JMPT Patient Education Page| Volume 34, ISSUE 6, P407, July 2011

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Health and Wellness

      Health is much more than a lack of symptoms, such as pain or stiffness. The World Health Organization defines health as “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
      True health and wellness is when one reaches his/her maximum potential. Some people may not experience symptoms but may have underlying disease that if unchecked or ignored, may result in illness, disability, or even premature death. For example, high blood pressure typically does not have symptoms but over time causes damage to the heart and blood vessels.
      Focusing on health and wellness helps individuals develop healthy lifestyles, effective behaviors, and supportive attitudes instead of focusing only on pain, disability, or symptoms as indicators of health. Your health care provider can assist you with many of the factors that influence health, which are called the “determinants of health.”
      The Healthy People initiative developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services is a national health promotion and disease prevention program. The Healthy People program has over 40 different objectives to target better health. An article in the Jul/Aug 2011 issue of JMPT discusses awareness of Healthy People objectives by healthcare practitioners.
      What you can do to maximize health and wellness:
      • Physical activity: Exercise regularly, use good technique and posture
      • Nutrition: Consume a healthy and balanced diet
      • Healthy weight: Avoid obesity, maintain your ideal body weight
      • Tobacco: Do not smoke or chew tobacco
      • Drug use: Do not use recreational drugs
      • Cleanliness: Use healthy hygiene, wash hands, brush teeth regularly
      • Healthy environment: Maintain safe and healthy work and living environments
      • Mental health: Reduce stress, maintain healthy stress relief practices
      • Health care: regular checkups with your health care provider, do not wait for symptoms to occur
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      The JMPT Patient Education Page is a patient education handout and a public service of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics to help patients stay informed about important health care topics. Information on this page is not a substitute for consultation with a health care professional. For specific information or questions about health care or conditions, patients should contact their health care provider. This educational page may be photocopied non-commercially to share with patients. For more information visit