Many words used in healthcare are either misunderstood or misrepresented. “Wellness” is at or near the top of that list.
I’ve always believed that the term “wellness” should not be used to describe a single health-related service or discipline. It’s more than just going to your doctor, or just seeing a chiropractor, or just working out, or just eating healthier.
In an article in Dynamic Chiropractic magazine, Dr. David Seaman, whose thoughts closely parallel mine, defined true wellness as a state of optimal physical and mental function that is pursued by active lifestyle choices.
This is supported by the simple definition of wellness according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
Wellness: The condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.
Sounds a lot like the Triad of Health, doesn’t it?
True wellness can only be achieved by following a wellness lifestyle in which all three components of the Triad of Health – the physical, nutritional and psychological – are in balance. That’s why the services provided by the Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies are called health and wellness programs. We offer a truly integrated approach to healthcare.
That said, it’s important to realize that wellness isn’t something a doctor can create for us. You can’t go to the doctor and say, “Please put me in a state of wellness.” It’s not like fixing a broken arm.
Wellness is something a person can only pursue through lifestyle changes – eating right, exercising consistently, sleeping well and developing healthy relationships.
Are you going to a real wellness center?
If you’re going to a place that provides services and recommendations that help you eat healthy, exercise properly and process stress more effectively, that practice could accurately be called a wellness center. In other words, you’re being encouraged to pursue wellness as a lifestyle.
Any doctor could tell you to eat better and exercise, but a true wellness center will recommend a customized treatment plan after thorough examination and testing by trained specialists. Healthcare must be patient-centric, not doctor-centric, meaning that treatments are based on you and your condition, not a cookie-cutter approach.
A wellness lifestyle, and the critical choices we make every day as part of that lifestyle, will decrease our chances of getting heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure and other diseases that have created a chronic illness epidemic in our country. It requires working with the right team of doctors and clinicians who collaborate to provide healthcare – not sick care – based on the Pyramid of Health.
This is the year of the family. If you’re going to choose a wellness center to help you take back your family’s health, the “wellness” provider you choose should understand the definition of what they’re claiming to provide. Wellness is not a passive word. It’s something very literal and should be treated as such.
Wellness isn’t a trend or a slogan or a marketing ploy. Wellness is the key to feeling better, functioning better and living longer.
What lifestyle changes have you made in your pursuit of a wellness lifestyle? Share them with us on Facebook.
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.