Wellbeing, chronic disease, and integrative medicine

Wellbeing, chronic disease, and integrative medicine

Since 1946, the WHO (World Health Organization) has defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (1). Wellness, a more recent term, is “the pursuit of overall health in a physical and mental matter. It is a multidimensional state of wellbeing. Health and wellbeing are inseparable”.Developing our wellbeing is possible for everyone and with simple actions. For example, let’s think about an essential gesture of life… breathing.By breathing more consciously and more through the belly, we can achieve deeper breathing. And this has a ”relaxation” effect guaranteed. It is an ideal act to reduce the feeling of stress, to apprehend an event or, simply, to take care of ourselves. The most complicated part is to integrate it into our daily life. The wellbeing is important for each of us not only when we are healthy to feel good and to prevent disease but also when we suffer from chronic diseases.

The wellbeing may seem futile compared to care for any long-term condition. Nevertheless, it is essential. Higher levels of wellbeing are also associated with decreased risk of disease, illness, and injury; speedier recovery; better immune functioning; and increased longevity (3) (4).Evidence suggests an association of trait positive affect and lower morbidity and trait positive affect and decreased symptoms and pain (5). Besides, positive affect seems to be a protector factor for individuals against physical declines in old age (6) (7).Caring for one’s body and mind can be done in different ways and should be individually different according to the characteristics of the illness. Here are some of the common ways.Keep and maintain a positive image of ourselves through adapted ways like detox treatments and massages is important (4).Stress can be a triggering factor or even the aggravating factor of the symptoms of the disease. So, we have to find our way to remove the stress from our life as much as possible.

Engage in physical activity and maintain physical activity habits are essential. In some situations, it also helps to overcome fatigue during and after treatment and reduces the risk of recurrence of the disease. Physical wellness is also about making responsible decisions and responding appropriately to physical stressors.

 

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