Claire snared a press invitations to the official opening of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Wellness Program at the posh spa Miraval in Tucson. We met Dr. Weil and had a tour of the facility with resident physician, Dr. Jim Nicolai and his nurse Sheryl Brooks. The idea is to combine the integrative medicine concepts of Dr. Weil with the exercise, stress and relaxation activities of Miraval to plot an optimal lifestyle and wellness path for clients. This is high-end medicine and wellness counseling for wealthy individuals who want, and can afford, something more than healthcare that offers 15 minutes and a prescription.
Claire and I live a lifestyle of fitness and healthy eating, including Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet (type it in your search engine) and believe in the concept, though we certainly can’t afford to access it at Miraval.
We have our own, non-credentialed version, at Far Horizons Tucson Village. We call it The Health Nuts club. We meet and discuss various ways to encourage each other in healthy lifestyle changes. Maybe people would take our free version of a wellness program seriously if Oprah came here instead of Miraval? Somehow I doubt we’ll see her at our humble and inexpensive (compared to Miraval) resort. Both Dr. Weil’s model, and our simpler one, have considerable merit for those facing declining fitness, weight gain, heart, blood sugar and other wellness issues. Pills don’t solve all problems.
Nobody thinks the health insurance companies will embrace this model soon, but that probably won’t stop Dr. Weil, Dr. Nicolai and Mirival from making a buck. For the rest of us, it’s up to us to get together and help each other with our wellness goals. It doesn’t cost any more than a little time, and the willingness to listen to, share, and care for each other.