Health is defined as the absence of illness and having a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Wellness is defined as the process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. If health is the goal, wellness is the way we might go about achieving it.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness industry is valued at 4.2 trillion dollars and has grown 12.8% in just the past 2 years. Wellness has become more of a status symbol and a lifestyle with people prioritizing well balanced physical and mental health. In the face of longer lifespans and rising chronic disease, stress, and unhappiness, we only see a growth for wellness ahead. Wellness can better address chronic health issues and fill in the blanks of traditional healthcare, while better serving the physical and mental well-being of the patients.
A recent study revealed on a scale from 1-10, the average stress level among American rose from 4.8% to an all time high of 5.1%. As a result, more Americans are reporting disruptive sleep, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue and are turning to self care such as meditation, acupuncture, fitness, exercise and improving nutrition. Because of the growing mental health issues with Americans, the health and wellness industry believe that the economy will become more integrative and holistic in its treatments. This means a shift in doctors first suggesting acupuncture and physical fitness before writing prescriptions or suggesting surgery.
With the state of our current healthcare and healthcare insurance, I believe the way to move forward is with more holistic and mainstream treatments like massage, acupuncture, personal training, chiropractic, and physical therapy. We can actually treat our patients like humans and really get to the root of the problem and help each individual patient get better and to live a more healthy and meaningful life.
The reason healthcare has become so expensive is because people aren't dealing with their issues, until it becomes and even bigger issue and is more expensive to treat. Take Cardiovascular disease for example. Cardiovascular diseases accounts for more American deaths than any other disease, with nearly 650,000 total deaths annually. Cardiovascular disease is also one of the most preventable diseases with proper nutrition and physical fitness. If people took the time to invest in themselves and get the fitness and nutritional help now, that cost will be minimal compared to the doctor bill you get after being hospitalized from having a heart attack.
With all of these recent trends in health and wellness and all the research that proves it is worth it, I see a rise in people taking the proper care of themselves and it is our job as health professionals to educate and help you along the way. In the process, I believe we can also alter the way we utilized the healthcare system and lower the cost of insurance or eliminate it all together.