“The Illness-Wellness Continuum” was introduced in the 1970s. On the left side of this continuum is someone in the "disease state" who is ill and whose function has been compromised. On the far right is someone who has optimal health, with consistent nutrition and exercise, and has great function, recovery and healing potential.
There are those that know they are healthy on the inside and outside because they lead a proactive lifestyle to create this. There are those on the opposite side of the continuum that struggle, needing interventions to stabilize health or prevent a serious event.
With this huge contrast, most Americans sit in the middle of the Illness-Wellness Continuum, which is also known as the “comfort zone.” In the “comfort zone,” people are inconsistent with exercise and nutritional choices, maybe don’t have a lot of symptoms, or manage their symptoms with over- the-counter medications, thinking their health is fine. There is this incredible misconception that if I don’t have something like a major heart condition or cancer, I am “fine.”
In this mid-range of the continuum, many of the ill-functioning components of health are easy to blow off. Being symptomless doesn't mean optimal function. Let me give you an example: the latest reports are stating that at least 50% of Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic, but a huge percentage of these people have no idea they are in this range because they don't have noticeable symptoms, yet. They may not feel great, but in America, it is normal to not feel great. If you consume media at all, you are exposed to quick fixes for headaches, low-energy, or sleep issues —media has normalized having health issues. There is little thought given to anything that would actually get to the root cause of the issue or even that would be important to explore.
The disturbing thing about the comfort zone is that these individuals are one major stressful or traumatic event away from their health moving in the wrong direction—to the poor health side of the continuum. Their health is already a low priority with underlying physiological issues brewing. Maybe they lose their job, a loved one passes away, or they are experiencing a break-up—something big is happening and is the “straw that breaks that camel’s back.”
Now, at this point, their health has been affected in a way that is going to require some major work to retrieve. They may not be in the "disease state" but they have moved from the "comfort zone" to poor health and are on their way to "disease state" if drastic action isn’t taken.
With stress levels so high for Americans, many are experiencing that major stressful event now. People are experiencing an increase in chronic health issues, pain, or even old health issues re-emerging. In a way, 2020 is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The good news is that when you put the right plan of action in place for regaining health, you can move from poor health to good health, or even to optimal wellness. It takes work and time, but with the right education, plan of action, and accountability, you will see results. If you are in the comfort zone and know that you are sitting in or on the edge of the stressful event causing a decline in your health, you are also in the place of "right action or change," moving you to the healthy side of the continuum.
Our passion is helping our community to function on the healthy side of the continuum. We have helped thousands over the last 15 years to achieve a better level of health and many achieve optimal wellness.
Join us for The Vital Shift class on Wednesday, November 4th at 6:15pm. The Vital Shift is a free, virtual class discussing the foundational secrets to health, optimal function and wellness.
Please register at bodyinbalancechiropractic.com/events. Remember, Create Health by Choice, Not by Chance.