Do you remember when you first noticed that you had a health issue holding you back from enjoying life completely?
It may have quietly crept up, so slowly that you didn’t notice it until it started creating a challenge for your daily life.
It may have rushed in so fast, that you found yourself desperately trying anything just to get by on a day to day basis.
Suddenly, months, then years have gone by, with the symptoms only building on top of each other and the feeling that your health has spiraled out of your control.
If you were to measure your health on a scale that goes from disease to optimal health, you may find yourself currently heading in a negative direction. Just like 133 other million Americans suffering from a chronic disease, you may be wondering how to turn your issues around, and if it is even possible!
Allow me to present to you, the continuum of wellness model that helps you locate where you are in your current health status:
Note: Reproduced from “Travis Illness-Wellness Continuum,” by John W. Travis, M.D., and Regina Sara Ryan, Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA. ©1981, 1988, 2004. https://ahha.org/getting-well/
Looking at this model, you can think of your health at any moment as a point along this wellness spectrum. Changes can occur over time or suddenly. This model shows the various degrees of illness and wellness. Where do you place yourself?
Health, Well-being, & Wellness
Definitions for wellness has changed over the years and has been described by The World health Organization (WHO) as a state of physical, mental and social well-being, not just the absence of disease. To further understand what wellness is, you need to know what it is not.
Wellness and health are different things. Health focuses on the status of your illness and your relationship with it. Whereas the term wellness goes beyond not having a disease. Also, it is possible for you to be in a state of well-being, but not wellness. Well-being can be described as the balance-point between your resources and the challenges you face. Well-being is the step toward your wellness, it is not necessarily all-encompassing as wellness.
You can see on the continuum of wellness model, where these terms are located to further your understanding of where you currently are. Wellness is an evolving process toward achieving your full potential. Your wellness relies on positive/affirming, holistic aspects that involve factors such as your lifestyle, spiritual and environmental influences.
Chronic Disease Scales Back Your Optimal Health
Your body is made up of varying systems all set up to help you function properly. Chronic disease is often the consequence of your body’s natural healing capabilities becoming blocked, specifically by disruptions at metabolic and cellular levels.
Emerging studies show that most chronic diseases are caused by your body’s biological reaction to a traumatic event or injury. It is not the acute injury or event alone that causes chronic disease, it is because your body is unable to completely heal itself from it. Your cells become caught in a repeating loop of incomplete recovery and re-injury, unable to fully heal. This creates a spiderweb of issues that coincide or build on top of the root cause for your chronic disease.
Science points to lifestyle factors such as poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, smoking and insufficient relief of chronic stress as key contributors to chronic disease. You need a lifestyle plan that fosters your health towards wellness. Functional Medicine seeks to boost your health at a cellular level through customized lifestyle interventions. Your path to wellness is specific to you as are the underlying factors that are blocking you from healing.
Functional Medicine for a Better Direction
Understanding where you are on the continuum of wellness model will help you as you work with your Functional Medicine doctor to determine your needs for enhancing your health, well-being and ultimately, your wellness.
Chronic disease, where the cause of the problem is often unknown - and, may no longer be present – is discovered through the Functional Medicine lens with a doctor-patient relationship that extends beyond the confines of conventional medicine. Chronic conditions like diabetes, SIBO, cancer, IBS, migraines, ADHD, hormone and metabolic disorders defy an easy explanation, let alone a quick remedy.
Don’t waste your time looking for quick solutions that only manage your chronic disease; spend your time on completely resolving your chronic disease.
Much of conventional medicine is based upon the treatment of immediate harm from physical injury or infections, broken bones, common cold to heart and asthma attacks. While this is critical for health, you also need medicine that promotes your health and well-being towards wellness. You need personalized plans for healing and restoring your optimal health, not just managing the symptoms of chronic disease. This is where Functional Medicine comes in.
Functional Medicine does not separate your issues from one another, as everything you experience physically, mentally and spiritually interact with each other.
As my patient, I offer you a complete understanding of your chronic disease and risk factors associated with it. Consideration of your lifestyle is imperative towards your wellness journey. With a continuum of care and your commitment to improved lifestyle changes, you will be more capable of reaching your best wellness.
To Your Health,
Kiran Grewal MD
"My goal is to share my knowledge with the world. I believe in delivering valuable and ethical content that changes the lives of my patients."
-Kiran Grewal MD