Health versus Wellness


By Dr. Kimberly M. Smash
Prolific Health and Wellness

        Dr. Kimberly M. Smash

When I began searching for the name of my medical practice, I was hesitant to use the terminology “Health and Wellness.”

I thought the connotations were simply too great for me to live up to. However, as I thought about it more seriously, it’s really impossible to
have true health without first having wellness. One definition of wellness is “having a positive approach to living.”

In my first interview with The Mississippi Link, I was quoted as having said, “If you don’t include God in the treatment plan, people may be better, but they won’t be whole or WELL.” A definition of health, on the other hand, is “soundness of body or mind.”

Therefore, health can be summarized as the current state of our body or mind; whereas wellness is how we view the current state of our body or mind.

The purpose of going to any doctor’s office would be to ensure that the current state of your body or mind is or will be good. However, the wellness side of the equation is not always addressed.

To explain how important your attitude about the condition of your health is to your actual state of health, let’s discuss neuropeptides.

Withoutgetting too technical, neuropeptides are little proteins that help nerves talk to one another. When they chat, signals are sent to the brain that tell the body and mind how to respond to the messages sent by the neuropeptides.

The question then is “What triggers the neuropeptides to begin the transmission of a signal?” The answer quite simply is your
thoughts. The way you think about your body gets transmitted to the neuropeptides who then tell each other that a certain signal needs to be
sent to the brain or body to tell it how to react to a certain condition.

So, if you are telling your friendly little proteins to be worried about the current state of your kidneys, your body and brain will receive that
message and manifest it as stress which has been proven to have a negative effect on your health, potentially creating a disease state such as kidney failure. Then you unfortunately end up on dialysis because of how you thought about your body in the first place.

Now this is a very simplistic way of looking at a very complex network of physiological activity.

But, imagine for a moment that a deciding factor between whether or not you live disease free or have to be tied to a dialysis machine for the rest of your life, is whether or not you decide to change your mind about your health. Wouldn’t you rather just change your mind? Doesn’t that sound much simpler?

That is our goal at Prolific Health and Wellness as well as the goal of this column…to get you to change your mind about the way you view your health. As my pastor says, “I’ll get naked so you can.” That just means I’ll share my struggle so that you benefit and will then be able
to share yours.

I have been overweight most of my life. However, I did not lose almost 50 pounds, and keep it off, until I changed my mind about my weight.

And I found the best source to use in order to change my mind was the Bible. But that is what worked for me. There are many wonderful, positive books you can read and audio recordings you can listen to while riding in your car pertaining to health, wellness, peace, joy, love and the list goes on.

This will help you have a more positive approach to living. Viewing those sources of inspiration (i.e. the Bible, podcasts, self-help books) as part of your medical treatment plan along with applying the recommendations of your doctor will not only help you achieve good health, but
will help you become whole and WELL in the process. This is why at Prolific Health and Wellness we practice medicine with our minds and
our hearts.

Be Well.

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