What helps people regain their health?

July 29, 2019

By: Kathleen Charters, PhD, RN*

During my 25 years as a Navy nurse, I’ve noticed some people do better than others when they face a serious health challenge. Research shows this is true as well. To understand this, imagine someone as a triangle. One side of the triangle represents your body, another side represents your mind, and the third side represents your spirit. That creates a picture of Body-Mind-Spirit that shows how the parts are all connected. So when one side of the triangle gets pushed, it affects the other two sides.

This Body-Mind-Spirit triangle represents a person. Now imagine that person sitting on a three-legged stool, and all three legs must evenly support the person sitting on it. One leg represents how much sleep you get. Another leg is your physical activity, and the third one is what you eat (nutrition).

This structure directly relates to the Army’s Performance Triad (of sleep, activity, and nutrition) and shows how each leg is critical for spiritual health and performance. If the legs aren’t strong and even, the stool can’t support the Body-Mind-Spirit triangle. The first leg of the stool is sleep, and adequate sleep is vital to recovery. The second leg is activity. Moving enough to give your body the activity it needs—such as doing exercises to strengthen your core muscles—helps you perform better than those who are less active. The third leg is nutrition, and eating moderate amounts of healthy food fuels your body, so you can heal.

If you’re sitting on a strong “stool,” you have enough sleep, physical activity, and nutrition to help your body, mind, and spirit heal. This sound structure also can help you grow stronger and recover from illness, injury, or other life challenges you might face.

----------About Author----------

Kathleen Charters, of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, is a Program Manager for the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

* The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences or the United States Department of Defense.

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