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What is Wellness?- There’s More to Health than Avoiding Disease

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Originally, the term “wellness” was coined by an MD to describe living a healthy, full, active life, one where medical treatment was rarely necessary.  These days it has been misused by pharmaceutical companies and HMO’s to refer to little more than illness management and disease avoidance.  Wellness is more than simply being disease free.  Classic research done in the US by Maslow, Otto, and others and more recent studies in Australia have shown that “wellness” is not about avoiding disease but really a conscious way of living.  Those studies looked primarily at people who rarely got sick and/or those who were most often evaluated by peers as the “healthiest people” and found certain commonalities in their approach to living Life.  They were people who felt good about themselves, respected themselves and others, took responsibility for the quality of their lives, and didn’t blame others or expect to be bailed out.  Maybe some of them were luckily just born that way, but in the end, practicing wellness is a choice and a commitment.

Research showed the "wellest of the well" possessed the following qualities, to an extraordinary degree:

  • High self-esteem and a positive outlook on Life
  • A personal philosophy and a sense of purpose
  • A strong sense of personal responsibility
  • A good sense of humor and plenty of fun in their life
  • A concern for others and a respect for the Nature
  • A conscious commitment to personal excellence (Mastery)
  • A sense of balance and an integrated lifestyle
  • Freedom from addictive behaviors of a negative or health-inhibiting nature
  • A capacity to cope with whatever life presents and to continue to learn
  • Grounded in Reality
  • Highly physically fit
  • A capacity to love and an ability to nurture
  • A capacity to manage life demands and communicate effectively.

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Brad Silberberg is an artist and holistic healer who envisioned The Mesa Creative Arts Center and Mesa Healing Center as a place of awakening for art, healing, and spiritual expansion.

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