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Examining Wellness

Wellness is a term often thrown around but not fully understood. As physical therapists, we focus on the wellness of our patients, however one must understand this is not ONLY the physical aspects of wellness (our profession’s name is misleading, I know).

Wellness is defined as “the sense that one is living in a manner that permits the experience of consistent, balanced growth in the physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social, and psychological dimensions of human existence.” It is important to understand that wellness is a combination of all of these dimensions, and not just a singular measure. 

Health is not the same as wellness, even though these terms are often used interchangeably. A person can be well, but diseased. One can live a productive, full-filled life, yet manage a chronic condition. The diagnosis of a chronic condition does not define your wellness. 

Frequent self evaluation of one’s wellness is crucial to keep a person well, not only during this current state of quarantine, but also when we return to more of a routine lifestyle. 

Ask yourself each day, “what wellness muscle do I need to exercise today?” or, 
“what wellness muscle might be weak at this point in my life to cause me to feel unwell, sad, down, etc?” 

Physical wellness?

Intellectual wellness?

Emotional wellness?

Spiritual wellness?

Social/Environmental wellness?

Psychological wellness?

Once we internally reflect and establish which dimension needs some attention, we can determine an action to strengthen that area of our wellness. 

In the upcoming days and weeks, we will discuss more specific strategies to exercise each of our “wellness muscles”.

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