"Everyone is doing something health or wellness related but none of it works for me!" That’s the statement most of my clients make when we first meet and honestly… I get it!
The spotlight in the health and wellness industry soared in 2020, when Covid hit, forcing everyone to start questioning their health and the directions they have been receiving from medical providers.
In this post, I will explain exactly what “Health and Wellness” is, where to start, and how to find help for your personal health and wellness.
Let’s start with the definitions of health and wellness. The Oxford Dictionary defines health as “The state of being free from illness or injury.” Both physically and mentally. “Wellness” is defined as “The state of being healthy” or living a healthy life. When we combine both health and wellness we have “Well-being" which is actually what we all really want. It is defined as “The state of being or doing well in life; happy, healthy, or prosperous condition;...”
But… “Life Be Life’n!” Which makes us not always balanced, happy or healthy. This is completely normal because “Life’n” often is the opportunity for growth, and growth means change and change can be hard. When we know HOW to adjust to life's changes we are able to regain happiness, balance and health when change happens.
“Life Be Life’n!”
The “Health and Wellness” industry is the attempt to answer this "HOW." Because it is what we all want in our journey through life. With so many options to answer our “HOW?” a person can easily become overwhelmed.
So let’s focus on health because we have to have it to obtain wellness which is what we need to answer our “HOW” when “Life Be Life’n!” As a holistic doctor, I break health down into three areas: body, mind and spirit. All three combined make a living person.
Every person's goal is to keep each of these three areas free from illness and injury. For many Americans, body health has been the only or primary area of focus. The spotlight on the importance of mental health has only recently begun to shine brightly, due to the worldwide impact of Covid. While spirit health has been completely excluded and boxed up for religions and those who choose to believe in them.
Because we as Americans have been taught that “Natural Health” = Herbs. It doesn’t surprise me when I get a call asking “What herb do I take for…?”
Herbs can help you, but wanting to take or use an herb in place of a pharmaceutical creates 3 primary issues.
Taking a herbal supplement in place of a pharmaceutical is just switching out one bottle or pill for another. Yes, many times herbs can be more beneficial with less side effects. However, it is important to remember that this is only ONE step not "THE" step in the journey to wellness.
Herbs may not be appropriate for everyone. I have seen three clients with the same issue, and each one of them needed a different herb or none at all.
Herbs primarily focus on the body. We have to consider the mind and spirit as well to help the body heal.
Our body communicates with us in a number of ways to let us know exactly what is going on with it. Aside from a sudden accident, the majority of the time our physical issues did not just occur overnight.
Many times when we take a pharmaceutical or herb it just takes the pain away and does not address the actual problem. When we are in pain, we just want it to go away--but when it does, we have to find out where it came from so that it can be prevented in the future. When we know how to listen to our bodies we can find the root of our issues. When we actively listen to our body we can find issues BEFORE they become physical.
"Fitness and nutrition are only 2 of 9 foundations of health..."
Fitness and Nutrition are other areas people often mention. Some clients say they eat exactly what they are supposed to and exercise an hour a day, but still have issues. Fitness and nutrition are only 2 of 9 foundations of health and only focus on the body. To fully understand and appreciate the value of health and wellness, it is important to be educated on all the foundations of health.
Wherever you are right now, take a look around and notice all of the things you see that were created by a person. Each of these things was once upon a time just a thought in a person's imagination which was then turned into something physical. This is true of our lives, too. Pain, illness and injury can result from our thoughts, feelings and emotions when events and changes in life happen.
"Understanding how we process things in our mind can lead to a healthier life!"
However, life has taught us that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. This makes it difficult for us to understand and learn how to process mental changes in life. When we let go of the fear of judgment we can then learn healthy ways to process our thoughts, feelings and emotions. This will allow us to live more balanced, and fulfilling lives.
Spirit is “The non-physical part of a person...” as defined by the Oxford Dictionary. I am going to rephrase this as Spirit is “Energy (non-physical part of a person) that brings life and consciousness to the mind and body.”
