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What Does Wellness Mean to You?

The elusive buzzword means many things to many people.

What Does Wellness Mean to You?

Let’s break it down…

Lucas Brown

Lac, Owner, Lucas Brown Acupuncture

The word has changed meaning for me over the years. I used to avoid the term, but after years of private practice, I developed a truer understanding. Most people are in denial about their state of health and confuse “not being sick” with good health. Two key features of wellness are resiliency and action. Meaning that wellness gives one a buffer to prevent illness and recover more quickly. It takes active involvement to maintain a state of well-being. The key is to find the right activities or interventions that will allow you to overcome past trauma. Once there, the energy required to maintain wellness becomes less than the energy required to heal.

Photograph by Grace Williamson

Marnie Duncan

Founder, MOD Fitness

To me it means having balance in your body and mind. It’s about nourishing yourself physically and mentally so you’re able to do all of the things you love doing.

Photograph by David Heisler

Emily Murray

Owner, Emily Murray Wellness

It’s a life practice comprised of daily habits that nourish your mind, body and soul: choosing the foods, relationships and activities that feed your physical, mental and emotional well-being. To me, the mastery of wellness means having awareness of and the flexibility to change when you need to.

Photograph by Kate LeSeur

Ally Davidson

Co-founder, Camp Gladiator

Staying healthy means being active and trying to excel at all aspects of life. It’s not just about being fit. It’s about hitting the courts, trails, lake and the field, ideally with my family and friends! Most important is creating experiences to be shared with the ones I love. Right now I’m looking to have more focus and prioritize the most essential things in my life and business.

Brooke Stubbs

MD, Owner, CYL Sauna Studio Austin

Wellness is a process of optimizing our physical and emotional health so that we can perform all of the functions of life to our best ability. It requires effort and education. Even though I practice and study Western medicine, I believe in a holistic approach to wellness. I’ve used cold plunges, massage therapy, acupuncture, Endermologie, Exilis Laser, microneedling skin rollers, LED light therapy, dry brushing and herbal supplements — turmeric for inflammation is my most favorite — and of course the infrared sauna therapy!

Erin Walter

Community Engagement Director, YMCA of Austin

I’m both an ordained minister and a certified Zumba teacher, so I think of wellness as nourishing mind, body and spirit. Life has taught me that when we care for all three elements of ourselves, joy and hope have room to dance. Over the past year I’ve thrown axes with friends, and I played bass in a couple of rock bands. Both of those count as self-care to me. But the most crucial treatment is being part of a supportive community, like the Y and my church (Wildflower). Novelty is fun, but wellness is rooted in the routines and practices that sustain us daily.

Photograph by Nicola Stewart

Martha Lynn Kale

Owner, Mirror Mirror

Feeling your best in all areas! At the salon I’ve learned it’s not always about the hair when someone comes in. We all want the outside to match the inside. Staying on top of both is what wellness is. I have a holistic doctor I have worked with for the past six years. He and his wife have really taught me to think outside the box when it comes to my health. A healthy dose of Eastern medicine coupled with traditional Western medicine is the perfect balance for me.

Photograph by Cory Ryan

Kelly Krause

Conference Programming Manager, SXSW

The practice of treating yourself kindly every single day. Are you taking inventory of how you feel each day and adjusting accordingly? Tap into how you feel and keep it simple — you don’t need much to feel good. This year I’m ditching the scale. For the first time in my life, I no longer measure my success by a number. I feel strong and confident running and lifting heavier weights versus feeling strong and confident because of my weight. My wellness wish for everyone is to ditch numbers: pant sizes, scales and waistlines.

Photograph by Aaron Pinkston

Riley Blanks

Founder, Woke Beauty

I believe wellness is all about choices. Life is a constant journey involving experiences that can either derail your well-being or contribute to its magnitude. Ultimately, those decisions determine your physical and mental health. It’s not about “good” or “bad.” It’s about acceptance and forgiveness. If you can embrace all that life has to offer, you’re on the path to equilibrium, which, for me, is the ultimate aim.

Photograph by Rachael Hyde