Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Is Wellness a Muscle?

We’re told that cells have memory.  After being diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness one of the jobs of you and of your treatment is to entice the cells to recall that place of wellness.  I know there is a lot of doubt about whether cells have wellness memory, but for now let’s work off that premise.  Allow us to launch ourselves from a place that is filled with hope and potential.  The idea of memory serves us not only on the cellular level, but the emotional and spiritual level as well.

When we consider the notion that wellness is a muscle then we have to wonder what we’ve done up to the point of diagnosis to work that muscle.  How many times did you take your wellness to the gym, not the one with workout machines, but one filled with good food, plenty of rest, and little stress.  How proficient were you at listening to the body and really getting the message instead of waiting for an ache or pain before you open your ears and your heart to the message?  Is it possible that as a culture we’ve allowed our wellness muscles to atrophy?

If that’s the case then we should all be scared.  The question is “will the wellness muscle respond to rehab?”  Is it possible for us after we’ve been jolted out of health complacency to rebuilt our wellness muscle?  Following your diagnosis, what are you willing to do to start a wellness muscle workout?  What does that workout look like, for you?  How committed are you to rehabilitating your wellness muscle?  There’s no wellness muscle gym or rehab facility so you’re going to have to get creative in how you design and execute the wellness muscle rehab.  Remember, you’re trying to reverse the atrophy that has occurred in the muscle so the plan must be real and you must be diligent.

Unfortunately, most people who haven’t been diagnosed with a health challenge haven’t faced the wellness muscle atrophy, so this places you ahead of the curve.  Activating your wellness muscle not only will help with your current health challenge, but it also will give you more energy for life, increase your social and familial relationships, and give you insights to the possible.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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