If you’ve never used a wellness wheel or considered one in light of your own health, you might want to give it a try.  If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, a wellness wheel is simply a visual model of health that represents different areas of personal well-being that are interconnected.  It is used to highlight the fact that all areas of health and well-being must be functioning well in order for a person to experience optimal health.  Most wellness wheels contain some version of mind, body, and spirit. More complicated ones add dimensions of life such as social, financial, community, or relationships.

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Although there are a lot of similarities in wellness wheels used by individuals and organizations, they all vary and can actually be quite personal.  This makes a great deal of sense. Everyone has different health values and needs, and different ways of expressing themselves, so wellness wheels may not look or function the same, either in content or appearance.  For example, my own personal wellness wheel contains “play”, because in our family, work and service can dominate our time and energy if we aren’t very intentional about rest and the need for laughter for optimal health and relationship building.

Creating your own personal wellness wheel can tell you a lot about your health and help guide your efforts toward optimizing it.  There are levels of understanding that happen when you create and implement a wellness wheel as a tool. This allows you to reach and sustain higher levels of wellness than you might not otherwise.

If you are off-balance, your wellness wheel will help identify key areas that need attention so you can determine the best solution.  This minimizes overwhelm by giving you only ONE thing to work on. It’s a much more straightforward approach and gets to the root of the problem, making success more likely.  I recommend a simple 5-step process for creating and using a wheel of wellness to reach optimal health.

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If the process seems overwhelming, if you have complicated health issues, or if you just need a kick in the pants, a functional medicine doctor or functional health coach can help.  Functional medicine doctors and coaches are trained to evaluate all dimensions of your health and support you as you implement changes to restore well-being in key areas. The wellness wheel plays an important role in making sure all areas of your life that affect your overall health are addressed and maximized, so you can reach optimal health.

Jill Butryn, MD

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