Can you believe this? I’m so excited, its finally happening—New York is on board with supporting mindfulness by dedicating a full week to “Health & Wellness.” This is a step in the right direction—there’s hope for our future generations so let’s not stop here. Let’s continue our mission to help create a better way to live.
Not sure if your state representatives care about health and wellness? If you live in New York state, there’s a good chance they do. Governor Cuomo just signed into legislature a bill recognizing the first week of May as “New York Health & Wellness Week.” As I read the bill, I felt like cheering.
In order to pass this bill, legislators first had to define Health and Wellness. I agree with their definition, because it encompasses a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological health:
WHEREAS, Health and Wellness is the feeling of health, happiness or well-being in regard to one’s physical health, energy level, mental state, emotions, and ability to regulate one’s lifestyle as pertaining to individuals in New York State; and…
The bill also makes a distinction between medical providers who focus on critical care (for illness, emergencies, and accidents) and wellness professionals who promote preventive care—these practitioners teach healthy lifestyles and coping techniques, which don’t typically include drugs or surgery:
WHEREAS, Health and Wellness professionals help New York residents develop the techniques, habits, skills, and training to minimize stress, improve cardiovascular health, increase strength and flexibility, regulate emotions, learn relaxation and mindfulness practices, and build positive community ties; and…
Legislators also addressed the health of our children and families. The bill emphasizes the importance of nutrition and regular exercise, and acknowledges the stress, bullying, and violence that sadly makes its way into some of our schools.
WHEREAS, Implemented in school settings, the regular practice of movement, breathing, relaxation-based exercises, mindfulness practices, and nutrition education have been known to lower incidences of bullying and violence, improve attendance, reduce sick days, and create more attentive learners; and
WHEREAS, Stress and trauma, lack of sleep, economic disparity and poor nutrition severely disrupt learning in school communities; health and wellness programs are a catalyst for learning, increasing students’ social, emotional and physical self-regulation, focus, attention, and engagement in school classes, activities and communities; therefore, supporting necessary changes in public policy will make health and wellness an essential component of public education; and
Equally exciting, the legislators recognized the cost saving and productivity benefits owing to regular holistic health practices in this bill. They even recognized that preventative health and wellness programs may decrease the risk of common, ubiquitous medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain psychological conditions.
I’m proud to be a New Yorker for many reasons, and this is one. I hope that other states will pass similar legislature to support holistic practitioners across the country. Click here to read the entire bill.