Hettler’s wellness model features six dimensions: physical wellness, occupational wellness, intellectual wellness, social wellness, emotional wellness, and spiritual wellness. This post discusses socialintellectual, and spiritual wellness.

Social wellness is the ability to interact with others and involves the use of good communication skills, developing and maintaining meaningful relationships, respecting others, and creating a social support system that includes family members and friends. This dimension includes participating in social and community events, such as celebrations and festivals. Participating in massage organization–sponsored continuing education within a learning community and attending conferences and conventions can all be part of social wellness. Sharing experiences and challenges with colleagues can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. Social wellness includes exploring diversity by interacting with people of other cultures, backgrounds, values, and beliefs. It also means taking time for leisure and recreational activities. Following this further, social wellness emphasizes our interdependence with others and with nature. One way to satisfy social wellness is to take an active part in preserving the environmental for others through recycling and conservation efforts.

Intellectual wellness is the continuous acquisition, development, and creative application of critical thinking in the quest for a more satisfying existence, according to Hettler. Pursuing intellectual wellness involves engaging in mentally stimulating activities and sharing what we are learning with others. Intellectual wellness can be developed through academic and educational pursuits, cultural involvement, community involvement, and personal hobbies. This includes keeping current with information on healthy living, visiting art galleries and museums, and traveling and learning about new places. Writing poetry or seeing a play or a foreign film also fall within this dimension. Intellectual wellness includes lively discussions about religion and politics with someone who has differing philosophies; however, both should be avoided as topics of conversation with clients because they specifically have a tendency to be polarizing.

Spiritual wellness is searching for the meaning and purpose of human existence, with or without religious affiliation. According to Rickhi (2013), spirituality is the life we live inside ourselves, versus the life we live outside ourselves through our occupations and social networks. Although spiritual wellness can be obtained through religious practice, Rickhi states spirituality is a broader concept involving learning how to be forgiving, grateful, compassionate, kinder, and less judgmental. Spiritual wellness is deeply personal and includes an individual’s values and beliefs. Although spirituality may differ between individuals, spiritual wellness leads one to strive for harmony with oneself and others and may involve attending worship services and contemplative acts such as prayer and meditation. Others may choose to spend time in nature or volunteer activities. There is no right or wrong way to find spiritual wellness.

It is vital massage therapists actively practice self-care and wellness in order to perform quality massage sessions throughout the day, day after day, year after year, for the span of their career.

Picture Credits:



Rickhi, B. G. (2013). The cosmic game. Self-publication.

View More: http://suzygphotography.pass.us/susan-salvoDr. Susan Salvo is a massage therapist, author, educator, researcher, explorer, and perpetual student. To learn more, check out the “About Susan” tab. You can contact Susan at susansalvo@hotmail.com.



Renee-Michele-headshot 2019 Dr. Michele Renee began her career as a massage therapist in 1998. After several inspiring and successful years, she expanded her scope of practice, first with chiropractic and later with a master’s degree in acupuncture. Today she runs a multidisciplinary clinic in Minneapolis, MN and serves as the Director of Integrative Care at Northwestern Health Sciences University. Drawing from many years of teaching and administration in the health sciences, Michele shares her varied experiences in education, patient care, and many paradigms of healing with health care practitioners across the US. She lives in beautiful Minneapolis, MN with her foster son and four furry friends. You can contact Michele at dr.renee@stockheart.com.