What is Whole Body Health?
Whole Body Health is a 360-degree view of one’s health, acknowledging the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual factors in a person’s ability to thrive, not merely survive.
At Root, we support the journey to total health & wellness by focusing on what we refer to as the Four Pillars of Whole Body Health.
FOOD as Medicine
Health starts here. What we feed our bodies is the most critical aspect in achieving Whole Body Health. Food is medicine and the right food will support immune system function, tamp down illness driving inflammation, soothe digestive complaints, ease anxiety & depression, improve heart health and reduce the risk for a host of cancers.
According to Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. While we intuitively understand the importance of food in causing and relieving health issues, most doctors are much more knowledgeable about prescribing drugs than foods and the ‘food as medicine’ philosophy has been largely overlooked. All that is changing and a growing interest in the science of functional foods is opening up many therapeutic possibilities.
At Root, a food as medicine approach means starting with a base of whole food, plant-rich, nutrient-dense foods, adding lean, healthy proteins and boosting with super foods & key nutrients such as adaptogens, healing herbs or key supplements most of us are lacking, such as Vitamin D or immune system fueling Vitamin C
MOVEMENT for Mind + Body
While all forms of exercise have physical and mental benefits, many today are also seeking a ‘mindful approach’ to movement which starts as a philosophy, is practiced as a discipline and often leads to a lifestyle that works to achieve harmony between mind, body and spirit – both individually and in relationship with the world around us.
The origins of many contemporary mind-body exercise programs we see today lie in the ancient Eastern disciplines of yoga and qigong. Yoga literally means “to yoke” or "union”, referring to the integration of mind, body, and spirit and Qigong translates as ‘life energy work’, describing a series of meditation, breathing and movement for health and vitality.
In addition to a full body workout, mindful movement usually includes all of the following characteristics/components:
1. Meditative/contemplative. A noncompetitive, present-moment and nonjudgmental introspective component that is process-centered versus being strictly outcome or goal oriented.
2. Proprioceptive awareness. Some call it body awareness or kinesthetic sense – exercise that couples muscular activity with mental focus to improve our body’s ability to sense where we are in relationship to our surroundings.
3. Breath-centering. The breath is the primary centering activity in mind-body exercise.
4. Anatomic alignment, such as spine, trunk, and pelvis, or proper physical form. Disciplining oneself to a particular movement pattern or spinal alignment holds true for many forms of mind-body exercise.
5. Energy-centric. Awareness and attention of the movement and flow of one's intrinsic energy, vital life force, chi, prana, or other positive energy.
Mindful movement is an important part of whole body health. The health benefits alone of regular, mindful movement are realized by improved sleep, reduced pain, gains in flexibility and strength, reduction in stress, increased energy, better cognition and mental function.
At Root, everyone, at any fitness level, is invited to experience the benefits of mindful movement. True fitness is a balance of physical, mental and emotional components and recognizes the need for balance and recovery that comes from routine engagement in mindful movement. Whether you are a runner or a cycler, a dancer or a skier, or are just learning to move your body or manage your stress and injury, mindful movement provides the recovery and self-awareness required for whole body health.
IMMUNITY for Resilience
Truth: Life requires resilience. Resilience is defined as ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’ Immunity is never absolute - life happens - so we work to create resilience by boosting our body’s immune system and ability to protect itself. At Root, this means assessing our health from all angles, with all available tools, determining what our most pressing issues are, and creating a plan using a natural-first approach, to achieve Whole Body Health.
Our Naturopathic Physicians are primary care doctors who take the time to really listen to all concerns, ask questions, and consider the whole body, with a focus on optimum health and prevention. They employ extensive testing to diagnose a host of key health markers for each patient. These may include nutrient, hormone, neurotransmitter, and enzyme level testing; red and white cell counts, lipid profiles, or the identification of inflammation indicators. Findings are paired with the consideration of lifestyle, diet, environmental exposure to allergens and toxins, along with existing diagnoses to develop a full picture of systemic function and a plan to support the body's inherent ability to heal and find balance.
Our Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Practitioners evaluate all bodily systems from an East Asian Medicine point of view with the goal of encouraging homeostatic balance and the elimination of any physical or mental/emotional blockages to improve the body’s functions and innate healing abilities. Treatment traditionally involves the insertion of very fine, sterile needles (with minimal or no discomfort) into the surface of the skin at strategic points all over the body to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue, boosting the body’s natural painkillers and promoting a healing response. Acupuncture may also involve techniques such as cupping, acupressure, moxibustion or heat therapy), gua sha, warming or cooling plasters, liniments and herbal medicine. Acupuncture can ease pain, calm nausea, improve sleep, support digestive function, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, relieve stress, and more, while promoting healing and balance in the body.
Chiropractic Physicians at Root do not limit themselves to simply adjustments, but rather, they take a ‘healthy movement’ approach to treatment. By assessing posture, spinal alignment, gait and other movement biometrics, our practitioners can identify structural impediments to pain free movement and deploy a variety of therapeutic techniques for immediate relief and to build resilience for injury prevention. Their toolkit consists of broad array of techniques, including assisted stretching to aid muscle release, soft tissue manipulation to improve blood flow to injured tissue, targeted exercises to improve strength and balance, and where appropriate, gentle adjustment, among other treatment modalities. Our Chiropractic doctors (DC) work to improve overall mobility and reduce pain. They also serve as a vital resource in matters of, stress management, injury prevention, rehabilitation, patient education and postural counseling.
