Duke Wheel of Health Descriptions

You: You are at the center of your health.  Your values, goals and priorities determine everything about the course of your life.  You are the most important consideration when it comes to planning for your health.

Mindful Awareness: When you pay attention on purpose to the present moment – without judging it in any way, you can experience many benefits to the health of your body and mind.  By being more present and aware of what is happening within you, you can live a life that is grounded in a deep sense of meaning and purpose, and you can respond to changes in your life in a proactive and engaged way.

The Seven Dimensions of Self-Care:

Self-care is personal health maintenance and includes choices that you make which affect your physical, mental and emotional well-being.  The following seven dimensions contribute significantly to your overall health and well-being, and they reflect your values, lifestyle habits and motivation.  Evaluating your current and desired states in each of these dimensions of self-care helps you to create a healthier life from the ground up.

Movement, Exercise & Rest

You can optimize the performance of your body through appropriate movement, exercise and rest, which can produce needed strength, flexibility, endurance and restoration.  Developing a sustainable, appealing plan that meets your needs and keeps you strong, flexible, balanced, restored and happy is ideal.


Attending to what you eat and drink can nourish and strengthen your body and mind.  An integrative approach to nutrition includes developing healthy eating habits, eating foods that sustain your health and fit your lifestyle, selecting dietary supplements that support your health goals, and regulating substances like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and the like.

Physical Environment

Evolving science suggests your surroundings at work and home can nurture your physical, mental and emotional health.  Considering how the environments you regularly inhabit affect your well-being can enhance your overall health.  This may include creating a nurturing, healthy environment that enlivens each of the senses; creating a special place to build your mind-body practices; arranging spaces and selecting furniture to support your body; or exploring options for addressing concerns you have about toxic exposures, noise, clutter, and lighting.

Relationships & Communication

Research demonstrates that supportive relationships with your family, friends, co-workers and colleagues based on open, respectful communication can have a dramatic and beneficial effect on your health.  By honestly evaluating your relationships, you can identify ways in which you need support and communicate those needs effectively to those around you.


Developing a deep understanding of the purpose and meaning in your life benefits all aspects of your physical, mental and emotional health.  This can be religion or prayer, or other expressions such as art or nature.  All have been shown to enhance health and well-being.

Personal & Professional Development

An ongoing assessment of where you are with personal, career and life goals – especially important 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 health and well-being.

Mind Body Connection

You can strengthen and utilize the connection between the mind and the body to nourish every aspect of who you are.  Mind-body skills such as breathing techniques, meditation, guided imagery and others have been shown to activate the body’s automatic healing responses and reduce the harmful effects of stress.  Mind-body practices can help you reconnect your body and mind so that you can optimize your health, performance and life.

Professional Care

The many dimensions of the Wheel of Health are held within a ring of Professional Care that encompasses Conventional and Complementary approaches to both prevention and intervention.

Prevention & Intervention

The optimal goals of healthcare include health optimization, disease prevention, early detection, and when necessary, intervention.

Conventional & Complementary approaches

An integrative medicine model of care employs a broad base of conventional and complementary evidence-based treatments and therapies.


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Duke Wheel of Health Descriptions