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John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
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John W. Travis, MD, MPH

John W. Travis, MD, MPH completed his medical degree in Boston and a residency in general preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Strongly influenced by Halbert Dunn, MD’s, 1961 classic, High-Level Wellness, which he discovered in 1972, he subsequently founded the first wellness center in the US (Wellness Resource Center, Mill Valley, CA, 1975) favorably portrayed in a 1979 60 Minutes segment with Dan Rather. The center was transformed into a non-profit educational foundation, Wellness Associates in 1980. He is the author of the Wellness Inventory Online (, and three editions of the Wellness Workbook.

During the 80s and 90s, along with his wife, Meryn Callander, he focused on developing peer support networks of helping professionals that embraced a partnership model in order to reverse some of the negative effects of authoritarian model in the medical system.

Realizing in 1991 that how we raise children has far more influence on their later wellness (and the estrangement that leads to dominator systems) than any other factor in our lives, he expanded the focus of his work to include infant wellness. Along with Meryn and 11 world experts in birth and child development he co-founded The Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (, which fosters individual and planetary wellness through changing the norms of how babies are born and treated in their early years.

During the last decade, he has focused on bringing together all aspects of wellness within the concept of full-spectrum wellness, where the focus is on interconnectedness, both throughout all the stages of the human development, from conception to death, and within all levels of the environment around us—from inside our skin to the whole planet.  He summarizes 38 years in the wellness field with the expression: The currency of wellness is connection.

He was appointed an adjunct professor in the Master of Wellness program at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) University in 2008 and teaches Wellness Assessment in their online curriculum.

His most well known contribution, the Illness-Wellness Continuum, was used as the framing concept for SRI’s  Spas and Global Wellness Market: Synergies and Opportunites report for the 2010 Global Spa Summit, which recommended using this model as the organizing principle for all spa industry programs.

When not traveling in the US and other countries, he lives with Meryn and their daughter, Siena (18) in Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia.


Wellness Inventory, both paper and online versions
Wellness Workbook, coauthored with Regina Ryan (Ten Speed Press, 1981, 1988, Celestial Arts, 2004)
Simply Well: Choices for a Healthy Life, coauthored with Regina Ryan (Ten Speed Press, 1990, 2001)
Wellness For Helping Professionals: Creating Compassionate Cultures, co-authored with Meryn Callander (Wellness Assoc Pubs, 1990)
A Change of Heart: The Global Wellness Inventory, co-authored with Meryn G. Callander (Sonoma, CA: Arcus Press, 1993)
The Society of Prospective Medicine's Handbook of Health Assessment Tools (SPM Press, 1999)

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An Introduction
Meryn and John candidly share how they came to the field of child/family wellness from their background in adult wellness. more...
Helping Professionals
This area consists of text from Wellness for Helping Professionals, by John W. Travis, MD, and Meryn Callander. more...
About the Wellspring
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