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There is more to wellness than just physical health

1-Body  2-Mind & Emotions  3-Relationships 4- Community  5-Work

Science has proven that a truly healthy or "well" individual is physically healthy, mentally, psychologically and emotionally healthy, has healthy family and social relationships, has a sense of community and is satisfied and fulfilled at work. Take any of those pillars away and health starts to decay and crumble.


According to National Wellness Institute's definition adopted in 2001, "Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence."


Wellness is more than just absence of disease as our medical establishment has led us to believe. A person with a normal annual physical check up, normal laboratory values and at times normal stress test and imaging studies is most likely declared to be "a picture of health" by his or her physician. In fact, the same person could indeed be quite unhealthy!


There is considerably more depth to wellness than mere absence of obvious symptoms and signs of illness. As the NWI definition states, wellness is a complex process initiated and carried out by the individual. It cannot be purchased in a hospital or a doctor's office.


It is now a well established fact that body, mind and emotions are intimately connected to each other. Anything that affects one would, in a short order, affect the other two. Furthermore, all organs of the body work in close harmony with each other and not as separate entities sitting on a shelf.


One inexcusable problem with our current medical system is that it views the body as a collection of separate independent parts and to make it even worse, it is not yet paying much attention to the intimate connection between the body and the mind. We now have specialists for evey inch of our bodies who know nothing about the rest.


Medical profession also assumes that anything that works for a certain person would by default work for everyone else. Nothing could be farther than the truth. Humans are not clones. We are all individuals. It is not uncommon that a particular treatment that works well for one person not work at all for a different soul.


Sir William Osler, the world famous internist and "the father of modern medicine", who pioneered residency training at John's Hopkins in 1893, wisely said: "It is far more important to know what kind of a patient has a certain illness than to know what kind of an illness a patient has". It is unfortunate that such a profound awareness of human diversity and complexity is all but ignored and forgotten in our modern robotic days of medicine.

















"The five pillars" profile, developed at the Canadian Institute of Stress and later incorporated into VitalityPro and StressPro diagnostics, addresses all aspect of wellness. The users will quickly realize the strengths and weaknesses of their entire wellness spectrum. For many of them this is the first time in their lives they have an understanding of what exactly they should focus on to achieve their well-being and vitality goals.


Justifiably, this will be an homage to Dr. Osler, a Canadian himself who trained in School of Medicine in Toronto starting in 1868, not too far from the birthplace of the Canadian Institute of Stress founded by Dr. Hans Selye in 1979. 


Sir William Osler contemplating at patient's bedside

Dr. Hans Selye, founder of the Canadian Institute of Stress

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