Wondering if there is more to the wellness trend than a bunch of Instagram pics? Endeavour College of Natural Health reached out to practitioners within the wellness industry to see what they had to say about the impact social media has had on natural health.
Steven Judge - Clinical Naturopathy
I think there are both positives and negatives in regards to social media sites such as Instagram. On one hand, I’ve observed such platforms to beneficial in that people have access to awesome recipes, mindset and motivational tips, fitness and general lifestyle tips, which is fantastic. It’s a quick and easy way for people to discover information and inspiration around health and wellness. It has the ability to connect people with outstanding health-care practitioners across the globe via their social media presence, where practitioners can regularly share free health and wellness tips. It’s a great way to give back to the community outside of private practise, and reach so many people with this technology.
On the other hand, it’s also a quick and easy way for people to potentially go down the rabbit hole of being led by complete misinformation, some of which may be dangerous. Whether it’s appetite suppressing lollipops, unhealthy obsessions around ‘clean eating’, ‘tea-toxes’, or articles such as ‘eating 50 bananas a day is beneficial because it will stop your toxic menstrual cycle…’ When it comes to health and wellness, it’s clearly important to be under the guidance of a GP and a natural health-care practitioner to help you decide what may be best for your health, especially if you’re dealing with multiple health issues. Unwell people may be quite vulnerable and marketers in health and wellness understand this very well, that people may just throw money at anything in the moment because they are desperate
When seeking help from anyone in health and wellness enquire about their qualifications and work experience (internet testimonials are not reliable!). From my clinical experience, a reliable road to success in achieving optimal health includes working with a qualified practitioner who deeply understands the major facets of holistic medicine – epigenetics and gene testing, gut microbiome analysis and treatment, mind/body work, and an extremely thorough case-taking ability. Invest in yourself!
Anthony Hartcher - meandmy wellness
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Wellness means something different to everyone. In fact google search returned nearly 1 billion results. Definitions of wellness were also varied. So what does wellness mean to you? The Instagram hashtag reveals circa 27 million tags however does not rate in the top 500 hashtags. The recommended hashtags associated with wellness are related to food and nutrition.
Wellness is certainly more encompassing than food and nutrition. It incorporates holism where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Where the parts work in unison and deliver health outcomes beyond the individual components. The parts of wellness may incorporate however are not limited to: nutrition; exercise; social connection; contribution to society through work or voluntary service; rest and relaxation; doing things that make you happy; connection with nature… Long term health success is achievable by putting aside some time each day to do a bit in each of these areas.
At meandmy wellness we see wellness through your lens. We help you achieve your wellness goals through working with you to build your holistic wellness plan that will ensure long lasting health success. You determine the ‘what’ we help you with the ‘how’!
Justyna Kalka - Holistic nutritionist
Image by silviarita from Pixabay
Social media has become an integral part of our health conversation, used for health promotion and disease prevention endeavours. I do believe it can help us engage in a more open conversation about health and wellbeing, making wellness more accessible and reaching more diverse audiences, which I am all about in my work as a Nutritionist. However, I think social media can serve us best when integrated with other more traditional health communications and expert guidance. It can be difficult to sort through all the noise and new health trends emerging all the time. It can seem at times like you need a nutrition degree just to sort through all the information out there.
In my work within health programs Australia-wide, we take a multifaceted approach with technology driven innovation and health delivery with strong focus on health education, disease prevention and long term health. Everyday technologies and media are a new way to deliver health care, transcending traditional care settings for remote consultations and health coaching, connecting clients with resources and providing tools so they become involved in their own wellbeing. Health care delivery is fast evolving and that’s exciting, creating many new platforms for health practitioners. However, the traditional hands on approach, face-to-face communication which allows me to really connect with an individual and their health concerns remains the most powerful tool in the healing process. That’s why I will happily leave behind a cosy clinic room to travel to the most remote locations across the country, delivering presentations on nutrition and health, consulting with individuals who may otherwise not have access to a nutritionist or a health coach but need my assistance.
