Wheel of Health

The Wheel of Health (WOH), created by Duke Integrative Medicine, is a visual reminder of the many different layers of your whole life and health. All of the areas that are included in the WOH can impact health and have connections to one another. According to the World Health Organization, health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

When working with a health coach you will use the WOH to develop a Personal Health Plan - a customized plan that considers all of who you are—body, mind and spirit—as well as the community in which you live. It pays thoughtful attention to your personal goals, needs and lifestyle


Colors of the Wheel of Health

Yellow: You are at the center of your health. Your values, goals and priorities help to determine the course of your life. Mindful Awareness of physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being is the key to start the process of positive change. When you pay attention to the present moment—without judging it in any way—you can experience many health benefits. By being more aware of what is happening within you, you can respond to changes in your life and health in a proactive and engaged way.

Green: Self-Care includes all the choices you make that affect your physical, mental and spiritual well- being, and is reflected in lifestyle, priorities, motivation, and habits. Recognizing the impact of lifestyle on your basic health, and how it supports basic functions in your life, allows you to rebuild a healthier life from the ground up.

Blue: Professional Care includes services and therapies that are aimed at staying healthy (Prevention) as well as treating conditions that arise (Intervention).In order to tackle the complex dynamics contributing to your health an Integrative Medicine model of care uses conventional and complementary therapies. Such therapies and services include physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and other conventional health care workers, as well as integrative health coaches, acupuncturists, massage therapists, psychologists, mind-body therapists, and a wide range of other complementary health care providers.

The Seven Dimensions of Self-Care

Dimension 1: Movement, Exercise and Rest

Exercise supports your health in maintaining weight, blood pressure, reducing lipids, releasing stress, and improving mood and focus. Developing a sustainable, appealing plan that meets your needs and keeps you strong, balanced, and happy is ideal. Also just as important is developing healthy sleeping habits and finding time for rest and relaxation.

Dimension 2: Nutrition

An integrative nutrition approach includes developing healthy eating habits, eating foods that support your health and fit your lifestyle, selecting dietary supplements that provide support for various issues in your health, and regulating substances you ingest that may impact health such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, etc.

Dimension 3: Personal and Professional Development

An ongoing assessment of where you are with personal, career or life goals– especially important at times of transition, milestones, and tipping points in life—can reinforce healthy behavior and lifestyle choices. Taking a deeper look at work-life balance, financial goals, and personal growth supports optimal well-being.

Dimension 4: Physical Environment

Your surroundings can influence your health in many ways. It is important to give some thought to how your environment can support your health: creating a nurturing space that facilitates relaxation, or a special place to build your mind-body practices; arranging workspaces and selecting furniture that supports your body; exploring options for dealing with concerns you may have about toxic exposure, safety, noise, clutter and other aspects of your environment.

Dimension 5: Relationships and Communication

Building a supportive community and maintaining healthy connections with your family, co-workers, and friends is important to your life and your health. It is vital to identify the ways in which you need support, and to communicate them effectively to those around you.

By honestly evaluating your relationships, you can invest in your positive connections with others and minimize or reevaluate your choices in those that do not serve you. Important questions to ask yourself- Which of your relationships are based on open, respectful communication? Which relationships fuel you? Which ones drain you?

Dimension 6: Spirituality

Having a sense of purpose and meaning in your life benefits all aspects of your physical and emotional health. Exploring your current spiritual beliefs may help you find more ways to enhance your health and well-being.

Dimension 7: Mind–Body Connection

Taking advantage of complex connections between state of mind and basic physiologic functions in the body, many mind-body skills can have a profound impact on your health. Breathing techniques, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and other therapies are used to activate the body’s automatic healing response and reduce the harmful effects of stress.