PAUSE for Self-Care
Whole Body Health cannot happen without regular ‘pause’. Stopping to consider where you are, where you want to be and what it takes to get there. Taking a moment to consider what you are putting in your body, putting on your skin. Noticing how your body feels, what it's telling you. Prioritizing what you need to feel your best every day. Carving out the days, hours and minutes needed to put what you learn into practice through regular, ongoing acts of self-care. At Root, this means daily mindful movement and breathe work, regular skin care treatments using natural, non-toxic products paired with innovative, non-invasive therapies to improve the health of your skin for natural radiance; ongoing body work through customized massage, using modalities from Swedish to Deep Tissue to Thai, to ease tension and reduce stress. It means spending time in our Community Sauna for a warming, health boosting detox and enjoying a cup of medicinal herbal tea in the Tea Room while journaling about your day. It’s the “pause”, every day, that allows whole body health to happen.
Root’s entire team of knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate practitioners from all four pillars work collaboratively with each other, and with the rest of our team, to help you achieve gains in health and wellness and to maximize everyone’s ability to become resilient.
We polled our team to find out what Whole Body Health means to them, and the answers revealed common themes of regular self-care for mind, body & spirit, balance in bodily systems, self-awareness, community and the recognition that there is no set path or one-size fits all solution.
Kaeley Connor, Customer Success Specialist
“Taking care of yourself from the roots up (no pun intended), from the inside-out. From your digestive system to your mental health, skin to physical exercise, it means mind, body and spirit – taking care of your whole self.”
Britani Kavanaugh, Esthetician
“Taking care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual self so that I can be the best version of myself every day.”
Rachel Hines, Yoga Instructor
“Paying attention to, and honoring, the signals from my systems. Some days that means taking a walk while other days that means powering through my to-do list. It is a dynamic relationship of awareness meeting this human-reality in a friendly way.”
Antonina Kuznetsov, Customer Success Specialist
“Taking proper care of yourself with prayer, exercise, eating healthy, community, giving back, and having goals to always strive to be better and do better.”
Jennifer Siegel, Yoga Instructor
"The integration of your emotions, logic, intelligence, and spirit with your movements, thoughts and actions. Being a whole and perfect being means that every thought and action is reflected in our words and movements. To say it another way; if your wrist hurts, it’s not just your wrist that hurts. There’s a connection to your elbow, shoulder, neck and head. There’s your intellectual and emotional relationship to that sensation. There’s the way that pain affects everything that you do. Whole Body Health is being aware of all that.”
Emily DeArmas, Marketing Manager
"Health isn’t just diet and exercise. It goes deeper into your mental, spiritual and emotional wellness. It means balance in all areas of your life to ensure true happiness and well-being.”
Casey McCullough, Acupuncturist
"Engaging with the whole self. It’s about taking conscious action to better ourselves on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. How we do this and what this entails is up to us. It’s not a size, not any specific action, not a dietary credo, nor a fixed point in time we all must work tirelessly to reach. It is a deep knowing and confidence in what you need to feel your best. We may all fall and struggle sometimes with our health, but this does not make us less healthy. Whole Body Health gives us resiliency to face the challenges that arise and guides us through, even when the road is long and difficult.“
Dr. Katherine Walker, Naturopath & Nutritionist
“Forming a team to have a collaborative experience with your health. As health is multi-factorial we need a diverse approach to determine root cause of dis-ease. As an active participate you determine how to approach health, however fast or slow; with guidance. Being rooted in whole body health means examining physical body, mental-emotional and spiritual as a whole/complete entity. Whole Body Health means organizing an imperfect puzzle to fit what best serves you in a world that is constantly changing.”
Sahara Raines, Lead Customer Success Specialist
"Establishing a firm foundation in all systems of the mind and body. Be it the food you take in, the exercise you perform, your support system, your meditation or your downtime. It’s about creating balance in your world.”
Dr. Nicole Kilian, Naturopath and Acupuncturist
“Feeling physically, spiritually and mentally strong.”
Pat Johnson, Founder
"A 360-degree view of health and wellbeing - physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual. It acknowledges that many tangible and intangible aspects of our life can affect our vitality and the way we want to show up in the world. It's thriving, not merely surviving, and living to our fullest potential. It’s the journey of life. We may not always be firing all cylinders of Whole Body Health, but it's surely an aspiration and a state of being that feels more connected, authentic and in 'flow.'
Pamela Peterson, Esthetician
"Taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Linking yourself as a whole. Interconnecting your heart and mind.”
Mallory Corr, Social Media Manager
“Trust, patience, and intuition - your body working in harmony with nature. The ability to slow down and strip away outside messages about what your body "should" look like and really listen to what it is your body needs. Being kind and understanding with yourself. Acknowledging that given half a chance, your body will always want to heal itself and return to a state of homeostasis.”
Dr. Daniel Agosta, Chiropractic Physician
“Practicing and cultivating balance in our body, mind and social interactions. In my opinion, in order to be healthy within our whole body we must cultivate and practice healthy habits that nurture our physical wellbeing, emotional and mental wellbeing, and then to practice and take those habits into our everyday interactions with others.”
Melanee Rossa, Esthetician
“Approaching your health in a well- rounded way. Taking care of yourself with exercise, proper nutrition, spirituality, meditation, community, and regularity of preventative treatments; ie acupuncture, massage etc.”
Whole Body Health isn’t any one practice, service or belief. It’s the realization that to achieve true health & wellness, we must all prioritize taking care of ourselves and finding balance, in mind, body and spirit.
Perhaps the World Health Organization says it best:
“Health is not merely the absence of disease or a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
True health is achieved by choosing wellness. When we choose to engage in wellness for the mind, body and spirit, we choose true health.
Whole Body Health happens here. Join us.