A Universal Approach to Care and Survival
by Daisy Magalit Rodriguez
This book explicitly discusses a deeper understanding of the balance concept beyond its common meaning in everyday life. Balance is so widely used in many areas that it has become so much a ubiquitous part of our language. Balance is a concept long recognized and used in many fields of endeavor – health, wellness, nutrition, chemistry, physics, mathematics, economics, accounting, sociology, psychology, geometry, architecture, engineering, religion, visual arts and so on. Manifestations of balance are in human behavior whether they are observable, describable or measurable. Balance is also observed in nature and in the world around us. Balance is universal in nature because it is omnipresent everywhere. Numerous researches in the existing literature on these fields have documented the effects of balance. It is a concept already proven to exist.
But do people really understand the nature of balance and how without balance, we cannot survive as human beings, or the world will not exist without the balancing forces in nature? Perhaps balance is more appreciated by people who directly experience it in their personal lives or in their line of work. But a deeper understanding of the universal, pervasive, and life-sustaining nature of balance is not understood by many people. Balance has been defined in many ways but I define balance in my book as “ the dynamic interplay of opposing forces that equalize each other within the internal and external environments of a person. A state of stability achieved when the elements of balance are present as defined by each individual and behaviorally demonstrated”. In this book, I sought to explain in more simple terms the complex aspects of balance based on my research and background as a professional nurse and educator.
There are five core elements of balance: adaptation, equilibrium, homeostasis, needs, and health. These are elements all necessary for the survival of every human being on this planet. These concepts are explained in my book and how these elements are interrelated in order to support survival. The flip side of the balance is an imbalance. When one of these five elements are absent or lacking, a state of imbalance results. Like the two sides of a weighing scale, too much or lacking on one side will tip the balance to the other side. The ancients understood the concept of balance through their use of the weighing scale. This understanding has evolved through the ages and became part of what modern-day humans understand about balance.
There are several other related general concepts I introduced in the book: Man as an open system, the Behavior Pyramid, balance-seeking behaviors and manifestations, internal and external environments, the role of culture in human behavior, Health-Illness Balance Continuum, and Zone of Equilibrium with relevant theories of behavior as a theoretical framework.
Briefly, these concepts are all interrelated in the balance theory. I am calling it now a theory because, at this time, the Balance Theory is a new way of understanding balance from solid evidence in published literature and researches in different fields. The underlying concepts are not new but presented in a different light. One definition of theory by Webster is a theory “ is a formulation of underlying principles of certain observed phenomena that have been verified to a certain degree”. The Balance Theory is an observation of phenomena in everyday life and existence that cannot be totally explained individually except with its underlying universal process that affects survival. Related concepts to balance are harmony, symmetry, stability, equality, and well-being.
The Balance Theory is derived from many different related theories. For instance, the concept of Man as an Open System is derived from the System theory first proposed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the 1940s which found application in many fields such as technology, engineering, economics, politics, etc. An open system is one that interfaces and interacts with its environment by receiving inputs from and delivering outputs to the outside. Man is a unit that receives input and delivers output in terms of behavior. This brings the environment and culture as the influences that affect human behavior.
Psychology explains human behavior, which brings psychological theories as part of the equation. Behavior is the key that unlocks the elements of balance. The effects of the environment, and recently climate change, are well documented by science. Environmental changes have driven movements of people across continents. Key to man’s continued survival and development as a species is the process of adaptation, one of the critical elements of balance. Not only was adaptation a factor in survival but also other critical elements that involve human behavior both observable and measurable. Meeting human needs enable human beings to first survive as a biological being, and then as a social being. Man is a social animal that finds fulfillment among its fellow human beings in their family and society. Within that society is a culture that man established for themselves and passed on from generation to generation.
Social needs emerge after basic biological needs are fulfilled and that constitutes what I conceived as the Behavior Pyramid based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Developmental stages determine how one ascends the Behavior Pyramid but ultimately, a self-fulfillment level can be reached – the pinnacle of balance in human social existence. Reaching this stage is similar to the concept of the Zone of Equilibrium within the Health-Illness Continuum where optimal physical, mental, psychosocial health, balance, and equilibrium are achieved.
Internal balance is achieved through the mechanism of homeostasis, the tendency of an organism or cell to regulate its internal conditions to maintain health and functioning by an automatic monitoring system governed by the a highly complicated and evolved brain through chemicals present in the body with specific functions. This is the internal behavior of human beings that cannot be directly observed but can be measured by instruments. External behavior is observable and a manifestation of reaction to both internal and external stimuli. The Systems theory is fundamental to this input-output processing in human beings.
