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Faculty Profile: Dr. Christina Jackson

“Have you ever palmed your eyes?” Dr. Christina Jackson sat on the edge of her desk chair with her palms over her eyes. “If you palm your eyes after every 20 minutes of screen use you can counteract the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome,” she said. CVS is a common affliction that affects anyone exposed to more than two hours of screen time per day, and “palming” is just one holistic practice that can greatly improve overall health and well-being.

The American Holistic Nurses Association embraces the efforts of holistic practitioners across the country who assert that true health results from lifestyle choices that connect and enhance all spheres of life. The AHNA defines holistic nursing as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal”, and recently honored Eastern’s own Dr. Christina Jackson as Holistic Nurse of the Year, stating that Dr. Jackson “embodies holistic values and is a true leader for holistic education and approaches to care.”

Dr. Jackson began teaching at Eastern as an adjunct in the 1980s, and became a full-time professor in 1998. She became interested in holistic nursing when she realized that an integrated approach was necessary for total healing. “I could see that in order to be effective in helping people with physical and mental health concerns, you must take into account the body, mind and spirit,” Jackson said. “All three components are in play in any and all illnesses.” Dr. Jackson, a Nurse Practitioner, has over 30 years of experience in healthcare and has worked at several hospitals, clinics and physician practices. Currently certified as an Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse, Jackson continues to work with clients who have chronic health issues.

Eastern’s nursing major is endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation as a holistic prep program, one of only 15 universities in the country to achieve this designation. Nursing faculty weave holistic philosophy into course content, emphasizing therapeutic presence and relationship, whole person care, and the importance of self-care. Jackson observes that Eastern students are generally very interested in holistic nursing practices. “They appreciate when I remind them to breathe,” she said, and she incorporates practices such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and palming into her various classes.

For Dr. Christina Jackson, holistic nursing is not just an occupation; it is a way of life. From raising her 18-year-old son using a holistic approach to wellness, to striving to live each day mindfully and consciously, Dr. Jackson embodies the holistic philosophy. “Holistic nursing is extremely fulfilling because it meshes with everyday life, and the values are consistent with my faith walk as a Christian, in which I see all things as connected, self-care as Christian stewardship of what the Lord has given, and caring for others as ministry.”

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