Oases on Web serve as personal guides to more health and more hope

Rochester, San Diego 16 March 1999 Telemedicine can mean a lot more than technology alone. While software programmers all over the world are trying hard to solve the Y2K computer problem, Mayo Clinic Health Oasis assists both healthy and sick people, in order to work on their own personal programming for mind and body. In turn, Rest Ministries Inc., a non-profit Christian organization, offers hope and support to patients living with chronic illness or pain. The Web, in both cases, serves as a medium for mental as well as physical healing.

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Telemedicine can mean a lot more than technology alone. While software programmers all over the world are trying hard to solve the Y2K computer problem, Mayo Clinic Health Oasis assists both healthy and sick people, in order to work on their own personal programming for mind and body. In turn, Rest Ministries Inc., a non-profit Christian organization, offers hope and support to patients living with chronic illness or pain. The Web, in both cases, serves as a medium for mental as well as physical healing.

Instead of worrying about how their computer will perform on the 1st of January 2000, Mayo Clinic Health Oasis challenges people to focus on personal change for the new millennium. Nobody should be too immersed in other aspects of life in such a way that it leads to ignoring personal health or psychical comfort, according to the philosophy of Dr. Brook S. Edwards who is medical editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Oasis.

Mayo Clinic Health Oasis is publishing a special series on the Web, providing information with regard to the changes people need to make in their life. The monthly topics range from stress management to physical fitness. Each part of the series is set up to help people evaluate their health in a number of key areas. The different issues remain posted on the Web site throughout 1999 and 2000.

Mayo Clinic Health Oasis is a free health information site designed to provide people with reliable answers and advice. The site includes over 6.000 pages of content and receives more than one million visits each month. The articles which already appeared relate to alcohol, sexual health, weight management, physical fitness, and safety devices. This month's issue deals with the topic of health screenings. Future items will involve tobacco, healthy ageing, sleep, chronic diseases, healthy relationships, and stress.

According to a study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 176 (1), 166-172, June 11, 1997, under the title of "Factors Influencing Views of Patients with Gynaecological Cancer about End-of-Life Decisions" by J.A. Roberts, D. Brown, T. Elkins, and D.B. Larson, over 49% of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer reacted by becoming "more religious...". Where did these patients find comfort and hope that realistically addressed their pain?

A more spiritual approach to chronic illness and pain is offered on a Web site launched by Rest Ministries. Through various resources and programmes, like an e-mail support list, a monthly newsletter, and the HopeKeeper small groups, patients are able to find other people with similar experiences, who equally have encountered a detour in life's plans. In addition, this Christian organization assists churches in ministering to and with the 1 in 3 people in the United States who live with a chronic condition.

Many organizations have confirmed that more than 100 million people in the United States have such a chronic condition. It are those kind of people that Rest Ministries is trying to help. For more information, you can turn to the Chronic Illness and Pain Organization. If you want to have a look at Mayo's personal guide to a healthy Y2K, please visit the home page of Mayo Clinic Health Oasis.


Leslie Versweyveld

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