Wellness is an ongoing process of optimal living… come bloom with us.
Wellness is More Than the Absence of Disease
Wellness Programs Aren’t Working
The word “wellness” is misleading to millions of people. Wellness is a catch-all term. Health insurance companies and employers offer programs that imply “wellness” as the goal. A “living with diabetes” wellness class teaches a diabetic how to eat better and monitor their blood sugar, but the diabetic is not going to be “well” and free of diabetes. In fact, the very name of the class suggests they will have diabetes the rest of their life!
Workplace wellness programs have been offered since the early 1990s to address rising health insurance costs. A 2009 survey showed 92% of employers with 200 or more employees reported offering them. Do these programs work?
A July 2012 review of these programs, done by the Health and Human Services Department, found little evidence these programs work consistently:
“Workplace wellness programs have achieved a high penetration in the United States, and most observers expect that uptake will continue to increase, especially as the Affordable Care Act will increase employment-based coverage and promotes workplace wellness programs through numerous provisions. At this point in time, there is insufficient objective evidence to definitively assess the impact of workplace wellness on health outcomes and cost. While employer sponsors are generally satisfied with the results, more than half stated in a recent survey that they did not know their program’s return on investment.”
Employees like the incentives, but these programs do not translate into improved health and reduced insurance costs. If they were successful, these results would improve our national statistics of climbing chronic disease and spiraling health costs. Another example of poorly managed financial resources adding to our broken health care system.
Even if you stop smoking, exercise regularly, practice stress reduction techniques, and eat well - this is NOT enough to reach and maintain a state of “wellness.” Wellness is NOT the absence of a diagnosis or sickness. It is a PROCESS of living optimally.
The National Wellness Institute states this best:
“Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”
Go Beyond Wellness
Integrative medicine practitioners go beyond the traditional wellness approach. This is an ongoing process that requires integrating physical, emotional, and spiritual habits. It is impossible to address all these aspects in the current disease-care, ten minute appointment. Integrative medicine practitioners have the time to actively support patients in their ongoing wellness process.
Cellular detoxification is a glaring missing piece of the wellness model (go to Detoxification page). Integrative medicine practitioners know that optimal health can never be achieved until detoxification of chemicals and heavy metals is addressed.
Here’s a simple test to see if a program is a true “wellness program”: A YES to one or both of the below questions is a thumbs up. Two NO answers thumbs down. (click here to read the 7 Principles of Integrative Medicine)
- Principle #4 — Does the program remove a barrier to health and provide the body what it needs?
- Principle #5 — Does the program address the root cause of a problem?
A smoking cessation program removes a barrier and helps provide the body what it needs (more oxygen). Programs that evaluate different biometrics or offer screening programs (mammograms, cholesterol tests, etc.) ARE NOT true wellness programs but disease-management programs.
It is time to stop these sugar coated “wellness” programs that are misleading, perpetuate disease, and adds to the out of control rising costs of our broken health care system. If you want to help patients (and society) live a more successful existence, join me and the growing number of integrative medicine practitioners that offer true wellness care.
7 Integrative Principles
Big Pharma vs. Integrative Medicine
Nitric Oxide Miracle
Gut Health & Microbiome
Roadblocks to Optimal Health
PA Owned Medical Practice
Why Every PA Should Practice Integrative Medicine. The facts about integrative medicine, owning your own practice and more. Provocative, informative and often controversial. More info here.
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