Wellness is a word we see used more and more frequently and can be applied in a wide variety of settings.
An online search of wellness in St Petersburg, FL brings up over a million hits with services ranging from OB-GYN, chiropractic, acupuncture, gym membership, counseling and mindfulness to laser scar therapy and cellulite reduction. What could such a wide array of services have in common? Practitioners often use the word “wellness” to mean something other than “this is where you go only when you feel sick” or “we will treat you only as if you are sick”. The wellness movement emerged as a reaction to modern medicine, beginning when Descartes philosophized about the separation of mind and body. While there have been countless advances in medicine as a result of this paradigm shift, many have begun to feel frustrated and fed-up with being seen solely as a broken arm, ailing spleen or a diagnosis with a list of symptoms to be met. We are eager to be treated as whole beings with histories and hopes. Health is more than not being sick! It is to live and be well.
Other words you might see side-by-side wellness are “holistic” and “balance”.
Holistic refers to the consideration of the many parts that make-up a person: mental, physical, spiritual, social, occupational and environmental. And, what about “balance”? Balance is not an achieved state. It is ever-shifting. It can be likened to snowboarding or surfing. You don’t find one position atop the board and stay there. With every variation in the terrain, you need to alter your balance by flexing a hamstring or lowering a shoulder. This can become second nature, but often only after much practice. The learning process is usually full of falls, bruises, and the need for instruction.
According to the Wisconsin-based National Wellness Institute, human health is an “active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence”. It is a view that health is the result of personal initiative and ongoing development that emphasizes the entire being across multiple dimensions. This often includes attending to: our physical bodies through healthy diet and exercise, our social spheres by maintaining balanced relationships, mental and emotional clarity by speaking with a trained counselor or coach, and a spiritual practice through participation in that which we highly value.
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Dayna Wood, EdS, REAT
Dayna is the founder of Integrative Counsel, where through the power of brain science she shows stressed out professionals how to reignite their creativity and spark new meaning and adventure in their lives. Take a complimentary wellness quiz to learn the areas of your life that could use the most attention and receive free brain-based tools to reach your personal health and wellness goal!