Ads, tag lines, whole marketing campaigns are based on wellness, even if it’s a stretch for the company’s actual daily practices. Wellness covers the gambit of life and can be adapted to suit anyone’s needs. All is good because it’s a huge sign the masses are finally moving towards healthier lifestyles.
The Wellness Origins America Didn’t Get It
Wellness guru Paul Bragg pioneered the wellness movement in the mid-1920s with his healthy food products and health centers. Today, his legacy continues with the incredible work of his daughter Patricia Bragg. In the early years Americans didn’t buy the health food agenda. The American lifestyle became a physically lazy one. Instead of walking, biking and enjoying the fresh air, America’s past-times became sedentary waste-times (as in body waste!) – watching TV, riding in cars and buses which decreased physical activity and lowered the body’s ability to cope with illness. Added to this mix was the increase in processed foods and fast foods, and by the ‘60s severe health problems such as hypertension, cardio-respiratory disease and diabetes had increased dramatically.
The Fitness Revolution
The wellness movement found its legs when exercise guru Dr. Kenneth Cooper created the aerobic phenomenon in 1968. His studies were in direct response to the surprising increase of life-threatening diseases and clearly showed that aerobic exercise was vitally important to achieving good health and maintaining wellness.
At first, the focus was only on the external appearance of wellness – “I want those awesome deltoids,” and “Give me those six-pack abs,” and so on. However, with focus only on externals, exercise routines failed to produce lasting results. Behavior modification programs were added and proved to be an integral component of positive changes toward losing body fat, sticking to workout routines, having better attitudes and making good food choices. But something was missing. There still was an insatiable feeling of wanting and needing more. So, right alongside this fitness explosion, the Self-Help industry easily grew into billion-dollar earnings by simply exploring why our minds and emotions (hearts) weren’t satisfied or at peace. Studying matters of the heart opened up a new realm of emotional balance and … voilà! Spiritual awareness became the path to living a healthy life – the final frontier leading to wellness and well-being.Self-Help Transforms
The Spiritual Influence
The emergence of meditation, yoga, tai chi and qi gong practices heightened the awareness of “going within” to find wellness and maintain good health. Words once considered “new age-y” or “fringy” became mainstream – breath work, meditation, sound healing, quantum leap, inspiration, biofeedback, ancestral healing, energy healing, and the mind-meditation, sound healing, quantum leap, inspiration, biofeedback, ancestral healing, energy healing, and the mind-body-spirit connection. People’s vacations began to include swimming with dolphins, spa retreats, ashram stays, wellness centers and spiritual journeys. Today, this new consciousness and mind, body and spirit awareness is the model for achieving wellness and a balanced life. Western medicine, Eastern traditions, alternative medicine and complementary care programs are working together for complete patient care. Striving for inner peace has been accepted as a pathway to emotional wellness and balance. Integrated medicine and total body wellness is the goal for today’s progressive health practitioners, wellness professionals, healers and teachers all over the world.