What is wellness? Interestingly, there is no universally-accepted definition of wellness, but when it comes to health, wellness is closely linked to your lifestyle and the choices you make.
Research studies related to wellness show that Americans who take good care of themselves and make healthy lifestyle choices are healthier, happier, more productive, miss work less, and have lower healthcare costs. An article from the AMA noted that in one research study, the “wellness” approach produced a 35% reduction in medical/doctor visits for minor illness.
Since lifestyle and the choices we make have been found to be the most important factor in determining overall health, it’s important for you to be educated about your health in order “take charge” of your life. So the secret to wellness isn’t in healthcare, but in healthy and consistent self-care. It’s recognizing that social, psychological, physical, and spiritual needs are just as important as the foods we eat to maintain well-being. I call these elements Primary Foods; foods that nourish us, but don’t come on a plate. They feed your soul and hunger for living.
While traditional (Western) medicine currently seems to be focused on managing disease, the wellness approach to things encourages you to take responsibility for your own personal well-being. Wellness emphasizes the whole individual, integrating the body, mind and the spirit, and the understanding that everything we do, feel, think and believe has a direct impact on your state of health.
Wellness Proposal, Institute of Integrative Nutrition