Bringing Health and Wellness into the Community
Beginning in April 2018, Central Library will be offering an Integrative Health and Wellness Series presented by Dr. Desmonette Hazly. We wanted to learn more about what integrative health is and how Dr. Hazly uses this concentration of well-being to help the community. We invited Dr. Hazly to participate in a brief Q & A to introduce the series and herself.
What is your definition of integrative health?
Integrative health and wellness incorporates traditional health practices with other modalities of treatments from all over the world to care for your mind, body, and spirit. It focuses on the whole person and takes into consideration that all aspects of a person’s life contribute to overall health and wellness.
How long have you been involved with integrative health education?
I have been involved with various aspects of integrative health for over 15 years. When I was working on my graduate degree in social work, I developed an interest in social medicine and became a medical social worker. In the final year of my social work degree, I interned at the VA hospital in Westwood, and developed an integrative health program for veterans who frequented the emergency room due to social and emotional issues rather than actual physical conditions.
My career in social medicine and social work took me abroad and I was able to see how other countries utilize integrative health modalities to help and heal individuals and communities. My work on special programs with the United Nations, UNICEF and the International Services of the Red Cross gave me an opportunity to see how people all over the world use integrative health to address wellness from the cumulative perspective of body, mind and spirit. I incorporate what I have learned from other cultures into the workshops that I teach to give people a more comprehensive view of integrative health.
How has integrative health and wellness impacted your life?
I have always understood the significance of integrative health and wellness but my relationship to integrative health became deeply personal when I became the primary caregiver to multiple people in my family. I was caring for family members who were diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease and illnesses associated with stress and life choices connected to nutrition and exercise.
I went back to school and learned everything I could about integrative health and wellness and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) so I could assist my family. I extensively studied various modalities of integrative health including aromatherapy, art and music therapies, nutrition, kinesiology and movement, yoga, and meditation and mindfulness. I received my state certification in massage therapy and became a medical massage therapist and joined the Greet the Day/Institute of Integrative Oncology team and provided oncology massage therapy to cancer patients in various hospitals throughout Southern California.
I not only became a knowledgeable integrative health educator, I became a committed and dedicated advocate for integrative health and wellness and CAM. I am now working with various agencies locally, nationally and internationally and became the Chair of Integrative Health Education for Greet the Day/Institute of Integrative Oncology.
Join Dr. Desmonette Hazly at the Integrative Health and Wellness Series at the Los Angeles downtown Central Library, the second largest public library in the nation.
Dr. Desmonette Hazly, Greet The Day Integrative Wellness Committee Chair