In May of 2007, I had my whole life ahead of me: I was engaged and planning my wedding; I was a senior sales consultant with Canada’s largest automotive marketing company and was in line for an exciting promotion; I was going back to school for my master’s degree in leadership. But, life can change in the blink of an eye.
When a tornado touched down near Stratford, Ont., a strong gust of wind caused a sign at one of my customers’ auto dealerships to fall, hitting me in the head. In the span of a few minutes, my future changed. I became one of the many workers injured on the job in Ontario that year.
Diagnosed with a debilitating head and neck injury, I spent months working my way back from the chronic pain. But, I learned that pain doesn’t just affect you physically; it affects you mentally and emotionally, too. I couldn’t do the job that I loved. I had to defer my acceptance into the master’s program. I had to put off my wedding. It seemed that my life was being torn away from me one piece at a time. That was much harder to treat. My mood plummeted, my motivation dissolved, and my recovery stalled.
Eventually, after trying several medications and seeing numerous specialists, I reached a plateau. But, I didn’t give up. I wanted my life back.
Calling on my psychology background, I started looking at the links between the brain and the body, focusing on the idea that you can’t successfully treat one part of the body while ignoring the others. I realized that part of what was holding me back was that my specialists were just that – specialists. They were looking at only one part of my injury, without looking at the whole person. I knew that I could get better; I just needed to find the right tools.
For me, the right tool came from my third neurologist when he introduced me to lifestyle and behavioural medicine. With his help, I expanded my whole-body view and looked at how sleep habits, good nutrition, and physical exercise, combined with mindfulness and meditation, could work to help boost my body’s natural healing. I worked on developing one behaviour at a time, keeping it manageable, but also keeping my eye on the end goal of improving my overall health and well-being. With time, dedication, and hard work, I was able to stop almost all of the medications that I had relied on for pain management. My patient fiancée or finally became my lovely wife. My life started to return to normal.
But, I still had a passion to help others.
When I was at my lowest, the thing that kept me going was knowing that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only one frustrated by slow progress. I wasn’t the only one feeling let down by treatments that didn’t address the whole problem. My determination to help myself evolved into a determination to help others, too.
Chronic stress, poor nutrition, poor sleep, lack of physical activity and other stressors affect our health, but none of my health care practitioners knew how to successfully monitor and counteract those stressors. Using my experience and applying what I had learned, I partnered with leading experts to develop my concepts into a comprehensive well-being platform: FlourishiQ. With a medical-grade wearable device, biometric measurement devices and an integrated smartphone app, the FlourishiQ platform and its tools are used to assess well-being and helps individuals successfully engage in goal-directed approaches to improve their health and well-being.
Good health can seem like a complex set of seemly random coincidences; poor health is the same. It’s not until you look at the whole picture that you see the connections. Then, only after you see the connections, can you fix the root cause.
Nine years ago, a freak accident knocked me off my feet and off my path. But, we don’t just have one path in life, and sometimes the detours are more enriching than the expected route. That was the case for me. Finding the connections between my state of mind and my health were the first step in discovering the path that I should be on, both personally and professionally. What started as a mission to regain my own health turned into a passion to help others do the same.
Hardy Premsukh is founder and CEO of FlourishiQ, an integrated and comprehensive well-being management system that launches in the fall of 2016. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Report Typo/Error
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