What is Health?

I BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN BE HEALTHY EVEN IF YOU LIVE WITH A CHRONIC DISEASE.

If that’s true, then what is health? Is it the absence of a pathological process? Feeling comfortable in your body? Being fit and strong? Determined by blood tests and lab results, or by how you feel?

According to the World Health Assembly, health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well- being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmary.”

The World Health Organization defined it as “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”

The Ancient Greeks regarded health as a duty, and the Aborigines in Australia view each individual’s health as a microcosm of the health of the community as a whole. A community made up of sick individuals creates a sick society and vice versa. And who hasn’t heard the adage, “You can’t be there for others if you aren’t there for yourself first.” Taken in this context, creating and maintaining optimal health IS a duty.

Personally, I’ve had many long stretches when I’ve felt that my pursuit of health had taken over my life. It did become my object of living. When you are in intense pain and discomfort there is a great incentive to find ways to feel better and this can drive you to extremes. For me, this became extreme diets or nutritional regimens, sitting in saunas for hours at a time, rigidly controlling my schedule, uncomfortable chiropractic or medical treatments, as well as thinking that I had to look, or feel a certain way for things to finally be acceptable. Luckily one day I woke up and realized I wasn’t having any fun.

How many of you know people who are health nuts that are miserable? I became one of those people. In my quest for health as I defined it I managed to do the opposite.

For the next couple of months I’m going to break down the journey to health into steps. Health will become a way of being instead of a bunch of rigid rules.

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