What is health? The modern medical community seems to try and convince us that health is the suppression of symptoms of disease. And to reach that goal, the recommendation is to take medications. Is that really health? Suppressing symptoms doesn’t seem to be a solution to me.
“Health.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2011. http://www.merriam-webster.com (23 August 2011) — “The condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially : freedom from physical disease or pain.” Note, the italics on especially are theirs, not mine. This definition seems to make a bit more sense to me. Healthy is about more than not having symptoms, it’s about not having physical disease or pain!
From my perspective “health” includes the body’s ability to repair, restore, and renew itself when problems arise, to generally function from a state of perfect balance within itself, and is in harmony with the mind and emotions. I don’t think they make a pill for that . . . and there in lies the rub.
When we don’t choose the drugs and surgeries, the medical and pharmaceutical industries don’t make money. If you heal or correct the underlying cause of a disease, you effectively cure it. Guess what? The symptoms go away. No symptoms? No need for symptom suppressing medications. No money to the drug companies.
How do we get to this beautiful place? By addressing the root causes of any health problems, not covering them up with drugs. By choosing the right diet, lifestyle, and preventative health care system.
Unfortunately most people still go to their health care practitioner wanting a pill to suppress the symptoms. They take drugs in a misguided belief they are helping their health when, in fact, there’s not a single drug on the market (that I’m aware of) designed to cure anything. Drugs only address a particular symptom or set of symptoms. This becomes the maintenace of disease, not the cure of it.
If you don’t address the root cause, the problem never goes away. The imbalance might change, transform, or manifest differently, but it’s still there in some fashion, ready to flare up again.
Don’t get me wrong – if I ever have a heart attack, get me to a cardiologist. We have great Western medicine and it should be used when necessary. Count me in for a hospital stay, surgery if necessary, temporary pain killers, etc. But, outside of these extreme moments, there are better options to find my optimal health, which includes harmony and balance so the body can heal itself.
But Merriam Webster’s definition also states sound in mind or spirit. This is definitely a part of health that is easy to neglect in our busy day-to-day lives. When’s the last time you felt radiantly healthy? Chances are it includes a great amount of joy, love, fun, and happiness. What’s the point of being on this earth if we’re not living life fully? Again, we’re back to balance. I suggest acknowledging and appreciating the main stage role our bodies play, which allows us to watch a sunset, hear the ocean, feel the breeze, smell the flowers, and taste a decadent food. This is all health!