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What is Ideal Wellness and Fairness?

Updated on April 6, 2017

Scholarly Discussion: After reading Health and Wellness (Johnson, 2011), visit several of the websites listed in that document as providing more information on health and wellness. Considering the information presented on the websites, the information presented in this module, and your own personal experience, what do you think is a complete definition of “health”? What do you think is a complete definition of “wellness”? What is the difference between health and wellness?

Choose a wellness model that you found in your exploration this week. Describe the model, provide a reference to the source, and discuss how the model you chose relates to the models of wellness presented in this week’s readings.

Savolaine and Granello discuss the importance of meaning in wellness. They state that having meaning in life is a central component to wellness. Prilleltensky discusses the role of fairness in wellness. Present an example of someone who you think represents an “ideal” wellness model, and discuss the role of meaning and fairness in attaining this ideal wellness.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (2011) states that true health and wellness can be obtained only when a person reaches his or her maximum potential. In order to for a person to reach their maximum potential they must first comprehend the meaning and the differences between health and wellness in their personal lives. I would define health as a state of complete well-being, including physical, psychological, spiritual, social, intellectual, and environmental dimensions of health and not merely the absence of disease, infirmity, and symptoms (Hales, 2013). I would define wellness as a set of deliberate and desirable lifestyle choice characterized by personal responsibility and optimal enhancement of physical, mental, and spiritual health that apply to the domains of a person’s life, such as financial situations, personal relationships, and physical health (Prilleltensky, 2013). The main difference between health and wellness is that health is a state of complete well-being and wellness is a set of deliberate life style choices made by an individual; it could be argued that wellness is about conscious choices only, while health can be affected by conscious decisions, unconscious decisions, and genetic factors.

Wellness models have been created and proposed in an attempt to define the specific physical, psychological, and social characteristics of a well person; these models typically all place an added emphasis on both the meaning and purposes of a person’s life (Savolaine & Granello, 2002). One such wellness model is the two-factor model of mental health; this particular model views well-being as a viable route to complete mental health. The model demonstrates that mental health depends on both a reduction in mental illness and enhancement of physical wellbeing (Prilleltensky, 2013). The two-factor wellness model appears to be a simplified version of the lifespan model and the holistic model; both involve social, emotional, and physical factors that affect the wellness of the individual. The two-factor model also has some similarities to the biopsychosocial model which states that “biological, psychological, and social factors are all involved in any given state of health or illness” (Taylor, 2015, p. 316).

In my opinion an ideal wellness model needs to be balanced and take into account physical, psychosocial, and social factors. The wellness model developed by Healer includes six of the eight dimensions of wellness which are: intellectual, emotional, physical, social, occupational, and spiritual dimensions (Opatz, 1986). This particular model states that the occupational and spiritual dimensions are directly related to the meaning and purpose of a person’s life. When considering people who would fit my ideal wellness model, the first person I thought of was my sister as she has a balance of the six wellness dimensions of the model in her life and she keeps all of the dimensions balanced. Ideal wellness requires fairness in order to allow people to participate in processes and decisions that directly affect their lives; the lack of this level of fairness in decisions often causes negative emotional reactions which negatively impact a person’s wellness (Prilleltensky, 2013).


Hales, D. (2013). Invitation to Health: Live It Now (16th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Johnson, C. (Ed.). (2011, July). Health and wellness. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological

Therapeutics, 34(6), 407.

Opatz, J. P. (Ed.). (1986). Wellness promotion strategies: Selected proceedings of the eighth

annual National Wellness Conference. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Prilleltensky, I. (2013). Wellness without fairness: The missing link in psychology. South

African Journal of Psychology, 43(2), 147–155.

Savolaine, J., & Granello, P. F. (2002). The function of meaning and purpose for individual

wellness. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 41, 178–189.

Taylor, S. (2015). Health Psychology (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.


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