Health and Wellness – Are They Synonymous?



My definition of health prior to reading any of the resources is that it is being able to do one’s activities every day with ease of mobility. It also means not having any form of illness. Wellness, on the other hand was, for me, the holistic version of health. This is when a person has decided to create a lifestyle that is socially, mentally, physically and spiritually positive.

After studying the Module 1 resources, my conceptions about health and wellness were greatly improved. It is safe to say that I had only known the tip of the iceberg prior to studying these modules. I never realized that there are even three health models namely medical, holistic and wellness; as well as seven wellness dimensions. I never imagined that health and wellness are two such complex terms that have to be clarified.

It is fascinating to be able to discover that the medical model’s perception of the human body is as if it is a machine. This means that this model only includes the physical aspects of the human body (excluding social and mental issues. (Definitions of Health, n.d.).

Somehow this first model represented my limited grasp on what health is all about. In fact, even people with disabilities were categorized as unhealthy.

The holistic model, on the other hand, includes these two. This records both individual and population-related indicators of health.

The last model is the wellness model where even aspirations and needs given importance. Given this deeper definition, I am now more aware of what I need to do on top of not being physically ill. If I were to embrace wellness, then I need to act upon some realizations in my life such as –

  • Becoming mentally positive
  • Working out for a stronger physique
  • Making dietary alterations
  • Allotting a time for meditation
  • Having ample rest
  • Taking necessary vaccines and daily vitamins, etc.

I even need to have a healthy relationship with other people so that depression won’t creep in. I never knew health and wellness would require more than eating, exercising and sleeping right.

Another new learning that interested me is John Travis’s Illness-Wellness Continuum. Exploring the work of Abraham Maslow, he soon realized that more than treatments for illnesses, he needed to inspire people so that they decide to embrace wellness. Because of Dr. Travis, the so-called Wellness and Treatment Paradigm has charted the wide spectrum that is illness to wellness. Visually, it became easy for health and medical practitioners to categorize well individuals from those who are not.

So what gives? In terms of taking care of myself and my family, I will now be more cautious on so many levels. I will check the foods that we eat, the beverages that we drink, the medicines that we take, and I will even make sure that I have enough me time and quality time for each member of my family.



Definitions of Health. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from


Health & Wellness: Definition and Dimensions. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from


World Health Organization. (1998). Health promotion glossary. World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved from


Zyga, M. (n.d.). A New Vision of Wellness. Retrieved February 13, 2017, from


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