What is your definition of wellness?
I had an opportunity to visit the Cultural Wellness Center, a novel organization at the corner of Lake Street and Bloomington Avenue. It has worked to bring about a new sense of wellness to the area of the Powderhorn Park and Phillips neighborhoods. Opened in 1996, it strives to overcome social barriers to wellness, unleashing the power of citizens to heal themselves and build community.
The Cultural Wellness Center is based on the idea that individualism, loss of culture and loss of community is the root cause of illness. I did not understand this concept at all at first; I was taught that disease comes from bacteria, abnormalities in DNA or chronic exposure to toxins, just to name a few. However, my assumption of the definition of health is different from that of other people. According to Atum Azzahir, executive director and founder of the center, health includes not just the state of the body but also the mind and soul. To feel isolated in one’s community is stressful and can lead to a lack of security and eventually illness. This is the concept of health at the center.
I must admit that I am still skeptical about the center and its philosophy. Please feel free to comment on the center and their concept of health.