Jim Strohecker is President and co-founder of HealthWorld Online, Inc. www.healthy.net , co-creator of the online Wellness Inventory whole person wellbeing program (www.WellPeople.com) and the Wellness Inventory Coach Certification Training (www.CertifyWellness.com). Executive editor of the classic book, Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, he has served on the advisory boards of universities and numerous non-profit groups in the fields of wellness and integrative medicine. He can be reached at (310) 823-9553 or jim@healthy.net.

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The Internet, with immediate access to a vast world of health information and services, has emerged as a powerful medium to help in bringing about a planetary transformation in the delivery of health care, as well as the education of people in the principles of healthy living.

Today individuals are looking to manage their own health through a wellness-oriented lifestyle, enlightened self-care, and when necessary, the use of natural therapies which honor the body's innate wisdom and stimulate self-healing. Consumers want a full range of treatment options from both conventional and alternative medicine. The key word is choice. The Internet can provide the elements for developing a wellness-oriented lifestyle, and the information, resources and education for effective self-care--and the Internet brings the information on-demand, into our homes and offices.

Internet resources for a wellness lifestyle include resources for nutrition, fitness, stress management, yoga and meditation. Imagine listening to guided meditations, visualizations or relaxation exercises via Real Audio technolog--real-time stress reduction on the Internet while sitting at your computer during a work break--or finding the latest fitness tips to help you with your workout program or to deal effectively with a nagging shoulder injury--or a resource for endless healthy recipes and dietary programs. Imagine a resource available worldwide 24 hours a day to help you stay in peak condition physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

We want the freedom to make intelligent,
informed choices concerning our personal health.

Self-care information and resources abound on the Internet. One of the rapidly emerging forms of self-care in America today is the use of dietary supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies. In fact, Nutrition Business Journal (Vol. 1, No. 1) estimates that the natural products industry has now reached some $17 billion in annual sales and is in a state of accelerated growth. Information on different forms of traditional medicine (often referred to as "alternative medicine") from around the world--once difficult for mainstream consumers to access--is now only a click of the mouse away on the Internet. Comprehensive web sites have been developed for the fields of naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, Ayurveda and herbal medicine, supported by scientific research and consumer-friendly information. Again, the key word is choice. We want the freedom to make intelligent, informed choices concerning our personal health and wellness and the health of our loved ones.