A Wellness Wheel contains six or more domains that, when combined, comprise the elements of well-being.
There are core domains of wellness that we all share, but using these common elements you can create your own wheel.
But first, a quick overview of Wellness:
Beyond Sickness: Wellness~
Traditional cultures have always been concerned with wellness.
Preventative, holistic health systems are the foundation of our Ancient Wisdom teachings, from Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Yoga to Indigenous shamanic practices.
But ‘Wellness’ is a relatively new concept in the West.
The World Health Organization, without actually using the word ‘wellness’, first defined it as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”, back in 1948.
The first mention of ‘wellness’ in research literature was in 1959, in a visionary paper by Halbert Dunn, who wrote, “the state of being well is not a relatively flat, uninteresting area of ‘unsickness’ but is rather a fascinating and ever-changing panorama of life itself, inviting exploration of its every dimension.”
Halbert proposed a wellness grid which considered health and environment, creating four quadrants:
The health axis included “an area of good health at present largely uncharted and undifferentiated, toward a goal as yet but dimly perceived which is indicated as peak wellness.”
Excitingly, 55 years after Halbert published this paper, we still don’t know what the outer limits of ‘peak wellness’ are.
And exploring this uncharted territory of peak wellness is the purpose of biohacking~.
The Wellness Wheel
Acceptance of wellness spread, and in 1976 the prototype of the Wellness Wheel (called the Six Dimensions of Wellness), was developed by Bill Hettler. You can find his definitions for these six domains here.
As people have customized the model to include cultural, creative, financial, sexual and environmental domains, variations on the wheel have proliferated.
I’ve made my own.
It’s a bit extreme. But it works for me…
What does yours look like?
Google ‘wellness wheel’ to check out the images online. Maybe your perfect wheel is waiting for you~.
Or construct your own.
Once you have one, how do you use it?
I’ll cover that in part 2.