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Wellness syndrome

Evgeniya Petrova Vladeva


Introduction: Wellness is a lifestyle choice based on the holistic approach to health. In this century, and during the last decade in particular, wellness centers and wellness procedures have become quite popular. And just like any trend, the one related to wellness may lead to extremes. In this specific case, the extremes are defined as a „wellness syndrome“ – an obsession with a healthy lifestyle. The maximization of the efforts to achieve wellness can turn against us and make us feel bad making us isolate ourselves from the rest. The wellness syndrome leads to a search for the perfect diet, turns us into corporate athletes, chasing our own selves and monitoring each aspect of our everyday life. This is a world where feeling well is indistinguishable from being well.

 Aim: This article is an attempt to separate the aspiration toward wellness from the other extreme – an obsession with psycho-emotional techniques of mastering stress or a fixation with different esthetic procedures (which, in addition to the beneficial desired effect, may have side effects, if overused). One such condition distances the individuals from the real world and society, limits them to a tiny circle of other people, which automatically impairs at least one aspect of their wellness – the social one.

 Materials and Methods: Articles and scientific publications related to the topic were searched in the PubMed database and Google Scholar. Articles published in the last decade were included in the review. The search was conducted with a list of keywords used also in different combinations. These were: “health”, “wellness”, “wellness syndrome”, “orthorexia”, “wellbeing”, „esthetics“. The article draws on the work by Carl Cederström and André Spicer titled „Wellness Syndrome“, which currently provides the most detailed information on the “wellness syndrome”.

Special attention is paid to orthorexia as one of the most common cases of overstepping the border between a healthy diet and the maniacal obsessive idea of consuming healthy food, which may develop into a disease process.

Conclusion: The basic knowledge and skills by which physical therapists should encourage health and wellness in their patients and clients are a topic included in university curricula. However, the provided information is predominantly theoretical. The increased attention to applying theory and the development of clinical competence into skills, such as consultation, change in healthy behavior and motivation (e.g. physical activity, diet and maintaining normal weight, smoking cessation, sleep hygiene, and stress management), will improve the ability of physiotherapists to include adequate models of improving the health and wellness of their patients and clients.


health, wellness, wellness syndrome, orthorexia

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About The Author

Evgeniya Petrova Vladeva
Medical University of Varna

Department of Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, Thalassotherapy and Occupational Diseases, Faculty of Public Health

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