Monday, June 8, 2009

IP-2: what is wellness?

"every day is thanksgiving."

what is wellness?

the term "wellness" was coined by halpert dunn in the early 1970's, but the concept is not new. ..wellness refers to an individual's state of Holistic well-being. .."Holistic" refers to the Whole individual, as Spirit-mind-body (which we will call the "psychosomatic-Spirit").

although the experts and wellness authors do not always agree on an applicable description or a common wellness model, almost all of the wellness models depict holistic health in terms of a balance of several dimensions. ..the three-dimensional, Spirit-body-mind model seems to be common among most, if not all, wellness researchers, but several experts describe wellness in terms of multiple dimensions: frank rosato (1990) described wellness in terms of a six-dimensional model (see figure 1-1, below):
donald ardell (1979) proposed an eight dimensional model, consisting of psychology and spirituality, physical fitness, job satisfaction, relationships, family life, nutrition, leisure time, and stress management.

as you can see, we are approaching the concept of wellness using a dualistic model to assist us in Seeing Beyond the duality. ..stay tuned for more about that, later.

a key component of wellness is “self-responsibility.” ..even if we don’t buy into the idea that we are completely responsible for our own level of wellness, we can at least entertain the possibility that we are responsible for the way we perceive our current state of wellness. a rough definition, for the purpose of this course, would be that:
“wellness is an individual’s state of well-being,
encompassing in mind, body, spirit, and environment.

key principles of wellness are:

1. Wholeness (of multiple dimensions),

2. balance (or Homeostasis),

3. dynamics (or change), and

4. self-responsibility."

dr. john travis, author of the wellness workbook and co-author of simply well, describes wellness in twelve dimensions (simply Well, pp. 1-5; wellness, pp. 141 + 142). travis' model depicts human beings as "energy systems," and describes "input energies" and "output energies" that we acquire, transform, and distribute.

in effect, we act as a conduit, and the quality of what we breathe, eat, and sense plays a large role in the quality of what we give back to the environment.

the wellness "state" can vary from illness and premature death to High-level wellness, and is well described by dr. travis' wellness-illness continuum (see page 14 & 15 in Simply Well). ..High-level wellness is depicted as much more than simply "the absence of disease and infirmity" -- it connotes the experience of high energy, vigor, joy, bliss, and abundance. ..the treatment portion of the model includes dis-ease, symptoms, and a movement away from High-level wellness.

................................................................illness.................preventative thoughts/actions

premature death<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>High-level wellness
.........................................................symptoms............................ ease


  1. It's true. In the story, the appearance, things often seem to get worse before they get better.

  2. sooooooooooo cool. in class, we used to talk about how illness was actually a pathway to wellness -- kind of like how "banging one's head against the wall" is a pathway to NOT banging one's head against the wall. :)

    of Course, in this nanosecond of life, we're probably getting a tiny glimpse of the roller-caster, symphonically Dancing with other Harmonic Waves.
    on another note, do they do "the wave" at soccer matches in the u.k.?