How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
| ||From Alternative Medicine a Definitive Guide to the Wellness Inventory - An Interview with Pioneering Entrepreneur Jim Strohecker||
have always felt that the practice alternative medicine, CAM and Integrative Medicine
tend to focus too strongly on diagnosis and treatment, and not enough on
self-care and creating wellness. I understand that this is due, in large part,
to trying to fit into the current reimbursement structure and the current style
of practice, which is based on a disease model. However, I believe the time is
right to begin to shift to a model of healthcare that incorporates wellness as
the fundamental entry point to the healthcare system. Only a focus on personal
responsibility, wellness, and healthy lifestyle choices will begin to shift the
health of our nation. No amount of treatment alone, even the most enlightened,
natural, non-invasive treatments will turn the tide.
a focus on personal responsibility,
wellness, and healthy lifestyle choices will
begin to shift the health of our nation.
No amount of treatment alone, even the
most enlightened, natural, non-invasive
treatments will turn the tide."
This is where the public and private sectors,
Wall Street to Main Street, Madison Avenue to the Washington, DC, board rooms
to grass roots activists, need to become involved to help support what Senator
Harkin calls a ”Wellness Society”, and what I like to call a “Culture of
Wellness”. As we saw in the testimony from Drs. Andrew Weil, Mehmet Oz, Dean
Ornish and Mark Hyman, before the Senate HELP Committee back in February of
2009, there are many ways to start moving in that direction from Dr. Oz’ Health
Corps, health coaching, community activism, and simple self-care (Dr. Weil’s opening
remark about breathing exercises as the ultimate and most effective single
the issue of wellness being imbedded in CAM practices, I believe that wellness
is inherent in the philosophy as well as the self-care practices for many CAM
professionals. For this reason, CAM providers can probably more effectively
expand the wellness dimension in their practices than a practitioner with no
CAM or Integrative medicine training. However, in practice, wellness all too
often remains an unexercised or unutilized potential in the interaction with
the patient. Wellness is a personal journey towards a higher level of
wellbeing. Possibly the greatest gift a practitioner can give to a patient is
to inspire and support the patient’s desire to improve their overall level and
health and wellbeing, and thereby improve all aspects of their life. Wellness
is more than providing information and self-care techniques, and it is more
than just prevention. As Senator Barbara Mikulski stated in the same
Integrative Medicine hearings: ”Prevention, or preventing disease, is an
outdated concept. The new concept is creating wellness.”
"I believe that wellness is inherent
in the philosophy as well as the
self-care practices for many CAM
"However, in practice, wellness all
too often remains an unexercised
or unutilized potential in the
interaction with the patient."
How do we create wellness? John W. Travis, MD,
MPH, one of the original founders of the wellness movement in the 1970s and
creator of the Wellness Inventory, stated this clearly and eloquently,
“Wellness is a choice…. a decision you make to move toward optimal health.
Wellness is a way of life…. a lifestyle you design to achieve your highest
potential for well-being.” Wellness is driven by the individual. No one can
take that journey for you.
The Illness-Wellness Continuum (above) created
by Dr. Travis in 1972 while he was a resident at Johns Hopkins and working the
US Public Health Service shows the relationship of the Wellness and Treatment
Paradigms, and can further clarify the wellness concept. Moving from the
center to the left shows a progressively worsening state of health. Moving to
the right of center indicates increasing levels of health and well-being.
The Treatment Paradigm can only take an
individual to the neutral point, where the symptoms of disease have been
alleviated. The Wellness Paradigm, utilized at any point on the continuum,
moves one towards ever higher levels of wellbeing. If the Wellness and
Treatment Paradigms can be integrated in healthcare practices of the future we
can support the patient’s personal wellness journey while providing state of
the art integrative health care.
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