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Sunday, January 16, 2011

What is Wellness?

So, what is this new Wellness movement and what does the term ”Wellness” really mean anyway?
It is said the term was coined back in the 1950’s by an American physician, Dr. Halbert Dunn, who was studying American trends affecting human health. He used the word Wellness to describe the opposite of “illness.” Several decades later, the popularity of the term began to spread all over the world. Today, we hear the term used by groups all across the board; holistic practitioners, spas, and gyms, even drugstores, hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are incorporating the term.

So, what is it? There are a variety of definitions of Wellness… Webster defines it as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal. The Medical Dictionary defines it as “a dynamic state of health in which an individual progresses toward a higher level of functioning, achieving an optimum balance between internal and external environments.” Dr. Patrick Gentempo, founder of Creating Wellness and the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, defines it as "The degree to which an individual experiences health and vitality in the three dimensions of their life — physical, bio-chemical and psychological."

No matter how you wish to define Wellness, one thing is certain, just like the term “health,” Wellness is more than just feeling good. A person can feel good, yet be unaware that they are suffering from a disease or illness that may soon take over their life. Every one of us knows of someone who was feeling just fine one moment, and the next suffered a life-altering stroke or heart attack.

As Dr. Gentempo states in his definition of Wellness, we must make certain that the three dimensions of our health… physical, bio-chemical and psychological, are being properly assessed and that we’re taking action to ensure every cell, tissue, and organ within our body is functioning at one hundred percent, one hundred percent of the time.

You may be wondering, “How is that possible?” Check back tomorrow for my follow up blog. 

Healthy Momma ~ Healthy Baby

Discovering that you’re pregnant may be the most exciting (and scary) moment in your entire life. The gift of motherhood is, in my opinion, the greatest gift a woman can receive. It is rewarding, humbling, joyful, fulfilling; the list goes on. During pregnancy, we take care of ourselves so that the precious gift growing inside of us is as healthy as he or she can be when they enter this world. As mothers, we also do everything within our power to ensure that our little ones have all of their needs met and we make certain to provide them with all they require for proper growth and development, well-being, safety, comfort and happiness. I feel what we all ultimately desire for our family is true health and happiness. These are perhaps the two most desired possessions in the world.
As a mother and a Doctor of Chiropractic, I understand the need to achieve and posses both health and happiness for our family. I also understand how absolutely vital it is to ensure that our little ones have the best chance to express health from the very beginning stages of life. We all have inside of us a” Life Energy” that powers through our body and allows us to function in a state of “Life.” This Life Energy is carried by the nervous system, which is the master control system of the body. Our nervous system develops in the embryo around the 16th day of development. The nervous system is responsible for making sure that our Life Energy flows from our brain, down through our spinal cord and out to our organs, tissues and the rest of our body. Without this flow, we cannot survive. With a disruption of this flow, we cannot function properly and the body begins to breakdown. As an expecting mother, you have a decision to make, encourage proper Life Flow and allow your developing baby the best chance to express their full health potential or to not, and let chance take the lead.
During pregnancy, there are many changes that occur to the body. Ligaments become more relaxed, your pelvis and spinal bones (vertebrae) move out of alignment, your center of gravity shifts upward, you share nutrients with your baby and stress is placed on your organs and throughout the rest of your body due to preexisting imbalances. These are all normal and natural occurrences during pregnancy, however they may also cause an imbalance to your body and therefore to your baby. If your pelvis is out of balance, your ligaments may become torqued and twisted causing intra-uterine constraint, which may lead to a breech presentation. If you have a postural imbalance from spinal misalignments (known as Subluxations) you are not receiving the proper Life Flow, which in turn prevents your baby from receiving proper nervous system development. If you are not sufficient in all the nutrients your body requires, you and your baby will suffer.
So what to do? It’s a lot to take in, but there is an answer!  A Doctor of Chiropractic trained to detect nervous system dysfunction using state of the art technology will be able to measure how well your Life Flow is working. He or She will also be able to address if you have a ligament or spinal constraint that can cause harm to your developing baby. Regular Chiropractic Wellness adjustments will allow the body to naturally correct itself, restore a state of balance and reduce interference to the nervous system. What does this mean to you and your baby? An easier pregnancy, decreased labor and delivery time, a safer birth and provides you and your baby with proper expression of your full health potential and Life Flow.
Soon after delivery, your newborn should have their spine and nervous system checked by a Chiropractor, as well, to ensure the physical stress from the delivery process did no harm to their little body. It is my professional opinion that every woman considering conceiving, all expecting mothers and every child needs to have their spine checked regularly. Chiropractic will provide your family with a solid foundation for wellness and ultimately, a lifetime of health and happiness for the whole family.

To find a Practitioner in your area, visit