(N) Nutrition. (E) Exercise. (W) Wellness. Our theme for 2015, mindfulness, includes thinking about nutrition, exercise and wellness as a holistic approach to overall health. This month we look at wellness.

Indeed, what does it mean? Is it even a word? Is it the opposite of sickness?

Wellness represents a shift in Western medicine, which has been focused on treating illness, rather than preventing it. Several decades ago, prevention became a buzzword. Jogging, fad diets, gym memberships sprouted up everywhere as Americans became aware of the ravages of old age and tried to reverse the clock. They weren’t wrong.

Now that the Baby Boomers are aging, and Americans are seeing the strain of chronic health conditions on our medical system, hospitals, and families, it is increasingly important to avoid illness and injury. The way to do that is to practice wellness.

Wellness is a holistic approach to your overall health and well-being. It is, by definition, mindful because you need to actively think about it or it doesn’t happen. A leading thinker on wellness, Dr. Andrew Weil, promotes wellness as the mindful optimization of health. That means taking stock of your physical, mental and emotional health in some of the following

  1. Examine your diet
  2. Review your physical fitness
  3. Explore your emotional health
  4. Reduce your stress
  5. Build social connections

We are proud to say that all of these topics have been covered in previous issues of Will Power and the Pioneers Assistance Fund wants to help you tackle this list. There are other organizations interested in your well-being, too. Most major health plans, such as Kaiser Permanente offer wellness programs. Medicare covers a free (no co-pay) annual wellness check with your doctor and AARP has tips in their magazine every month and an entire section on their website devoted to wellness.

Our social workers can send you a copy of our Self-Care Assessment which highlights different ways to be mindful about wellness. Call today!



“Dr. Weil’s Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide by Andrew Weil, MD, available at www.drweil.com.

Contact your health insurance provider or Medicare at http://www.medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, to understand your wellness benefit