What Are the Petals of Health?

The Petals of Health were created as a visual representation of what we believe to be the 6 cornerstones of effective lifestyle medicine.


Eating a well-balanced plant-based whole foods including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will help you obtain complete nutrition. Also, make sure that you have reliable source of vitamin B12 and drink plenty of water to keep your body healthy. Here are several accountable websites for great recipes.

– Mei Liu, Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) Facilitator


Social connections is your support network. Your connections share your joys and listen to you when you need them.  It plays an essential role in reducing your stress and improving your mental wellness.  It is simple to connect in this digital society. Text your friend or family a note. Call to have a video chat.  It’s easier than ever to keep in touch.  However, the physical contact is particularly important in human relationship. With the scare of the new coronavirus, even though hugging and handshaking are not recommended, you can still get out of your chair and give your family and friends an elbow bump or foot tap.  If you feel good, let’s say hi and smile to the strangers walking by. You will feel even better!

– Jeng Lai, DPM


Make a list of activities that frequently result in you losing track of time while you are doing them (excluding screen time).  Pull out your calendar, find a short block of time, and commit to incorporating one of these activities into your week.  

– Malia Ray, MD


Simple Ways to Add Gentle Constant Movement into your day.  Moving around for 2 minutes every 20 minutes.

At work:

  • go for a walk on your breaks

  • do some squats and marching

  • stretch your arms high above your head

  • walk up a couple flights of stairs if they are nearby

  • jump rope or jumping jacks at your desk

  • chair or desk push-ups

  • desk cycle

At home:

  • walk around during commercials

  • do light housework while watching TV (ironing, folding laundry, dusting and vacuuming)

– Lori Banks, PTA


Keeping stress at bay in just minutes a day. Therapeutic grade essential oils can help release tension in the body, uplift the mood, increase focus, and support mental and emotional wellness. Feel free to place a drop of Lavender, Stress away, Lemon or Frankincense in the palm of your hand and cup over your nose and mouth and breathe deeply. Aromatherapy can be used to enhance any of the stress relieving techniques below:

  • Take a deep breath in for five counts expanding your lower abdomen, hold for 2 counts, exhale slowly for 8 counts completely releasing the air. Repeat 3-5 times.

  • Speak life over yourself. Pick an affirmation that you can repeat in stressful times. “I choose joy” “I choose happy” “I enjoy life” I am blessed.” When a stressful moment hits, choose to think positively. 

  • Practice neck and shoulder rolls with deep breathing.

  • Take a walk for five minutes. Take in your surroundings using your five senses.  

– Letticia Callies, MA, CCA


  • Enjoy morning sunlight for 20-30 minutes preferably within the first 2-3 hours after dawn, if possible, outdoors, walking or other physical activity.  This optimizes your melatonin production and sets an optimal sleep schedule.  Full spectrum light boxes can be used if outdoors is not an option.

  • Avoid caffeine after 2 PM.  Alcohol after 6 PM can cause sleep arousal in the hours after midnight when the blood level is returning to zero.

  • Avoid vigorous physical activity and screen time at least 2 hours before bed

  • If problems getting to sleep, try a warm bath or shower before bed

  • Try to keep the bedroom for sleeping or relationship with your loved one.  Love making benefits sleep onset.  Yellow spectrum lighting does relax us, lowers stresses and inhibitions.

  • The most restorative sleep tends to happen between 10 PM to 2 AM, but any sleep is beneficial.

  • Sleep cycles average 90 minutes, finishing with dreaming (REM sleep).  Four cycles are usually enough to allow an alert/normal day.  If you awaken after REM sleep and do not have time for another whole cycle, you will have a better day if you start your day then.

– Thomas Harman, MD