The biomedical model of wellness is outdated’

The traditional, biomedical model of wellness is quickly becoming outdated, because it is inconsistent with all the new information coming from alternative fields like psychoneuroimmunology, energy medicine and holistic health, asserts Karen Carrier, wellness consultant and president of Houston-based Human Solutions Inc. She predicts that the evolving needs of employees will result in a radical alteration of what we call "wellness."

"Consumer demand among the lay population will continue to drive integration of alternative medicine modalities into mainstream medical care and health promotion — despite the resistance of the existing establishment," she predicts. "It is important to note, however, that alternative medicine is only part of the holistic movement. The holistic health shift is actually much bigger; it’s about a dramatic shift in the assumptions and beliefs about why people get sick, how they heal, and what they need to be optimally healthy."

Preventive health professionals, Carrier asserts, generally remain unaware of or quite closed to the more progressive and innovative work emerging in holistic health. However, she says, "We must be aware that things that get labeled [as] quackery’ today are often the very future of our work.

"My prediction: Health professionals will increasingly be required to work with concepts such as energy medicine, metaphysical concepts, intuitive healing, and changes in consciousness. I believe the work in the area of consciousness will become the dominant theme in health promotion within the next 20 years. At the most central level, the things that really make most people sick are the result of how we have chosen to create the realities that generate the human experience."

Because of this outlook, Carrier is convinced that technology will be only a small part of the wellness future. "What people are increasingly starved for and needing is human connected-ness and supportive, respectful relationships that bring meaning to their lives," she says. "I believe the most powerful health promotion efforts of the future will help people figure out how to create more of this for themselves."

[For more information, contact: Karen Carrier, Human Solutions Inc., P.O. Box 841436, Houston, TX 77284-1436. Telephone: (713) 849-9868.]