Why family cohesion is important for your physical and mental health, and how to nurture it

28/04/2024, Dr. Jason Culp, Research & Development Director, Chiva-Som

In this article, Dr. Jason Culp who is Research & Development Director at Chiva-Som explains why family cohesion is important for your physical and mental health, and how to nurture it.

How healthy family relationships are good for your overall health

Happy families are also healthy families. When families are cohesive – that is, when they share an emotional bond, a sense of unity, a feeling of connectedness, when they support, communicate with and care for each other, and share common goals, values and traditions – this sense of togetherness helps families build resilience, navigate challenges and promote overall wellbeing. 

How does family cohesion affect health?

Family cohesion fosters a supportive environment, promoting healthier lifestyle choices. When family members are close, they tend to engage in shared activities such as regular meals and exercise, leading to better nutrition and physical health.

Cohesion also encourages open communication, which reduces stress and provides emotional support. This lower stress level can improve mental health and decrease the risk of stress-related illnesses. Furthermore, cohesive families often encourage each other to avoid risky behaviours and harmful lifestyle habits.

Conversely, when families are not cohesive, members may experience more stress and anxiety due to unresolved conflicts and lack of communication. This stress can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and overeating.

How to nurture family cohesion

Eat healthily, preparing balanced meals that focus on fresh, whole foods. Encourage family cooking sessions to promote regular healthy eating habits.

Engage in exercise and physical activities together like family walks or fitness challenges.

Support each other’s mental health with open communication and emotional support.

Schedule regular medical check-ups for all family members to ensure ongoing health.


Healthy family relationships add to your sense of security and wellbeing. Encouraging each other in healthy habits, and being there for each other in times of stress, can help us to maintain our physical and mental health.

Zulal Wellness Resort in Qatar is Chiva Som's sister property and is one of the first in the world to offer retreats designed specifically for families. Their Discovery Oasis is run by child psychologists and every family has a check-in consultation, with activities centred around bonding to get children off their screens (devices are discouraged throughout the entire resort). Enjoying time with each other is the goal, whether that’s through cookery classes, fun around the fire pits in secluded majlis-style tents dotted around the retreat, watersports, or education in nature on the Mangrove deck. When they need a break, children can enjoy each other’s company with guided activities by age group in the Montessori-style Oasis, leaving adults free to do their own thing.

Why family cohesion is important for your physical and mental health, and how to nurture it

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

About The Author

For the past decade, Dr. Culp has held the position of senior naturopathic physician at Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, where he conducts natural wellness consultations with guests. In addition to his role as naturopath, he is the founder and director of the Research & Development department, with the primary objective of evaluating and exploring the use of evidence-based natural therapies in a holistic wellness setting.

Dr. Culp lectures internationally on the topic of wellness. His philosophy is that in order to create sustainable health, guests must fully engage and play an active participatory role in their own wellness process. The empowerment of the individual and the guest’s authentic understanding of their wellness goals, intentions and motivations take precedence in health and healing. In this way, each guest leaves with the feeling that they are the most powerful advocate in their own wellness journey.

Dr Jason Culp

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