Wellness…what does it really mean ?
What do these three words mean you? Wellness, Homeopathic, Health When asked, many people have provided me so many different perceptions of these definitions.
Often I hear wellness = not sick,
homeopathic = something natural?
Health = not sick, not in pain, something I hope to have or keep.
To find the health so many seek, let’s take a look at the actual definitions. Understanding what it is and how to get there, provides the best map for this journey to better health.
Wellness : The state of being in good health, mentally and physically, especially as an actively pursued goal.
Homeopathic : homeostasis, a state of wellness, the path to wellness. The state of steady internal physical and chemical conditions maintained by living systems. Translation; a body in balance.
Health : The state of being free from illness or injury.
Let’s take this perspective: Actively pursuing balance within the body to achieve a state in which we are living free from the “normal discomforts and diseases from aging”.
When asked, most people will tell me “I guess I’m kind of healthy? I just have the normal things from aging, getting older.” Getting older….. these are words I often hear now, but not from someone in their 70s or 80s, they are from people in their 30s and 40s.
We often hear stories of the 80 or 90 year olds that seem to have found the fountain of youth and wonder what’s the one magical thing that kept them this way? Our bodies aren’t made up of one magical thing! We cannot take a single tea, supplement, or treatment and magically restore our bodies to a fountain of youth. We must realize our bodies are made up from multiple systems working symbiotically, when one is out of sync, the rest can fall out of balance.
It’s always a struggle and often overwhelming to decide how to improve our health and still enjoy life. Some will attempt to “quick fix” weight, or energy with extreme methods or diets. Others seek remedies for ailments, only to find as they fix one, another seems to randomly pop up. Many become frustrated with the information available.
Ancient practices such as Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine look at the body as a whole. In these practices you start with the center of the body, not the random issue/ailments. For example, when someone exhibits sinus issues and heartburn, instead of treating the sinuses with a decongestant and medicine for heartburn; the gut is examined as well as the stomach itself. Many problems with the body begin when the gut falls out of balance. The gut is our digestive system, It is meant to absorb nutrients into our body, get rid of waste, and provides approximately 75% of our immunity. The gut also works in tandem with the brain, producing 70% of serotonin our happy hormone, only 30% takes place in the brain. We should also keep in mind that this part of our body is only one cell thick. That paints a different picture than what most of us think about when the gut is mentioned.
As in the example of the sinus and heartburn; the gut health ( meaning the balance of good bacteria ( not less than 85%) and bad bacteria ( not more than 15%j is off. This creates an increase in stomach acid, which creates a gas. The acid increase causes the heartburn, the gas travels up the esophagus to the sinuses, irritating the delicate tissues. Treating the sinus and heartburn alone will not restore the balance in the gut. Until the source is treated, the symptoms will be an ongoing issue. Restoration balance within the gut while treating the irritation of symptoms manages the seemingly unrelated issues for the long term.
This is just one example of what happens when common ailments are regularly treated as separate entities. Examining the body as a whole, as all the symbiotic systems that it is compromised of, will provide the information necessary to treat issues at the source, bringing the body into a healthy state.
When many begin their journey to a better balance, they begin by addressing what they feel like is a couple of separate issues. They find success when they treat the body as a whole, spiraling from the center out, rather than chipping away at the outside edges. Success is also found with other unexpected benefits, such as improved skin, energy, sleep, weight loss, reduced anxiety and depression, when the body is treated as a whole instead of individual parts.
Whatever you associate health or wellness with, I think we can all agree that it’s feeling better, the ability to enjoy life more; and isn’t quality of life worth it?
No matter where your health and wellness is, there are always tweaks that can be made to maintain and even improve it. Seek out answers, information, and assistance with someone that is trained in the older, natural arts. You might me surprised at what you find when seeking improved health. You might just find a better, happier you.
Written by Jana Parrelli, Ayurvedic Practitioner at Terra Blanca Wellness Spa