It’s a mouthful introducing myself as the Medical Director of the Andrew Weil, M.D. Integrative Wellness Center at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona.I’d rather describe myself as a health coach.As a physician working in a resort and spa, I often find myself helping people who come here wanting to change some aspect of their lives. A coach’s job is to educate and motivate you to perform better in whatever you are looking to improve. My area of specialty is integrative health, which is a term you may be hearing more and more these days. Let me define what that means.As an integrative physician, I describe health as a wholeness and balance that offers a sense of resilience to help you go through the world without getting knocked down and staying that way. Health does not imply that we aren’t going to get sick or have setbacks, but it does suggest that we can bounce back quickly and get right back to balance.Being healthy allows you to have the confidence to walk through the world without dreading its potential dangers. It means that you can be exposed to allergens without getting allergies, carcinogens without getting cancer, infectious diseases without getting sick and stressors without succumbing to stress-related illnesses. Having health also offers a sense of fulfillment and peace that comes with acquiring this level of hardiness and fortitude.Where health is the ultimate destination, wellness is the road map that gets you there. I define wellness as the good feeling you get after finding and using a series of specific, personalized strategies that allow you to achieve optimum health. To me, wellness is an action just as much as it is an emotion. Where health is generalized, wellness becomes exclusive. Strategies might be similar from person to person, but each one carries its unique signature as it matches your personal style.QUIZ: How Healthy Do You Feel?The same goes for beauty. I see beauty as a direct reflection of wellness, and when you successfully practice your set of strategies, you feel beautiful—inside and out. Feeling beautiful guides you toward optimum health.Practicing Integrative Medicine enables me to give people these strategies. Medicine that is integrative is healing-oriented, as opposed to being focused purely on disease management. It also focuses on individuals as being more than just physical bodies, paying attention to the mental, emotional, spiritual, relational, even energetic aspects of who they are as well. Knowing a person this way, I can then devise tools to bring about better balance and wholeness in all of these areas.MORE: Your Guide to Alternative MedicineHaving an understanding of alternative therapies as well as conventional medical methods then allows me to look for treatments that might be more affordable, less toxic and just as or more effective than first using drugs or surgery. If we need them, fine. It’s my job to guide individuals through the maze of confusion and misinformation surrounding which methods to use. My training and experience allows me to discern the good from the bad so that I can help individuals find the right match of therapies, practices, vitamins, supplements and herbs, combining them with the best of conventional methods to move closer towards health and healing and ultimately feeling beautiful.This column will give you some of that advice, and I look forward to helping you reach your optimum health and beauty.