Kevin McCarthy - Myotherapist
Image by maleni ferrari from Pixabay
With over 28 years experience treating clients, I have found that natural remedies, medicine and treatment maintain long term health as opposed to short term trends. While wellness is something that is sort after by a large majority of the population, each individual will require different treatments.
Myotherapy is a treatment that can help an individual discover better health and wellness. Methods include muscle therapy, trigger point work , acupressure and deep tissue massage . Myotherapy aims to balance out many of the 844 plus muscles and take pressure off the 206 bones of the human body.
Once the soft tissue is released and the body’s range of motion is achieved pressure is taken off the nervous system, the vascular system, bones and joints. The body begins to function with more ease and you will achieve longer term health. The immune system strengthens and your body’s internal chi will begin to flow more freely throughout the body, balancing the body’s meridian energy with blood circulation nourishing all of the body’s organs.
Many people wait until pain or injury occurs. However, you can invest in your long term health early by attending 6 to 8 natural therapy treatments a year to maintain optimal health. Alternatively, a monthly massage or myotherapy treatment also goes along way to keep your internal chi balanced. In 95% of myotherapy treatments the whole body is treated which make myotherapy one of the leading treatments for fast results, with regular treatment key to maintaining optimum body and muscle condition for long lasting health.
Tabitha McIntosh - Awaken Your Health
Image by skeeze from Pixaby
In a world where social media has become a regular part of the fabric of each day, finding its place in the wellness sphere with fleeting but curated images of health trends, food-porn and often idealistic quotes, it becomes important to take a step back and consider the true meaning of wellness and health: a state of physical, mental and social functioning in an ever-changing environment, that realises the potential of which a person is capable.
Over my fifteen years in private clinical practice, I have become to think about true health as a scale, where we are consciously and consistently choosing things that propel us in the direction of wellness. I have also seen my fair share of fads come and go.
Whilst Instagram is here to stay, the veneer of health it offers doesn’t reflect the depth and complexity of true, integrated health and wellness required for long-term health. Nor does it reflect or reaffirm the importance of the relationship between the practitioner and patient in that privileged moment in a consulting room where space is held for the client to unfold with their concerns and goals. This therapeutic relationship provides new opportunities for healing: having the support, guidance and inspiration from a passionate and engaged health care provider provides an excellent forum for meaningful change.
What’s interesting is that so many people don’t experience true wellness. It’s not easy in today’s modern world - fueled by convenience - to truly live in alignment with natural rhythms of the earth and the planet. Yet the very foundations of true wellness lay in a personalised medicine approach, one where we are reminded of our connection to nature, rather than being separate. One only has to look at the current research into circadian rhythms to gain insights into how much of modern chronic disease presentations have their roots in a serious mismatch of our current lifestyles and our deeply ingrained biological needs. We are out of balance.
Rather, true health and wellness is a mosaic of all the little decisions we make each day, what we choose to nourish ourselves with, how we nurture our relationships, our decision around our personal care routines, home cleaning products, and extends to our exercise, time outdoors, and sleep hygiene. Good health is often simple. For true wellness we need balance, rhythm and connection, qualities that are not authentically delivered via social media.
So be sure to carve time out each day to jump off your screens and get out there – immerse yourself in nature, pluck an organic lemon from its perch on the tree, sip on a herbal tea or share a home-cooked meal with a loved one – so that these things become an ingrained part of your own unique health tapestry for maintaining long term health.
Two valuable resources that can help you achieve more balance to your life are Be Your Own Solution, a guide to ‘switching to safer’, reducing toxic exposure and mastering your health, and One Bite at a Time which outlines how you can reduce toxic exposure and build body resilience.
From the contributions we have received we can see that there is so much more to wellness than what is posted online. From naturopathy, nutrition and myotherapy, there is an array of natural remedies available to help anyone reach a state of wellness. The trick is to understand what your body really needs and not focus on what will make a great Instagram pic. For more insights from practitioners in the field please read part two of this post.
Main image: Bruno Glatsch from Pixabay
Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.
The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees and Honours programs in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture and Myotherapy, a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine and HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage.
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It seems that Instagram’s portrayal of wellness was a topic that resonated with a lot of practitioners within the health industry, so we decided to continue with a part two. Read on for more insights.