A robust physique or good cholesterol screening numbers is no guarantee of good health. We can be technically healthy but feel something is fundamentally wrong. This sense of dis-ease can undermine our behavior and manifests itself in physical ways. Yet most of us have the idea that happiness and peace simply descend upon us unbidden. On the contrary, says cardiologist Nidhi Kumar. Complete wellness is not a passive pursuit. To help people achieve it, she recently founded The Wellness Project, part of the services provided by St. Peter’s Healthcare System.

“Good health begins with our intentions and perspective, so the intention of The Wellness Project is to inspire people to live healthier lives by delivering events to the community in creative ways,” explains Dr. Kumar. “Using this philosophy for delivering messages about healthy living is more powerful and impactful than just presenting data.”

Dr. Kumar’s prescription is Intentions + Perspective = Disease and Stress Prevention. Since its founding in 2016, The Wellness Project has presented programs uniquely conceived to present a diverse range of techniques and practices to enable people achieve an holistically healthy life. But these events are not your standard seminars. They feature live music, food, and TED Talk-style presentations by a wide variety of experts.

“Our goal is to inform people of the variety of resources beyond a physician’s care that lead to a healthy state. Technology is a growing component; a fact that is surprising to many. We highlight innovations such as an app that measures ‘sentimental linguistics,’ an analysis of the types of words and phrases used in tweets, emails, and other online communications, which can measure and track mood.”

Beginning with the inaugural event in August of last year, The Wellness Project has teamed with area non-profits to create a different experience. The registration fee from the first event went to Elijah’s Kitchen in recognition that one measure of a community’s health is hunger among the population. Participants at another event, aimed at elder care, had to bring an older friend or acquaintance. One topic discussed was the health risk posed to residents who stopped driving. Elders lose the inability to get out for groceries or to the doctor. Among the activities at that event were free flu shots and massages.

On Wednesday, March 1, The Wellness Project holds its fourth event at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Presentations on meditative state of flow, how posture affects cardiopulmonary health, energy healing, dreams, and sentimental linguistics are planned. The music by Danielle Illario Trio will feature a rock violinist. The event will be a direct fundraiser for Elijah’s Promise, which will provide dinner prepared by students of its culinary training program.

“Each Wellness Project event sets out to give people a memorable experience,” says Dr. Kumar. “St. Peter’s University Hospital has embraced the dynamic, holistic approach that The Wellness Project delivers. Traditional medicine works in tandem with other disciplines to achieve a better outcome for everyone. This is a new genre of medicine coupled with art, changing behavior through inspiration.”

The Wellness Project, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Sister Marie de Pazzi Conference Room, 254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick. Wednesday, March 1, 6 p.m. $35. Proceeds benefit Elijah’s Promise. www.elijahspromise.org/2016/12/2114.

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