Often we take a tunnel-vision approach to our health, thinking “if I just exercised more …” or “if I just ate better …” I would be healthy. End of discussion.
But humans are multi-faceted, and so is our health. Our lives involve more than just moving or eating.
The Wheel of Health, a tool developed by Duke Integrative Medicine, helps us consider our whole selves and see how weakness in one area can lead to some wobbliness as we roll along in life.
In my integrative health coaching practice, my work with clients begins here, with a self-assessment of our wheel. Let’s take a look:
We begin on the Wheel of Health at the center, with the focus on YOU. Mindful awareness of one’s physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being starts the process of change.
So what’s mindful awareness? Paying attention, on purpose, to what you are doing while you are doing it. Simply, being aware.
And then, emanating out from the center, are self-care categories. These are lifestyle areas that affect our overall health, such as exercise and nutrition, and also other areas that might be surprising such as personal/professional development or, in my case, our physical environment.
We often discover that we are weak in some areas and strong in others.
The outer ring of the Wheel of Health illuminates the importance of prevention and intervention, and the synergy created as we work with conventional and complementary health practitioners and try different approaches.
How to use the Wheel of Health
Take a moment to consider each of the areas on the wheel, starting with you at the center. Focus on each category around the wheel, thinking about where you are now in that area and where you’d like to be in the future.
What are your areas of weakness? What areas do you consider to be strengths?
If you need further descriptions of each category, visit the Duke Integrative Medicine website.
And if you’d like more information on a particular area, on my blog I’ve grouped every article into at least one of these categories, so you can search for information on a particular area, such as exercise or relationships. Articles that address multiple categories are archived on the blog under Self Care. Use the search feature to look up different topics.
Because our health is dynamic and ever changing, we can return to the Wheel of Health as needed to reassess weaknesses and strengths and to choose a new area of focus.
The Wheel of Health is a tool for beginning the process of integrative health coaching. If you’d like to explore a certain area of weakness more fully or discuss whether individual coaching may benefit you, please contact me to set up a complementary phone consultation.
Here’s to a healthier you!
Welcome! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. This article appeared as Step 5 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series, part of #Write31Days 2017. You can read any post in the series here, and if you’d like to receive my letters and updates, you’re invited to subscribe at this link.