Discussion: Metaphorical Helix of Health

Discussion: Metaphorical Helix of Health

consciousness and an increasing awareness

of the essence of the human experience of

“being.” From this view, the unique pattern

of one’s energy fields and one’s expression

of wholeness is manifested through a higher

personal and collective understanding of

the physical, emotional, mental, social,

and spiritual dimensions of health, a

homeodynamic view similar to that

espoused by Rogers (1983, 1992) in her

theory of unitary human beings. Important

to understanding integral health is the

understanding that various types of health,

such as mental health, physical health,

emotional health, and spiritual health, are

not to be viewed as separate and equal, but

as unique structural strands that create and

frame the wholeness and stability of the

metaphorical helix of health. The integral

environment consists of both internal and

external aspects. The internal aspects of

environment relate to clients’ feelings

and emotions, the meaning of events, and

the way in which the client enacts their

understanding of spirituality and caring.

Through flashes of memory, sounds,

dreams, images, and/or smells the internal

environment acknowledges and is

influenced by current and past relationships

with living and non-living people and

things, such as family members, pets, or

precious possessions. The external

environment consists of things that can be

objectively measured in the physical and

social realms of reality, such as one’s pulse,

the level of adrenaline present in one’s body

in a specific situation, skill development,

and anything one can touch or observe

scientifically in time and space. The

inextricable links between the internal

and external aspects of clients’ integral

environment shape the context in which

the client exists and help frame the meaning

of the reality of the client.

Patterns of Knowing

Rooted in Carper’s (1978) depiction of

the four fundamental ways of organizing

nursing knowledge and nursing’s pattern

of knowing—personal, empirics, aesthetics,

and ethics—the additional pattern of “not

knowing” proposed by Munhall (1993)

and the pattern of “socio-political knowing”

described by White (1995) create the six

patterns of knowing applied in the theory

of integral nursing. These six patterns are

superimposed on the quadrants of reality

and work to bring nurses to the fullness of

knowing and expression of being in each

caring experience. By acknowledging the

Exploring the Theory of Integral Nursing
292012, Vol. 16, No. 1

integration of science and aesthetics,

knowing and not knowing, and the influence

of socio-political knowing, nurses confirm

the value of patterns of knowing in clinical

practice. Through the patterns of knowing,

nurses are encouraged to develop a flow of

ethical experience through thinking and

acting in ways that promote self-assessment

and self-healing while generating a sacred

space for care that promotes client healing.


Quadrants in the theory of integral

nursing can be understood as dimensions

of reality that are permeable, integrally

transforming, and empowering to all other

quadrant experiences. Each quadrant is

intricately linked and bound to each other

quadrant, carrying along its own truths and

language. The language of “I,” “We,” “It,”

and “Its” that characterizes the concept

Exploring the Theory of Integral Nursing

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

Scroll to Top