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Medical Wellness Archives

Defining Optimal Well-Being

2004: Volume 1, Number 1


According to the World Health Organization, health is defined as: “A state of optimal well-being, not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” 

Wellness practitioners believe that optimal well-being requires a balance between wellness dimensions that comprise the whole person.


These dimensions of well-being include physical, mental, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and social components. This integrated perspective of optimal well-being recognizes the importance on each dimension as well as their gestalt. An individual’s well-being and vitality is greater than the sum of his or her parts. Although this concept has been around since Hippocrates, it seems to have been lost with the rise of conventional medicine and its reliance on specialization, technology, and separating the disease from the person.

Today, a paradigm shift is taking place as evidence-based medicine and complementary approaches are integrated into a total treatment regimen.


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(C) 2006 The Medical Wellness Association