What image comes to mind when you think of the word “wellness”? If you’re a West Coast baby like me, you think of the Silicon valley break rooms of technology firms like Google populated by sleep pods or the magnetic and unavoidable gaze of whichever celebrity graces the front of countless health magazines residing on the newsstand.
Contrasted, these gadgets and titillating texts offer different ways to improve one’s health. One form offers Google co-eds a chance to escape the manic boxes that are office cubicles while a magazine’s glossy pages overflow with the newest food science study on dieting. Wellness can be professional or personal. It can be a $50,000 chair, while other times it contains contradictory information (didn’t last month’s edition say to abandon fasting?).
Wellness is a lot simpler than that, it’s where self reflection meets behavior change and learning. It is understanding there is a problem and realizing you want to fix it for good. So the search for better health continues. As you click through the web pages, taking astute notes, you’re slowly overwhelmed by the internet-tsunami wave of information. This article is a half-crazed surfer willing to ride that monstrous wave to answer “How do you achieve optimal wellness?” Or taken another way, what are the 5 essential features of a wellness program?
True wellness is an investment in time and energy, there is no quick fix. So, if your goal is to lose weight or manage stress, you need a clear way to tackle the health issue. It starts with a plan.
The 5 essential features of a wellness program:
DIRECTION : An essential feature in a quality wellness program is direction. It should provide a clear sense of where you are heading. It identifies the problem and solution. It leverages the correct tools in a way that allows you to use your resources effectively. If you’re hoping to lose weight, it means a change in eating habits. If you want better sleep, cut the caffeine or confer with the loud neighbors.
You may ask: Are these goals realistic? Are they actionable?
SUPPORT: Support means having help from others to achieve your goals. It may come in the form of advice from a nutritionist, or the mind - where mental blocks and old notions are battled and questioned. Support, it turns out, is increasingly absent in our interactions with businesses. Whether it's your insurance or internet company, it seems a mild mannered, unsophisticated, and soulless robot takes the place of a human. Siri is great for general questions but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the specifics of your health concerns for software with a 3rd grade reading level. It’s important you find a program that provides easy access to connect with a provider.
You may ask: What can I do to change a bad habit? What do I need to learn?
ACCOUNTABILITY: Programs sometimes include an app or journal that help provide accountability. Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results. Goals are abstract slippery things. Sometimes it’s difficult to visualize what steps are needed for success. So measuring your progress is important whether it’s a sleep journal tracking hours slept or a calorie counting app. Another helpful tip is setting expectations apart from yourself, through: friends, family, or a practitioner. A second opinion, like any health remedy, is healing for the body.
You may ask: Do I understand the basis of my issue? How will I evaluate progress going forward?
TRANSPARENCY: Understanding how a product or service works to meet your goal is important. No gimmicks, no surprise invoices, or know-it-all “recommendations”. Look for a program that makes clear the benefits and consequences of changing your routine or investing your money.
You may ask: Do I understand the features clearly? What are my main concerns?
COMPREHENSIVE: Perhaps a surprising pick on this list. Comprehensive feels so obvious, so taken for granted. Every good product presumably meets your needs until it doesn’t. It’s every infomercial that sells one thing and then bundles the whole set for a discount deal! Health issues sometimes require multiple solutions. Search for something that addresses your health in an organized fashion.
You may ask: Does the product or service address my health goal in a timely manner? Can my health issue, say stress reduction, be solved through lifestyle changes and other holistic remedies?
Vitality Natural Wellness and Medspa’s entire care mission strives to embody these principles wholeheartedly. Through our practitioners’ education, compassion, and experience we understand health is a continuing journey; one with increasing importance and sometimes confusion amidst conflicting health philosophies and information. Vitality understands the importance of providing honest advice and world-class care. Tell us your health vision and we’ll help you discover what steps you can take to realize it.
Take our quick wellness test to start your journey!