News | Published December 3, 2018 | Written by Philip Miller, DO, family medicine, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Holiday season self-care: Schedule your annual wellness visit

Philip Miller, DO, Mount Nittany Physician Group

The human body truly is an amazing creation that is capable of self-regulation and self-healing. Despite the numerous pathogens, toxins and diseases we are exposed to on a daily basis, our bodies find some way to maintain normal function and preserve health. However, nothing is foolproof and if the body is exposed to conditions that surpass its own natural ability to heal and maintain itself, the end result will be disease. So no matter how efficient the machine may be, whether it is that classic ’67 Mustang in your garage or your smart phone, regular maintenance is imperative to ensure that things run optimally.

Preventative measures
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular health exams with your medical provider and screening tests are important since they can find problems before they start, as well as find potential problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings and treatments, the CDC concludes that you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life.  Recommended health services include blood pressure checks, updating your immunization status, blood screening for cholesterol and diabetes and cancer screening. Usually the conditions for which are getting screened – such as heart attacks, strokes or metastatic cancer – do not cause symptoms, and far too often people find out they have a condition only after serious consequences have evolved. Regular conversations with your healthcare provider at least once a year to discuss appropriate screening, in addition to yearly physical examinations, are a vital part of maintaining one’s health and preventing disease.

Focus on you
As we approach the holiday season, it gets easier to put our own health aside as we focus on the wellbeing and happiness of our friends and family. Afternoons off from work might be used for last minute shopping instead of scheduling yearly checkups. Sometimes we lose sleep cleaning the house and preparing lavish meals for our holiday guests. But despite the decorations, presents, libations and extravagant feasts, your loved ones care most about your wellbeing just as you care most about theirs. Concerning yourself with your health may be the last thing on your mind while you are celebrating the holidays together, so being proactive with your health by scheduling a yearly checkup can help ensure many more celebrations together.

So before focusing on the wellbeing of your loved ones, take some time to focus on your own health. Doing so is not considered selfish since you are ensuring that you are at optimal health to enjoy the holidays with the people you care for. It is also a perfect opportunity to encourage your friends and family to be proactive in their own health by scheduling their own annual check-ups. This can easily be the start of a solid resolution that could lead to a long lifetime of many more holidays together. Cheers!

To schedule an adult annual wellness visit with a primary care provider at one of seven primary care locations throughout the region, visit or call 1.844.278.4600. To learn more about preventative care and other wellness topics, visit

Philip Miller, DO, Mount Nittany Physician Group Family Medicine, is located at the Mount Nittany Health – Green Tech Drive location.

This article originally appeared in State College Magazine