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Wellness is the Key

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By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

The word wellness seems to be popping up more and more in both health circles and advertising. It seems to be the next catch phrase or buzz word in health. But what is wellness and how does it relate to health?

Health can be described as the state of optimal physical mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of symptoms and disease. Wellness takes into account all the things required to obtain and more importantly maintain this state of optimal well-being. This includes many conscious, proactive lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, proper nutrition through a healthy balanced diet, allowing time for proper rest and managing and adapting to the stressors in our lives. These are not really options but critical long term choices that are absolutely required for optimal health. It is in making these choices a part of our daily lives that we find the path to wellness, which will then lead us to a healthier, happier state of being.

Chiropractic care fits nicely into this equation because it works on the nervous system. The nervous system is the central control center for all processes carried out by the body. Chiropractic care focuses to relieve mechanical stresses from the spine that can hinder the full and optimal expression of the nervous system. These mechanical barriers are simply adaptations of the body to the many repetitive stressors we are exposed to on a daily basis. These stressors can be chemical, physical or emotional in nature; from the environmental pollution, to relationship and family stressors to the many postural and mechanical work related stressors. The way we deal with these things is directly related to the health of our nervous system and has a direct effect on every facet of our being. The nervous system is constantly battling to maintain balance between our internal and external environments amidst these ever changing stressors. Chiropractic care is an important part of maintaining nervous system integrity, but requires regular attention just as maintaining a regular fitness regime and a balanced diet requires regular attention.

When the body and mind's ability to deal with and process the stressors in our lives equals the amount of stress in our lives we will then have found a balanced state of wellness. Wellness therefore cannot be achieved through the treatment of symptoms but can only be experienced through the regular care and maintenance of all systems. Though this path through life is tougher one and has many bumps along the way; health, happiness and vitality are the ultimate reward.