Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program

What does it mean to be ‘well’?

The concept of wellbeing is drawing increased interest and attention because of its critical relationship to the health of individuals and communities. Defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)1 as a state which maximizes physical, mental, and social functioning in the context of supportive environments, wellbeing is essential for leading a full, satisfying, and productive life. The Center views wellbeing as a state of balance or alignment in body, mind, and spirit. In this state, we feel content, connected to purpose, people, and community. We are peaceful and energized, resilient and safe. In short, we are flourishing.

The Integrative Health & Wellbeing Program’s vision is to unite the science and meaning of wellbeing and increase the capacity for individuals to transform their own lives. Facilitated by partnerships built locally, nationally, and internationally, we aim to build a vibrant interdisciplinary research community that uses various modes of inquiry to explore the science of wellbeing from holistic, interdisciplinary, and collaborative perspectives.

Our Broad Goals Are To:

  • Explore compelling questions related to the biological, psychological, social, environmental, and spiritual dimensions of wellbeing and how integrative and self-management approaches can best facilitate optimal health and wellbeing
  • Identify effective integrative practices and healing therapies that can be utilized to empower people with chronic pain and other disabling health conditions to lead productive and meaningful lives
  • Examine creative ways to foster wellbeing within culturally and economically diverse populations to promote greater self-care and reduce health disparities
  • Develop innovative resources and approaches to encourage and support the translation, dissemination and implementation of high quality research regarding integrative care and self-management for health and wellbeing
  • Through our commitment to rigorous science aimed at supporting balanced, positive states for individuals, families, workplaces, and communities we will advance the mission of the Center for Spirituality & Healing and the University of Minnesota, so that all can flourish and live their best lives.

The University of Minnesota Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing's Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program is funded in part by a gift from the NCMIC Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Gert Bronfort and Dr. Roni Evans Discuss Their Recently Published Study About Treating Back-Related Leg Pain With Spinal Manipulation and Home Exercise

Keeping Wellbeing Top of Mind

“Physical activity recommendations for older individuals are the same as for their younger counterparts, but recent evidence shows the majority of middle-age to older adults fall alarmingly short of these recommendations,” said Roni Evans, DC, PHD, adding that physical activity can help older adults enjoy a lower risk of chronic diseases, dangerous falls, better function in the body, and a higher overall quality of life. “Mindfulness practices are something anybody can engage in. They are wonderful tools for helping people take care of themselves.”

Read more of the feature story, "Keeping Wellbeing Top of Mind" in the Winter 2018 issue of Mandala, the Center's magazine.