12 DIMENSIONS OF WELLNESS
Practices to Promote Health and Well-being
Your personal wellness plan may include a range of lifestyle
and mind-body practices to support maintaining a higher level
of health and wellness and it will change over time to focus
on the areas of your life you are currently most motivated to
change. Some of these practices carry little or no cost, while
others carry heavy costs. For example, paying attention to how
you breathe, move, eat your meals, process your feelings, communicate
with others, and taking daily walks, carries no costs.
Other practices, such as yoga, Pilates, qigong, tai chi, and
some fitness routines, can first be learned in class and then
later practiced on your own (or with video instruction). These
have small up-front instructional costs and sometimes some
ongoing costs if you enjoy the class environment.
Finally, there are practices with heavy associated costs, such
as fitness club memberships and dietary supplements, as well
as trips to your massage therapist, acupuncturist, nutritionist,
energy healer, naturopath, chiropractor practices, or holistic
physician to help monitor your state of health and wellness and
help bring you back into balance if necessary. Most of these
costs will be in the first 12–18 months of your plan as you are
learning and choosing the wellness practices that you would
like to integrate into your life.
The beauty of this approach is that you are investing time
and money in your health and well-being by creating a longterm,
strategic wellness plan which allows you to see the
holistic health practitioners you most trust to guide you to a
higher level of health and well-being, and to pursue the wellness
practices which address the areas of your life you are
most motivated to change. Your greatest reward will come
from the wellness practices you pursue on a daily basis until
they become part of the fabric of your life.
The idea of a five or ten-year wellness plan may first seem
extreme to some—a six month plan may seem more reasonable.
However, as health care costs and insurance premiums
continue to rise out of sight, the wisdom of taking our health
and well-being into our own hands through enlightened selfcare,
wellness practices, and holistic health care may prove to
be the most prudent investment we make in our lives. Health
is your greatest wealth, and it is worth cultivating.
James Strohecker, a pioneer in e-health, is president and
co-founder of HealthWorld Online (www.healthy.net), the
first Internet network focusing on wellness, healthy living,
mind/body health, and integrative medicine. He can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.823.9553.