So much emphasis is placed on health and wellness these days it seems every where you turn you see or hear something about one or both of them. Have you ever considered what the terms health and wellness mean? Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (abnormal condition). This is only one attempt to define health. There are as many definitions of health as there are people because most people seem to perceive health in terms of their own ability to function according to their own perception of what is normal. Now that we know what health means, lets take a look at the definition of wellness.

Wellness can be defined as a state in which an individual of a given sex and at a given stage of growth and development is capable of meeting the minimum physical, physiological, and social requirements for appropriate functioning in the given sex category and at the given growth and developmental level. Another definition of wellness is a dynamic state of health in which an individual progresses toward a higher level of functioning, achieving an optimum balance between internal and external environments.

From the definitions of health and wellness, it is easy to see why a health history is requested when you see your physician or other health care professionals. Information requested may include your health history, family health history, diet, and exercise. Depending on the health care professional you are seeing, other information may be requested. Why is such a comprehensive history important to your physician or other health care professional? History provided by you gives your doctor or health care professional the most important tool to diagnose your condition and provide you with proper treatment. In other words, when you provide an honest and complete health history, family history, medical history, diet and exercise information you provide your doctor or health care professional an insight regarding your health and wellness.