Thinking of spirit as the energy the mind and body need to live and be conscious makes it easier to understand for two main reasons.
1) Energy is everywhere and is connected to everything.
2) Because energy is connected to everything, anything or anyone can impact the energy of anything or anyone.
"Spirit = Energy"
Have you ever been around a person who always made you feel good? Or attended a social gathering and the moment you arrived you just started feeling better?
What you were feeling and receiving was the positive energy coming from those around you. This is great when it is positive energy but the same can happen when it is negative energy. When we are able to think about the people and situations that bring negative energy into our lives, we may be more aware that it is time for a change in our social, work or home situations to improve our lives.
Dr. Masaru Emoto’s study on the effect that words have on water is a great example of how energy we send off can affect others and ourselves.
Dr. Emoto placed words like "Love" and "You Fool" on containers. Put water in the containers and froze the water. He then looked at the water crystals that formed and noticed that the word love had the most beautiful crystals while the water with the words, you fool, on it was a scattered blob. Now think for a moment, if the energy of just writing a word and placing it on a container can have that impact on water, imagine what the energy
from our, thoughts, words and actions have done to ourselves and others.
When we become aware of our spirit/energy, we can recognize when there is too much or not enough energy in different areas of our life. Then we will be able to understand how we can move with the energy that is necessary and away from the unneeded energy to maintain balance and health in life.
You need a village that focuses on YOUR well-being. Remember the definition of well-being is “The state of being or doing well in life; happy, healthy, or prosperous condition;....” If your “healthcare” providers are not focused on your well-being you may want to consider making a change to a provider who does.
I’ll list a number of providers in each of the 3 areas of health. It’s important to have at least one healthcare provider from each area and all providers should want to communicate with the other providers to help you maintain optimal wellbeing.
Healthcare providers for the BODY include:
Doctor of Chiropractic, Naturopathic Doctor (traditional or medical), Doctor of Holistic Health, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, Ayurvedic Doctor, Functional Medicine Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy and Medical Doctor. All doctors should focus on natural options 1st over pharmaceuticals.
Healthcare providers for the MIND include:
Naturopathic Doctor (traditional or medical), Doctor of Holistic Health, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, Ayurvedic Doctor, Functional Medicine Doctor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Licensed Counselor, and Meditation Instructor. All healthcare professionals should focus on natural options 1st over pharmaceuticals.
Healthcare providers for the SPIRIT include:
Naturopathic Doctor (traditional), Doctor of Holistic Health, Doctor of Chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, Ayurvedic Doctor, Acupuncturist, Acupressurist and energy workers. All healthcare professionals should focus on balancing Spirit/ Qi/ Prana/ Energy.
You'll notice that some doctors were mentioned in multiple areas. This is because Holistic, Naturopathic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Doctors are trained to address a person's whole health -body, mind, and spirit– to find the root causes of issues. Each of these doctors will have their own approach to finding root issues.
"Like a new outfit, you may have to try a few to find the one that is best for you!"
If you're not sure where to start I always recommend contacting one or more of the specialists and asking questions on how they help their clients maintain their well-being.
Now that you know who to contact, let's find out how to educate yourself without needing to obtain a health degree.
Learn about your body! It’s the only thing all humans have. But how many of us know how many bones we have, how our digestive system works or what a diurnal cycle is? We should know all we can about the one thing we will always have in this life!
Take meditation or breathing classes. I teach 12 different types of Mindfulness meditation. Many of them involve people being up and active, not sitting in one place and being silent.
Take classes focused on health foundations, empaths, the 5 health elements or crystals. These types of classes teach about internal and external energy, awareness and life balance.
When it comes to health and wellness, we have a tendency to make things more complex than they should be. We look for solutions that offer immediate relief instead of long-term wellness. But when we listen to our body, mind and spirit, we can take steps to help our life improve. You have been provided with a number of great resources to take charge of your own health and wellness. I’m excited to hear about your “Pivot to Wellness!” Leave a comment or check out some of my upcoming health classes.