[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”raised” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]“The doctor of the future will not prescribe medicines, but rather, he will focus on true remedies for the human frame and in the prevention of diseases”. Thomas Edison[/dropshadowbox]
What is Wellness?
The word Wellness is everywhere. You can find it at the grocery store. You can find it at the pharmacy. You can find it at your local gym. You can even find it in reference to business and finance. With so many using Wellness in marketing, what does Wellness actually mean?
Wellness can mean different things to different people. Wellness, as a word, is open to individual perspective and interpretation. However, words still mean what they say. I want to present what Wellness is from a Health care perspective.
According to the Oxford English dictionary, Wellness has its origin in the mid 17th century meaning the absence of illness. A more appropriate definition of Wellness, adapted from Merriam-Webster, is a goal and state of Health achieved through Wellness lifestyles. Health is the overall goal. Wellness is the lifestyle mechanisms to achieve the goal of Health.
Wellness is at the foundation of Health care. Wellness is the care of your Health. Is that not what Health care is or should be about—the care of your Health to prevent disease? The essence of Wellness is to take care to ensure good Health.
Health care needs to return to its original definition. If the focus and goal is Health or a return to Health, then that is Health care—the care of your Health. If the focus is on disease diagnosis and disease management, then that is disease care. This may seem like semantics, but this distinction is important. You must know who you are and where you have come from to know where you are going. Whether current or future, the goal is the care of your Health. Wellness is the the lifestyle choices that care for your Health.
To better contrast wellness, what is not Wellness?
Simply stated—Wellness is not disease. The original definition of Wellness is the absence of illness. I will add disease to that definition. Wellness is the absence of illness or disease. Disease is the antithesis to the care of your Health. Disease is the antithesis to Wellness. In fact, many of the chronic diseases of aging are the result of taking poor care of your Health through poor Wellness lifestyles.
Wellness is not anti-aging.
Anti-aging has nothing to do with Wellness. Remember, the goal of Wellness is Health. Wellness is the conduit to the goal of Health. Anti-aging is a term commonly linked with the Health and Wellness movement. Anti-aging does not have as its goal Health. The goal of anti-aging is, as stated, to counter aging. Anti-aging is a marketing term not supported by science. Anti-aging is a myth. In contrast, Wellness is the lifestyle conduit to Health. Wellness lifestyle interventions (i.e. nutrition, exercise…) have extensive scientific support from the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, to the prevention of cancer, to the reduction of mortality.
The future and history collide in Thomas Edison’s quote. Thomas Edison is credited for creations that effected the future. However, from his quote almost 150 years ago, Thomas Edison understood the historical value of Wellness in the care of Health.
Wellness is a lifestyle, not an event. To your Health!