Finally, in the book, an application of the balance concept in health and nursing practice is advanced with the author’s novel Balance Health Nursing Model (BHNM) that rests on theoretical foundations of nursing theories, health-illness theories, and nursing process. This offers a different way of assessing clients using a balance/imbalance approach. Nursing practitioners might find the Health Assessment Tool based on BHNM useful in their practice.
A novel approach to understanding balance is presented in the book although the underlying theories and concepts are not new. But how these concepts are interwoven into the theory is something different than the common view of balance. It presents a deeper meaning to the word balance and spotlights concepts that people generally take for granted. It presents a multidisciplinary holistic approach to understanding balance because balance basically crosses all disciplines. By wrapping these concepts around balance, it places Balance Theory within the realm of a universal theory that transcends all areas of human life.
If there is a similar theory advanced in the literature, I have not come across it. What it feels like is that this theory is ground-breaking, that although the fundamentals are well-established theories and concepts, the Balance Theory in my mind is an all-encompassing novel view that readers might find thought-provoking. It is a book not just for nurses but everyone in the healthcare field and the general public as well. A theory that explains survival should be interesting to everyone who cares about living on this planet.
Book Title: The Balance Concept in Health and Nursing: A Universal Approach to Care and Survival
Author: Daisy Magalit Rodriguez
Genre: Medicine & Health Science
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1491722220Buy Now
What gave me the impetus to write this book on balance was a product of my background as a nurse and an educator. Earlier in my student days, I studied chemistry, physics, advanced math, biological science, sociology, and psychology. My broad background in the sciences, nursing and health care proved to be useful in writing this book. After years of mulling over what I should write about, my retirement gave me the time and the opportunity to finally put together the ideas that had been brewing in my head. Writing about balance provided me with an answer.
I completed my nursing degrees from the University of the Philippines (U.P.) – first a three-year diploma in nursing from the U.P.-Philippine General Hospital School of Nursing, then a post-basic Bachelor in Nursing from the U.P. College of Nursing, then afterward, a master of nursing with a major in nursing administration. After finishing my schooling, I went back to the United States in 1971 to immigrate permanently and raise a family with my husband whom I met prior to going back to the United States. While I was studying for my graduate degree, I was also working as a college instructor in two nursing programs to support myself financially.
After working as a bedside nurse in the United States for ten years, I decided to take a second masters degree in public administration/health services at the University of San Francisco, finishing in 1985. It was during this time that I decided to go into nursing management where I felt I had the background to apply both my clinical and management skills.
During the ensuing years. I got involved in leadership positions in professional nursing organizations where I became president of a chapter in Northern California of the national organization of Philippine nurses, became president of two alumni UP organizations, and was actively involved in the community as a healthcare advocate. I designed and participated in programs to provide service to underserved members of the Filipino community such as the World Ward II veterans and the elderly. It was during this time that I became more engaged in writing and research, having participated in two published research projects, two book co-authorship was the editor of chapter newsletters and contributed to various reports in the national nursing newsletter of PNAA. My article was featured in Nurseweek Magazine. I spent the last five years of my nursing career as an educator, teaching in an LVN and LVN to RN Program.
I am not a writer by profession but I find writing to be a creative mental exercise. It has always been my dream to write a book and this became a reality when I finally found the time when I retired in 2012. Two years later, I self-published my first book “The Balance Concept in Health and Nursing: A Universal Approach to Care and Survival” available on Amazon. A revised version of my book, “The Balance Concept in Nursing: New Perspectives in Survival and Health” was published in 2016 by the University of the Philippines Press (Diliman, Q.C., Philippines) focusing on nursing and incorporating cross-cultural concepts on caring for Filipinos. It was recognized as one of the Books of the Year in the Books on Professions category by the National Book Development Board of the Philippines and the Manila Critics Circle. Copies of this book are available through the National Book Stores in the Philippines and the UP Press.
I have two grown-up children and five grandchildren. My daughter is a tenured professor at the University of California Davis and my son is an IT director at a telehealth company. I live in Elk Grove, California and presently enrolled in a Ph.D. program majoring in organizational leadership. In my spare time, I wrote poetry, one of which was included in the “International Who’s Who in Poetry in 2012. I intend to write another book based on the Balance Theory.
Contact information: Email: [email protected]