September 2010

Wellness Defined - Body, Mind & Soul

Author: Christopher Most

What is the definition of wellness? More than ever before, we hear this word in the news, on billboards, in conversation and even at work. Interestingly, there is no universally-accepted definition of wellness. There is, however, a set of common characteristics seen in most thoughtful attempts at a definition of wellness.

Wellness is generally used to describe a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit, which may result in an overall feeling of well-being. The National Wellness Institute has also defined wellness as “an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.”

Our lifestyles today have provided us with many more choices than in previous decades. We find ourselves asking which cell phone to buy and what vacation package to book. You may wonder if you’re hip enough or even if you have enough money to be trendy. Such thoughts can be stressful. Plus, long work hours, lack of exercise and an inadequate diet contribute to the deterioration of health.

With all that we have to deal with, we may find we need a way to bring balance to ourselves. Health and wellness centers may hold the key.

Health and Wellness centers are a hallmark of our times—one-stop shopping centers for preventive health. They provide contemporary solutions in peaceful environments. Some of these innovative health facilities focus on specific diseases or ailments, while others concentrate on enhancing inner and outer beauty. These centers often combine traditional medical services with alternative health options.

Today’s world demands more answers and more choices. No longer is it acceptable to just deal with some of the additional physical and mental complaints associated with an ailment. People want to deal with all their issues in order to feel better. Health and wellness centers fill the gaps among the array of traditional medical services.

There are a variety of health and wellness centers for just about anything. Most commonly, these facilities treat diseases or help manage pain. However, there are centers for weight loss, insomnia, allergies, infertility, chronic fatigue and menstrual cramps, to name a few. They offer a way for patients to get the most out of their treatment by providing additional means to help the patient feel better and look better. There are even wellness facilities that focus on stress relief and beautification through services such as massages, facials and hydrotherapy. The choices are endless.

The goal of wellness facilities is to achieve optimal overall health. Whether you suffer from a debilitating disease such as cancer or are plagued with chronic pain or stress issues, these centers offer a variety of services to enhance quality of life. With traditionally trained physicians and therapists and alternative medicine professionals, wellness clinics can help you overcome just about any health obstacle with an integrated multi-discipline approach.

The centers offer a wide range of services. Some centers focus on providing chiropractic care, while others may offer a range of wellness options including things like nutrition classes, group meditation sessions, and psychological care. In some cases, the center may be comprised of a group of alternative medical practitioners who have decided to practice together in a cooperative which provides complete care for patients, with a strong grounding in chiropractic care. Physical and mental health issues are addressed through a comprehensive treatment plan. These action plans employ traditional techniques infused with alternative methods such as chiropractics, holistic medicines, massage therapy or acupuncture. Diets and lifestyles are evaluated and addressed as well.

Christopher Most, Chiropractic Physician

Finding the right health and wellness center requires a little bit of shopping. Here are a few tips that may help you in making the right choice:

• Check to see if your insurance plan will cover your visit to a health and wellness center, especially if its scope of service is beyond traditional medical treatments.

• Ask close friends and families if they use or frequent a health and wellness center. If so, ask if there is one they would or would not recommend.

• Make a list of two or three health and wellness centers in your community.

• Make a list of questions to ask when you visit: What services do they offer?; do they accept insurance of any kind?; what is the make-up and background of the staff?; and do they offer discounts for multiple visits?

Keep in mind that wellness centers should have a multidisciplinary team of medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic, physical/occupational therapists, massage therapists and other professionals who work together to diagnosis and design treatment plans tailored to each individual patient. Office hours should be convenient, and there should be minimal wait time. Make sure there is ample parking, especially if you cannot walk long distances. In addition, you will find that the best wellness centers look to improve your health and quality of life by teaching and practicing the true principles of integrated wellness care.

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