The Body Under Stress: Developing Skills For Keeping Healthy

1st Edition

Conduit, Ed

Psychology Press
Published May 25, 1995
ISBN 9780863773617 - CAT# RU36484

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This textbook presents a model of positive health in terms of health behaviours and should be of interest to health professionals who aim to develop positive health in their patients. A coherent framework for positive health, and access to a large body of research on methods for achieving health behaviours, are offered. The author proposes a model in which careful selection and development of the relevant health care behaviours can prevent relapses of the circulation, digestion, breathing and movement systems.; The first half of the book concentrates on lifestyle behaviours which the individual can modify to achieve better control of health. The ability to manage time and plan ahead can prevent later agitation, and good eating habits can prevent later problems of excess. Just over two dozen such skills are postulated as "skills of a fit person".; Environmental demands can be altered by behaviours such as assertion and time management. Constructive withdrawal and seeking comfort can support can help when coping with life events. These two approaches subsume much of what has been known historically as psychosomatic illness.; Food has been implicated as a contributor to many physical illnesses, and the possibilities for improving health through better control of food and self-administered drugs are prescribed. Other aspects of lifestyle which maintain health are reviewed, including exercise, sex and some aspects of work behaviour. Being able to use medical services for health advice and prescriptions is also a skilled behaviour which is described.; The second part of the book concentrates on maintaining organ systems. The circulatory system is particularly prone to psychological influences, operating through the autonomic nervous system and stress hormones. Stress coping skills and other lifestyle issues in the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease are discussed in depth. Breathing and digestion have attracted less research and preventive health attention, but fit behaviours can substantially reduce illness of the lungs and digestive tract. There is a section on back care and the suppleness of the body, and the related issues of activities alternative to pain.


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