Vibrant Health As Resistance

My Health


Health is a Social Justice Issue

There are inequities in health that are unnecessary, unjust and avoidable. These health disparities are the result of policies and practices that create an unequal distribution of power, money, and other resources among communities based on race, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, class and other factors. I believe that vibrant health is a right. I also know that achieving vibrant health is not solely an individual matter. Marginalized folx experience daily discrimination and institutional oppression that impacts physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being. Communities of color and LGBTQ folx have higher prevalence rates of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other health conditions. 

For example, Black folx in particular have disproportionate rates of cardiovascular and hypertensive struggles. 

Hypertension in Black folx leads to an 80 percent higher stroke mortality rate and a 50 percent higher heart disease mortality rate than the general population. Historically,  access to care was suspected as the primary cause. Current theories on these health disparities point to a myriad of factors, including racial discrimination in treatment, stress related to institutional oppression, epigenetics, and the environment. 

The theory of Epigenetics states that changes to DNA can be caused by environmental influences such as stress and diet and can be passed on from one generation to the next. Epigenetics highlights the cumulative effects of poverty, discrimination, and inequality in education and other opportunities on health outcomes for marginalized people. The theory of Allostatic Load states that the body experiences biological changes in response to stress. This means that cortical releasing hormones are higher in folx that have experienced prolonged environmental stress. This underscores how years (and generations) of institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and the resultant feelings of discrimination can worsen cardiovascular health. 

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How Liberation Centered Health Coaching Can Help.

As a Liberation Centered Vegan Health Coach,  I take into consideration the environmental, systemic, and institutional impacts on ​health that may be impacting one's ability to access the vibrant health they desire. This style of health coaching is inherently political as we work together to resist institutionalized health disparities. As a Vegan health coach, I also take into consideration how the systems of oppression that impact human animals are the very same systems that perpetuate the oppression of non-human animals. 

While recognizing the systemic impact on health outcomes, as a Liberation Centered health coach I am also interested in empowering folx to reclaim their health and look at what IS in their control. Through information, motivation, and empathic support we will work together to help you move closer to the vibrant health that is your birthright!

© 2020 by On̄i Saniyah, Ph.D

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