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Patient Advocate Network - P.A.N.
O.M.M.P. 19 - V2.0
Current Submissions > Defining Wellness


24 Feb 2005

Wellness or the "well-being" of a person has been a concern since the early ages, but no-where has wellness been promoted or sought after as much as in current times. We all may have some idea about what wellness is, but what exactly is it? We'll need to have a more complete picture of it if we are to pursue and achieve our human potential.


  Definition

 

  • A dimension of health beyond the abscence of disease or  infirmity including social, emotional and spiritual aspects of health.  
  • A term that means a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit.

 

 Development 

"Wellness" grew as a popular concept starting in the 19th century, just as the middle class began emerging in the industrialized world, and a time when a newly prosperous public had the time and resources to pursue wellness and other forms of self-improvement. It has been used in the context of alternative medicine since the fifties in the United States.

In alternative medicine, a holisitc approach to healing recognizes that the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical elements of each person comprise a "whole system." Therefor, for total wellness, the whole person has to be treated , both the cause of the illness as well as the symptoms. Examples of wholistic therapies include Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Qi Gong, Yoga, Reiki and Reflexology. 

The modern concept of wellness did not, however, become popular until the 1970's. Wellness is now seen as the integration of body, mind and soul to produce a balanced lifestyle and a particular quality of experience. It promotes a sense of growth or "becoming," through change or subtle transformation(s). 

Wellness is achieved by practicing good health habits, while eliminating harmful ones. It requires taking positive control of your lifestyle choices and refining  those elements which influence your behavior. 

In recent years, the concept has been growing in popularity among many countries in the world. In Singapore, there is a National Wellness Association, which sees wellness as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.

 

What's Involved? 

Wellness is a view of health that emphasizes the state of your entire quality of being, and it's ongoing development. It is the pursuit of a healthy, balanced lifestyle that leads to high quality of life.

As an alternative concept, wellness is generally thought to mean more than the mere abscence of disease; rather it is an optimal state of health and "sensory integration." Wellness is pursued by people interested in recovering from ill health or mental conditioning, or by those interested in optimizing pleasurable experiences.

There are a number of factors that contribute to wellness: living in a clean environment, eating healthy food, regularly engaging in physical excercise, maintaining a balanced career; family and relationships.

Spiritual wellness can be developed, achieved, and maintained through personal beliefs/affirmations, morals, art, music, or religous certainty. Anything which gives depth and meaning to life can be utilised to sustain a sense of achievement during the course of developing your personel practice. 

Wellness is often seen as a luxury pursuit found in the more affluent societies because it involves managing the body state after the basic needs of food, shelter, and basic medical care have already been met. Many of the practices applied in the pursuit of wellness, in fact, are aimed at controlling the side effects and discomfort which may be the result of inactivity, obesity, or awakening the body/mind.

Besides good health, wellness programs encourage individuals to take increased responsibility for the quality of life we all share. The goal of any personel practice is aimed at improving the morale and self-esteem of the individual. It is through a holistic approach that a healthy balance of the mind, body, and spirit can be achieved.

 

 

Dr. Anonymous Frugal


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