I am lucky to be in school and have serious anxiety issues along with chronic pain simply because I have SNAP and Medicaid. I live in an area where I do not have to worry about the problems of the intercity. Though, some gaps in Medicaid still apply to me such as the fact that it is difficult to do dental work because I cannot afford certain procedures because it is not covered. Certain specialists do not take Medicaid or they are very far from where I live. I hope that one day these issues will be resolved. Until then, we have to keep fighting for the rights of the poor and less fortunate.

 

References

Espisito, L. (2016, April 20). The Countless Ways Poverty Affects People’s Health. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-04-20/the-countless-ways-poverty-affects-peoples-health

What are the annual earnings for a full-time minimum wage worker? (2018, January 12). Retrieved from https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what-are-annual-earnings-full-time-minimum-wage-worker

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Disabilities, Mental Health, wellness

The TENS Unit and Chronic Pain

As with many of these discussions, I am going to use something to talk about that I have found useful in the management of my chronic pain. The TENS unit can be bought in any major drug store or can be from a prescription. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator. Using the pads given with the unit, the aim is to place them on the parts of the body that are sore and using different currents, it will give a message to the muscle and stimulate the nerve enough to ease the pain.

The source I am using is from a website for Santa Cruz Core, Fitness and Rehab. In the article, Jaimi Jansen explains that using the TENS unit and devices like that can help to with physical therapy and chronic pain symptoms. They describe the reason for this being that it is a non-invasive way to help patients with chronic pain due to injuries or other reasons both unknown and known. They say that post-injury patient can use this technology in order to reduce pain and swelling in the area where they were injured. Since the swelling itself can interfere with proper function or movement of body parts it can help the process of healing greatly. (Jansen, October 18, 2017, para 2-3)

The electrical currents cause the muscles to contract at different intervals allowing the muscles to regain strength and ease tension. They also explain that with orthopedic conditions or chronic conditions, it can help to help the blood flow better allowing the blood to repair and heal the body.

Another article from Verywellhealth.com explains that the TENS unit is not usually a part for the treatment of fibromyalgia but it is something to ask about. Doctors do not usually suggest it as a way of treatment. It also suggests that buying a unit on your own can cost from $25-100, but the benefit of getting a prescription is that they will most likely be sent to a physical therapist in order to learn how to use it properly since using a unit incorrectly can aggravate the muscles.

For me, using the TENS unit on a day where my pain is very high pain day is very relaxing. I can do crafts, write, or anything else relaxing while allowing the electrodes to massage the muscles that ache so much. There are a lot of muscle spasms that can happen with Fibro, and it can really work out the muscles that are tight very well and it honestly feels just like a mini massage. Though, I do know that you have to be careful. There are certain spots such as the spine and the area where the heart is that cannot have the pads on because the electricity can interfere with the health of the heart and the nerves in the spine.

It is also very important to read the directions thoroughly before using the TENS unit in order to use it. For example. Someone who has metal in their body cannot use it because the metal can interfere with the electrodes and be harmful to health. Those with heart problems can’t use it either because it can stimulate the blood vessels and the heart too much and cause problems. My mother has a double hip replacement with metal, so despite all the pain she suffers from still she cannot use my TENS because of the metal. The TENS is an amazing little device that can help to alleviate pain. I highly suggest this, but to also do research to see if it is right for the individual. As with all alternative medicines, you need to speak to a doctor before using it.

 

References

Dellwo, Adrienne. (June 03, 2018) A TENS Unit for Fibromyalgia Pain. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/a-tens-unit-for-fibromyalgia-pain-3973054

Jansen, Jaimi. (October 18, 2017) Benefits of Tens Unit and E-Stim. Retrieved from https://santacruzcore.com/benefits-of-tens-unit-and-e-stim/

Disabilities, Mental Health, wellness

Meditation and Chakras

My final project is on Fibromyalgia. I am not officially diagnosed yet, but I know from years of suffering that I have this chronic illness. I also know a few others who have it as well which is how I am able to know what vitamins, herbs, and techniques can soothe the symptoms of Fibro. I also suffer from severe anxiety and learning disabilities along with this illness. For this discussion, I have chosen the topic of meditation because it is a very big thing in my life. While I do admit that recently I have been unable to find time or ability to concentrate I find that meditation along with incense as a focusing mechanism helps with my mental and physical issues.

I initially began meditation and unlocking the seven chakras, (root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, crown,) as a spiritual tool and a way to connect myself to the universe and the past lives that I have lived, but I also realized that when I was ill and cleared my chakras my sickness seemed to alleviate or go away completely. I remember at one time I was sick and, after clearing out my root chakra, I was healthy again. While meditation, in general, is good for the mind and spirit, delving deep and unlocking and clearing the chakras can offer even more health benefits in the ways of wellness.

Chakra-Energy-Body-Graphic

The chakras need to remain balanced in order to keep certain things in balance in your body to prevent health issues. I will now go over how each chakra’s unbalancing can affect the body and mind physically.

