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Exploring Wellness
What is Wellness
The concept of wellness can be varied and very broad. What is wellness? Why is wellness important? How do we practice wellness? Every professional has his or her own answers towards these questions. In 2007, the Community West and WA HACC Initiative - Wellness Approach to Community HomeCare (WATCH) was published. WATCH outlines the wellness approach and encourages WA HACC-funded service providers to make a change towards a wellness focused service delivery model.

This model encourages organizations to 'find the right balance between doing for and doing with, encourage clients to do things as much as they can and view all clients as having strengths and the potential to improve' (WATCH, 2007). When organizations employ the wellness approach to daily practice, clients will be able to gradually develop, maintain and improve their functioning capacities.

To better carry out our mission of improving the quality of life of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are in need of care, Chung Wah Community and Aged Care (CAC) has endorsed this wellness approach throughout all our programs and services since 2008.

It is important to be aware that the recognition of wellness has no geographic or cultural boundaries. From eastern to western, from ancient times to modern society, each culture has a unique way to express and describe the wellness concept.

The meaning of wellness can be traced back to thousands of years ago. In a famous ancient Chinese book; 'The Great Leaning', Confucian philosophers have expressed their understanding of wellness as following:

To prevail peace throughout the universe, a person must manage the nation in order before hand; To manage the nation, the person must run the family in unison; However, the family will not start to function until the person cultivate his individual wellbeing as the first step.

This passage outlines the importance of wellness and stresses that each goal cannot be achieved without first achieving individual wellbeing.

The Confucian interpretation of wellness is also in congruence with the Taoist Ying-Yang symbol, a widely recognized asian cultural element. This symbol represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work. The outer cycle symbolizes "everything" while the White and Black colours represent all the energies in the world and the continual movement of and interaction between each other. A wellness society works just like this symbol – the completeness of everything – the individual, the family, the community, the nation and the world.
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