What is Health?
Nov 05, 2020
“Health” comes from the Old English word “Hal” which means wholeness, soundness, or spiritual wellness.
The World Health Organization says “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Cure on the other hand, refers to doing something (giving drugs or surgery) that alleviates a troublesome condition or disease. Healing does not equal cure. We can “cure” a condition without healing the person.
Healing would facilitate changes that reduce stress, improve diet, promote exercise and increase the person’s sense of community.
When we do this we improve the balance of health of the body that may result in the ability to discontinue a pharmaceutical agent and thereby reduce the need for the cure.
Look at tree A and B. There is clearly a difference. Tree A is in balance with its environment. If tree A breaks a limb we can comfortably say that if we mend the branch it will likely heal. If tree B breaks a limb and we mend it, the branch is not going to heal because the tree is not in a state of health.
The point here is that our focus in medicine has been on fixing the branch while neglecting the health of the tree.
Removing barriers that are blocking its own ability to heal or improving areas of deficiency the branch (or person) will heal itself. We will not spend as much time and money fixing the parts.
Natural medicine is about changing the focus in medicine to one of health and healing rather than disease. This involves understanding the influences of the mind, spirit, and community as well as the body. It entails developing insight into the patients culture, beliefs, and lifestyle that will help the clinicians understand how best to trigger the necessary changes in behavior that will result in improved health and thus bring more value to health care delivery.
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