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Wellness and Well-Being

Three generations of a family walking through a field next to a river

Some people use complementary health approaches in an effort to promote general well-being or wellness, rather than to help manage symptoms of a health problem. For example, 2012 national survey data show that people most often use yoga and dietary supplements for wellness. Wellness has several dimensions, including emotional well-being (coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships) and physical well-being (recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep).

Research sponsored by NCCIH suggests that people who use complementary approaches for wellness tend to have better overall health, higher rates of physical activity, and lower rates of obesity than those who use complementary approaches to help manage a health problem.

More research is needed to better understand how certain complementary health approaches can be useful in encouraging better self-care, improving a personal sense of well-being, and promoting a greater commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Participants at an April 2018 roundtable on emotional well-being explored research gaps and opportunities (Emotional Well-Being: Emerging Insights and Questions for Future Research).

Watch our Emotional Well-Being video series:

For More Information

NCCIH Clearinghouse

The NCCIH Clearinghouse provides information on NCCIH and complementary and integrative health approaches, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.

Toll-free in the U.S.: 1-888-644-6226

Telecommunications relay service (TRS): 7-1-1

Website: https://nccih.nih.gov/

Email: info@nccih.nih.gov (link sends email)

Know the Science

NCCIH and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide tools to help you understand the basics and terminology of scientific research so you can make well-informed decisions about your health. Know the Science features a variety of materials, including interactive modules, quizzes, and videos, as well as links to informative content from Federal resources designed to help consumers make sense of health information.

Explaining How Research Works (NIH)

Know the Science: 9 Questions To Help You Make Sense of Health Research

Understanding Clinical Studies (NIH)

PubMed®

A service of the National Library of Medicine, PubMed® contains publication information and (in most cases) brief summaries of articles from scientific and medical journals. For guidance from NCCIH on using PubMed, see How To Find Information About Complementary Health Approaches on PubMed.

Website: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged.

NCCIH has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider(s). We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by NCCIH.

Last Updated: October 2018