Certified Community Health Worker Ma’Sheka Thomas became interested in health due to experiencing personal healthcare events in 2018. Suffering from extreme hives and breakouts caused by stress she was prescribed medicine for stress management but Ma’Sheka was inspired to take an alternative holistic approach to treat her condition. After beginning yoga, she quickly fell in love with the practice, wanted to share it with others, and felt she had found her true purpose as a licensed yoga instructor teaching in Prince George’s County, MD. She sees yoga as a way of life as it has helped her with anxiety and managing stress.
Speaking with Ma'Sheka we covered her thoughts on whole health as well as what she hopes her inaugural event, Ultimate Self Care Sunday will provide to adults who want to learn more about whole health.
What do you feel will the impact of adults focusing on whole health will be?
It’s proven that a holistic, or whole, health approach improves and sustains positive quality of life. A recent study conducted by the National Institute shared that nearly 95 percent of adults that adopted a holistic health approach reported positive changes to their health, quality of life, and/or social connections.
In providing attention to your full self, internally and externally, your health and well-being will receive a tremendous positive impact.
How can whole health help with parenting and workplace advancement?
I’m not a parent, but I would encourage parents to prioritize their child’s whole health and teach them about the importance of maintaining more than just physical health.
For African-Americans specifically, we can neglect mental health, and suffer disparities in managing conditions because of this. Black parents can sometimes even be hesitant to take physical health conditions seriously, encouraging kids to go to school and “shake it off”. This is because of the deeply-rooted trauma in our history.
However, if parents can stress the importance of all aspects of health early on, it can alleviate future generations from repeating our mistakes. Do things like encourage your child to choose healthier snacks, fully participate in P.E. and extracurricular activities, and spend at least 30 minutes per day doing something they truly enjoy.
In the workplace, I encourage everyone to say no to burnout! If something happens to you today, your job will start recruiting for someone to fill your position tomorrow. So many people tell me they’re scared to use their vacation days because of workplace politics. Don’t let that fear, or everyday workplace stress, interfere with your mental health. Do things like taking regular lunch breaks to decompress, or practice working only within your obliged working hours, to practice mindfulness at your job.
What do you want the legacy of this organization to look like?
When people think of A Healthier You, I want them to think there is a space where I can go to get the resources, tools, and support that I need to help me with my health journey. Not just physical health, but the whole holistic approach: mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and financial health.
How has launching this organization changed the way you look at the healthcare industry?
Since starting my health journey, which led to me establishing my nonprofit organization, I’ve become so educated and passionate about holistic health alternatives and natural remedies within health and wellness. In many instances, we can heal ourselves. Like myself, you might have a physical health condition that’s actually the result of you neglecting or not properly caring for your mental health and stress factors in life.
I want people to understand that health truly is wealth.
On Sunday, November 6 she will host the inaugural Ultimate Self Care Sunday a full-day event that provides adults with tools and resources to help individuals address, improve and prioritize their whole health and wellness journey. Founder of A Healthier You, Inc., Ma’Sheka Thomas, believes that an individual’s whole health is composed of both their physical health, as well as their mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Learn more about her organization and this event by visiting www.ahyinc.org/ultimate-selfcare-sunday