Title

Poster Session - The Purna Health Management System: Prioritizing meaningful occupations for life balance

Presenter Information

Emily Schulz, Still University

Location

New River Rooms A & B

Start Time

2-10-2015 8:00 PM

End Time

2-10-2015 9:00 PM

Abstract

Purpose of This Research Paper and its Connection to the Conference Theme:

The purpose of this research paper is to present some of the findings of a research study conducted to examine the effectiveness of the Purna Health Management System (PHMS) Teachings, which are based on ancient Vedic Philosophy and were developed by the Himalayan Master and Teacher Sri Sri Sri Svami Purna Maharaj (Svamiji). This paper focuses on one aspect of the PHMS: Life Balance (Stress Management) as it pertains to the importance of prioritizing and balancing personal and professional activities and goals and focusing energy on positive pursuits and hobbies. This research paper therefore targets the “translation of occupational science” conference theme in that it bridges the gap between Vedic Philosophy and Occupational Science.

Background:

Recent occupational science literature suggests that having a fulfilling occupational repertoire is important in life balance (Håkansson, Dahlin‐Ivanoff, & Sonn, 2006) and that engagement in meaningful occupations enhances well-being (Matuska, & Christiansen, 2008). Stress management is facilitated when people’s perceptions of what they want to do are in alignment with what they can do across various life domains (Matuska, & Christiansen, 2008). Similar to occupational therapy philosophy (Meyers, 1922) which underlies the importance of having a balance of work, rest, play, and sleep; and occupational science which supports occupational balance across life domains (Matuska, & Christiansen, 2008), the PHMS Teachings state that in order to live a wholesome fulfilling life, one must learn to prioritize one’s personal and professional activities (Spedding, 2012). The PHMS Teachings also state that along with that balance of work and leisure activity, however, the quality of the activity chosen is very important. According to the PHMS Teachings, wholesomeness, positivity, and activities which bring harmony to the self and others are central to balancing one’s life and decreasing stress (Spedding, 2012). This aspect of the PHMS Teachings is brought to light in the study findings.

Study Methods and Findings:

Adult participants who were students of Svamiji were recruited via a sign-up sheet at three events held by Svamiji in April of 2014. A SurveyMonkey® link to an online anonymous survey with both quantitative and open-ended questions was emailed to 100 interested parties and 41 surveys were completed. In order to gauge life balance through engagement in meaningful occupations, participants were provided with a list of hobbies and interests and asked to check which activities on that list they were involved with during a 1-week period. The responses were analyzed for the total number of hobbies per week they engaged in and also for each specific hobby relative to: 1) demographic variables 2) engagement in the PHMS Teachings, and 3) self-reported: physical health, mental/emotional health, overall stress, stress management ability and well-being; using Spearman’s Rho Correlations. Findings suggest that household income, educational level and employment status may influence some of the types of occupations chosen by the participants, and further suggest that the implementation of the PHMS Teachings encourage engagement in volunteerism. Finally, certain occupations seem to be associated with the experience of increased stress and others with decreased stress.

Implications for Occupational Science:

This study suggests that choice of personally relevant occupations is influenced by socio-economic status as well as spiritual philosophy and can be a factor in the stress level experienced by humans. As suggested by Wagman, Håkansson, and Jonsson(2014), further study of why and how people choose to engage in health-supporting occupations that facilitate life balance, support health and well-being, and decrease stress is recommended.

Key Words: Life Balance, Stress Management, Occupational Balance

References

Håkansson, C., Dahlin‐Ivanoff, S., & Sonn, U. (2006). Achieving balance in everyday life. Journal of Occupational Science, 13(1), 74-82.

Matuska, K. M., & Christiansen, C. H. (2008). A proposed model of lifestyle balance. Journal of Occupational Science, 15(1), 9-19.

Meyer, A. (1922). The philosophy of occupation therapy. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 1(1), 1-10.

Spedding, L. (2012). Purna Health Management System: Overview. Hawley, PA: Adhyatmik Foundation.

Wagman, P., Håkansson, C., & Jonsson, H. (2014). Occupational Balance: A Scoping Review of Current Research and Identified Knowledge Gaps. Journal of Occupational Science, 21(1),1-10.

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Oct 2nd, 8:00 PM Oct 2nd, 9:00 PM

Poster Session - The Purna Health Management System: Prioritizing meaningful occupations for life balance

New River Rooms A & B

Purpose of This Research Paper and its Connection to the Conference Theme:

The purpose of this research paper is to present some of the findings of a research study conducted to examine the effectiveness of the Purna Health Management System (PHMS) Teachings, which are based on ancient Vedic Philosophy and were developed by the Himalayan Master and Teacher Sri Sri Sri Svami Purna Maharaj (Svamiji). This paper focuses on one aspect of the PHMS: Life Balance (Stress Management) as it pertains to the importance of prioritizing and balancing personal and professional activities and goals and focusing energy on positive pursuits and hobbies. This research paper therefore targets the “translation of occupational science” conference theme in that it bridges the gap between Vedic Philosophy and Occupational Science.

Background:

Recent occupational science literature suggests that having a fulfilling occupational repertoire is important in life balance (Håkansson, Dahlin‐Ivanoff, & Sonn, 2006) and that engagement in meaningful occupations enhances well-being (Matuska, & Christiansen, 2008). Stress management is facilitated when people’s perceptions of what they want to do are in alignment with what they can do across various life domains (Matuska, & Christiansen, 2008). Similar to occupational therapy philosophy (Meyers, 1922) which underlies the importance of having a balance of work, rest, play, and sleep; and occupational science which supports occupational balance across life domains (Matuska, & Christiansen, 2008), the PHMS Teachings state that in order to live a wholesome fulfilling life, one must learn to prioritize one’s personal and professional activities (Spedding, 2012). The PHMS Teachings also state that along with that balance of work and leisure activity, however, the quality of the activity chosen is very important. According to the PHMS Teachings, wholesomeness, positivity, and activities which bring harmony to the self and others are central to balancing one’s life and decreasing stress (Spedding, 2012). This aspect of the PHMS Teachings is brought to light in the study findings.

Study Methods and Findings:

Adult participants who were students of Svamiji were recruited via a sign-up sheet at three events held by Svamiji in April of 2014. A SurveyMonkey® link to an online anonymous survey with both quantitative and open-ended questions was emailed to 100 interested parties and 41 surveys were completed. In order to gauge life balance through engagement in meaningful occupations, participants were provided with a list of hobbies and interests and asked to check which activities on that list they were involved with during a 1-week period. The responses were analyzed for the total number of hobbies per week they engaged in and also for each specific hobby relative to: 1) demographic variables 2) engagement in the PHMS Teachings, and 3) self-reported: physical health, mental/emotional health, overall stress, stress management ability and well-being; using Spearman’s Rho Correlations. Findings suggest that household income, educational level and employment status may influence some of the types of occupations chosen by the participants, and further suggest that the implementation of the PHMS Teachings encourage engagement in volunteerism. Finally, certain occupations seem to be associated with the experience of increased stress and others with decreased stress.

Implications for Occupational Science:

This study suggests that choice of personally relevant occupations is influenced by socio-economic status as well as spiritual philosophy and can be a factor in the stress level experienced by humans. As suggested by Wagman, Håkansson, and Jonsson(2014), further study of why and how people choose to engage in health-supporting occupations that facilitate life balance, support health and well-being, and decrease stress is recommended.

Key Words: Life Balance, Stress Management, Occupational Balance