The holistic approach to medicine and care strives to heal the every entity of a person – mind, body, and soul to achieve optimal wellness.
Wellness is a lifestyle that cannot be attained without first having a foundation of values and belief, mindfulness of one’s identity, and strengthened by a support system of family and friends so that a person can receive and give the infinite elements of life such as love and joy. Only then through self-discipline, self-care, and personal choices can one excel in the seven dimensions of wellness: fitness, nutrition, intellectual activity, creativity, financial, life’s work and purpose, and spiritualism.
– Operation No Shame’s Wellness Philosophy
Duke University’s Model of a Wellness Tree (2010) influenced the image and theory of Operation No Shame’s wellness philosophy. Just as trees need roots to gather nutrients for it to grow, people must have roots such as identity, values and beliefs, and a support network (family, friends, and community) to ground them all which are continually fed and nourished by elements in life.
Elements such as love, acceptance, compassion, commitment, contentment, joy, satisfaction, truth, goodness, beauty, integrity, courage, humor, intelligence, confidence, and generosity are represented by the soil. These are things that we cannot quantify or live without. Elements are essential and if our roots lack those nutrients we can’t grow. We become stunted.
The trunk strengthens and maintains the tree just as people’s self-care regiment (mind, body, and soul) and self-discipline enhance their growth along with the sunshine just as individuals’ choices make a difference in one’s life. Branches of the tree represent dimensions of who we are via our behavior that evolve from your roots to your trunk such as spiritualism (religion and meditation), life’s work and purpose (occupation, vocation, and calling), financial (giving and receiving), creativity (interests, gifts, and talents), intellectual activity, nutrition, and fitness. It would be impossible to reach an attainable level of wellness in any of these dimensions without a strong “trunk” or nourished “roots” in place.