Wellness: The Ingredients of Wellness, with Angie Bucu

This month, Parvati Magazine spoke with Angie Bucu, a Hong Kong-based wellness researcher and teacher who manages the Ingredients of Wellness blog. 

Parvati Magazine: How did the field of wellness research come about and what drew you to it? What do you ultimately want to be able to do with this research and how do you see it benefiting the world?

Angie Bucu: Research played a significant role in all subjects throughout the Master of Wellness program (MOW) I took. Learning about the many different dimensions and paths that make up wellness ignited my desire to learn even more about this new field of work and research. By the time I came to do my research project I felt sure that researching and writing about wellness was what I would do professionally.

As a tutor of Mindbody Wellness for university students, I am interested in how mind-body techniques can help us not only shift our emotions and attitudes to create well-being in ourselves, but also to shift people’s attitudes and behaviors towards our environment and how we interact with it and within it.

Wellness, as a field of study and work, is still relatively new. It considers the holistic interrelationship between the various dimensions of wellness – physical, psychological, emotional, social, environmental and occupational being the few I focus on. I feel that it needs more voices and experts looking into this holistic approach, to discuss and debate how the interrelationship can create more balance and wellbeing in our lives, those we interact with, and the environments in which we interact.

PMAG: Have you found a connection between nature and human wellness? How can we make the most of this connection?

AB: Unequivocally yes! There is a significant body of research on the effect that being in nature and connecting with nature has on our wellbeing, our physical and emotional health, how we interact socially, and so on. I have recently been looking into research that suggests that when children interact and play in nature they are more likely to care about the environment as they grow older, than those children who do not have exposure to or access to nature on a regular basis. This is important work for childhood development and environmental education programs. The use of nature in healing spaces is also an area of significant research and why we now see more green spaces in urban environments and hospitals.

My advice for maintaining this connection is to just be in nature as often as you can, daily if possible, and be mindful and present when you are there. Use your senses, be silent, and meditate if you can or choose. And above all find something that you are in awe of. I keep a daily gratitude journal and find that at least one thing I am grateful for each day IS related to nature.

PMAG: What has been your favorite moment so far in the research you’re doing?

AB: I think the most rewarding work is the MindBody Wellness course that I tutor. Most of our undergraduate students take this course to support their own health and wellbeing whilst at University. We see that a large majority of the students find profound shifts in their emotional and physical well-being, which then has a knock-on effect on how they handle their studies, jobs, social relationships and so on. Many have not used these therapies and techniques before, and they are amazed at the rapid benefits they can and do experience. Most go on to continue using these techniques after the course.

PMAG: What is the intention with your blog “Ingredients of Wellness”?

AB: The blog is intended to be a platform to share relevant wellness research, articles, tips, news, interviews and musings about wellness and the various dimensions of wellness. Finding out how choices toward a wellness paradigm… a wellness approach to living life… can contribute to positive health and wellbeing. It is my intention to provide readers with tools and knowledge to realize the shift from one of reacting to illness and dis-ease to one of creating a life of wellness.

Angie BucuAngie Bucu holds a Master of Wellness, is an Independent Wellness Researcher and a tutor of Mindbody Wellness. Having swapped a career in accounting and professional services for a life and career in Wellness, Angie shares research and knowledge on the various dimensions of Wellness including mindbody, physical, emotional, nutritional, environmental, social and workplace wellness.  She regularly shares research, news and views on her blog Ingredients of Wellness, writes for various print and online publications, and is a Hong Kong distributor of Miessence, the world’s leading certified organic skincare and personal care range, certified to food grade standards, through her business Organic Care HK.