True wellness talks prevention as well as healing luke coutinho – bw businessworld

First, wellness is not a replacement for conventional medicine. Wellness includes medication (when needed) and a lot more beyond that. True wellness talks prevention as well as healing, it talks about nutrition, movement, the importance of sleep and emotional health, it addresses the core of every health issues instead of just addressing the symptoms and finally it treats the human body as a “whole” and never a disease in isolation. It allows compassion, hope and time for patients from the doctors and other health professionals.

Wellness takes into account that every patient is different and has different dietary needs. Emotions too are taken into account as emotion affects every cell of the body in the right way or wrong way. It looks at the person holistically, rather “wholistically”, addresses the root cause and works towards healing that.

It looks at “healing” rather than “treating”. There is a huge difference between the two. It understands that everything is connected in the human body and thus doesn’t just treat the disease, but everything that’s connected with it. For e.g.: Diabetes is much beyond high and low sugar levels. It is about looking at the health of pancreas, addressing inflammation, acidity, lifestyle factors that cause it and ways to manage it.

4 pillars: Our health is dependent on 4 pillars i.e. Balanced Nutrition, Adequate Exercise, Quality Sleep, and Sound Emotional health. When we take into account each of these pillars and find ways to improve the way we eat, sleep, move, think, talk – we build a great platform to encourage good health. Notice the word “Balanced” nutrition, “Adequate” exercise and “Sound” sleep. This means only eating fruits, vegetables, superfoods is not going to fix anyone’s health. A healthy diet is the one that’s nutritionally balanced, fresh, wholesome, local and seasonal. Similarly, exercise has to be just “adequate” for your body considering the sleep you have had last night or the kind of nutrition that’s gone into your body. Both over-exercising as well as under exercising can be harmful. Talking about sleep, its always quality over quantity. One can be sleeping for 5 hours, but if its quality deep sleep then that’s enough for your body to undergo a successful detoxification process, hormonal balance, repair, and rejuvenation. Moreover, all of these 4 pillars have to run in accordance with each other and not independent of each other.

It can be very easy for a layperson to get lost amongst all the trends and not knowing what to follow, however, it’s important for each of us (layperson or an experienced professional) to use Vitamin C, which is simple common sense to make a decision. One must understand that most of these trends/research is generic and when it comes to health there is no “one size fits all” approach. Each of us must first reflect on our health and do what suits us and is need of the hour. Talks on gut health are important and relevant because building gut health is the key to good health, but there maybe many ways to approach that. For some, it could mean working on their emotional health, for some eliminating gluten and for some giving up excess tea/ coffee. Hence one must personalise every advise keeping their health in mind and not follow the fad.

Wellness is not true wellness if it doesn’t talk about mind, body, soul and how can each of these be aligned to one another. One cannot separate and keep the mind out of the equation of good health. Mind and everything that happens within affects our body in a huge way. Our mind is like a butterfly that flies from one flower to another, never standing still. And it’s a natural human tendency to focus on negatives more than the positives. What we focus on, grows. Every thought we think gets manifested into some biochemical reaction in our body. Hence healing the mind should be the first step towards healing a disease.

Healing or nurturing our mind can be as simple as focusing on our breath or just being mindful about every inhale and exhale. When we drive our attention towards our breath we prevent its wandering, overthinking, negative thinking or simply building up stories that are not even real. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be stopping the mind from wandering, but just allowing it to do what it does, allowing the thoughts to come and gently pass without reacting and retaliating. This is mindfulness. Being aware of everything, yet not reacting.

Mindfulness can also be a mindful walk, mindful cooking or mindful eating. Anything that gets your mind so absorbed into something that its difficult for it to focus on unnecessary thoughts. This is a great tool to wellness because a constant reminder for your mind to think positive, live in the present, be in the moment helps rewire your brain to think and focus on the positives or sometimes just accept the negative and let go of it. There is great healing in acceptance too.

As of now, there are no plans of creating an inpatient centre but there maybe plans to expand across the country and globally where we may have holistic wellness centres where individuals (sick or not sick) can come together and get a complete holistic experience under one roof. This will be aimed towards looking after prevention as well as disease healing.

I see Wellness business only growing more and more. People have slowly started realising that the best investment is your health. No amount of investing in material possessions helps once our health starts deteriorating. You can buy the best of medicines and get treatments in the best of hospitals but medicines will only address the symptoms and give a temporary relief. In fact, it shall have its own set of side effects to deal with. Medicines do not create wellness, lifestyle does. People are understanding that while they need medicine during certain times, they also need to make parallel lifestyle changes, which is what true wellness talks about. I foresee the future of Wellness as something where people know that there is a lot more beyond medication. There is nutrition, your environment, mental health, quality of sleep, exercise. So, wellness is definitely going to expand over the next couple of years.