Root Chakra: If the root chakra is overactive, it can cause someone to be fearful, nervous, insecure, or ungrounded causing them to be materialistic, greedy, and resistant to change. IF it was underactive, there would be a lacking in the sense of feeling secure causing them to be codependent along with fears of abandonment. Physically, they are associated with as the adrenal glands, spine, blood, and reproductive organs. Symptoms of an unbalance can mean the inability to sit still, restlessness, unhealthy weight (either obesity or eating disorder), constipation, cramps, fatigue or sluggishness.

Sacral Chakra: If this chakra is overactive it can cause someone to be overemotional and very quick to attack or invest in others. They will be attracted to drama, moody, and lack personal boundaries. However, if it was underactive, they will become stiff and unemotional, closing themselves off to others with a lack of self-esteem or self-worth. They could possibly find themselves in an abusive relationship. They are also associated with the kidneys and reproductive organs. Symptoms can include lower-back pain or stiffness, urinary issues, kidney pain or infection, and infertility or impotence.

Navel (solar plexus): When overactive, this chakra causes the person to become domineering, aggressive, angry, and perfectionistic or overly critical of oneself or of others. When underactive, they can cause the person to be passive, indecisive, timid, and lack self-control. They are associated with the central nervous system, digestive system, liver, pancreas, and the metabolic system. With an unbalance, physical symptoms can result in various digestive problems, eating disorders, asthma or other respiratory ailments, nerve pain or fibromyalgia, infection in the liver or kidneys, and various other organ problems.

Heart Chakra: As with the idea of the heart, if this is overactive, someone can become extremely loving in a clingy and suffocating sort of way. They can lack the sense of self in a relationship and say yes to everything. Boundaries are lacking and they let everyone in. With it underactive, they can become cold, distant, lonely, and unable or unwilling to open up to others while often becoming grudgeful. The heart chakra is associated with the Thymus gland and immune system, lungs, breasts, arms, and hands. An unbalance can cause heart and circulatory problems such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and a heart attack. It can cause poor circulation or numbness, asthma or other respiratory ailments, breast cancer, stiff joints or joint problems in the hands.

Throat Chakra: With a throat chakra overactive, someone can become overly talkative but unable to listen while being highly critical, verbally abusive and condescending towards others. When it is underactive, a person can be introverted, shy, and have difficulty speaking the truth or express their needs. The throat chakra is associated with the thyroid, neck, throat, shoulders, ears, and mouth. An unbalance can cause stiffness or soreness in the neck or shoulders, sore throat, hoarseness or laryngitis, earaches or infection, dental issues or TMJ, and thyroid issues.

Third Eye Chakra: An overactive third eye chakra means that one is out of touch with reality causing someone to lack good judgment, have the inability to focus, and prone to hallucinations. When it is underactive, their thinking can be rigid while closing off new ideas. They can become too reliant on authority, and distrust their inner voice. They can be anxious or cling to the past while being fearful of the future. The third eye is associated with the pituitary, eyes, brow, base of the skull, and biorhythms. An unbalance can cause vision problems, headaches or migraines, insomnia or sleep disorders, seizures, and nightmares. Nightmares are not a physical symptom, but it is a common occurrence in many people.

Crown Chakra: When the crown is overactive, someone can become addicted to spirituality causing them to become heedless of bodily needs and have difficulty controlling their emotions. When it is underactive, they are not open to spirituality and are unable to maintain goals while lacking direction in their life. The crown chakra is associated with the pituitary and pineal glands, brain, hypothalamus, cerebral cortex, and central nervous system. Physical symptoms of an unbalance can cause dizziness, confusion, mental fog, neurological disorders, nerve pain, schizophrenia or other mental disorders.

All of these chakras are associated with different parts of the Endocrine glands and organs.

(Berman, December 26, 2017, paras 19-46)

Since wellness is about prevention and maintenance of good health, meditation can have a very big impact on every aspect of wellness. Spiritually it can help to unlock a higher self and an awareness of everyone and everything around you. Emotionally, keeping the chakras balanced can keep your emotions in check along with mental wellness. Physically, keeping these chakras clear and balanced can minimize issues that can stem from blockages or when the chakras are unbalanced. If everyone in society were able to meditate, I believe that various health issues could be avoided and everyone would be able to live a healthier life.

The article in the references explains all this in more detail along with giving some exercises that can help one get started. I would also like to suggest a book that helped me a lot. It’s called “The Path of Energy” by Dr. Synthia Andrews, ND. I highly, highly recommend this book. I also suggest going onto YouTube and looking up guided meditations. However, if you are like me and cannot focus with a voice guiding you, try to find some instrumental music that appeals to your focus. Binaural beats are also a good choice and can help guide your brain into the focus you need to balance your chakras. For Binaural beats, it is highly suggested to use headphones or earbuds to ensure that you have the highest frequency.

 

Some YouTube links:

Bi-neural beats for chakra balance

Guided meditation for chakra balancing and healing

 

Amazon listing for “The Path of Energy.”

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References

Berman, L., Ph. D. (2017, December 26). Balancing Your Energy Body: A Complete Guide to Chakra Healing. Retrieved from https://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/chakra-healing-energy-body-balancing/