The main difference between wellness care and standard medical care is that wellness care seeks to turn on the body’s natural healing ability. Wellness care does not add something to the system, instead it removes anything that might interfere with normal function. Wellness care trusts that the body would know what to do if there was no interference. Standard medical care, on the other hand, seeks to treat a symptom by adding something from the outside – a medication, a surgery or a procedure.
If a patient has high blood pressure, a standard medical approach would be to choose a drug that lowers blood pressure, and ask the patient to take the drug. This may lower the patient’s blood pressure, it but ignores the underlying cause that is making the blood pressure high, and runs the risk that side effects might complicate the person’s recovery. Whether it’s a nutritional issue, faulty control by the nerve system or a manifestation of stress, the medication could decrease the blood pressure, but leaves the problem that is causing the symptom of high blood pressure unaddressed.
Wellness is a state of optimal conditions for normal function… and then some. The wellness approach looks for underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption (which may or may not be causing symptoms at the time) and make changes or lifestyle adjustments that would optimize the conditions needed for normal function. That environment encourages natural healing and minimizes the need for invasive treatment, which should be administered only when absolutely necessary. When the body is working properly, it tends to heal effectively, no matter what the condition. When the body heals well and maintains itself well, then there is a level of health that goes beyond “asymptomatic” or “pain-free,” providing an open-ended opportunity for vitality, vibrant health, and an enhanced experience of life. This is true for mental and emotional health as well as physical health. While some people may suffer psychological disorders, creating an atmosphere of mental and emotional wellness will address all but the most serious problems.