I believe that the concept of health is misunderstood by many, including many practioners.
A healthy person is one who has a dynamic life, one that shows a relationship with the world aroiund them. This means that a healthy person has symptoms. Yes it is about a state of well being but it is also about having a degree of reaction. A dynamic symptom is one that has location, sensation and modality. Is this any different for us as people? We all need to be
and have things that makes us better or worse.
Having these three conditions shows a dynamic healthy state. One that shows the person is reacting to their environment.
That is what exactly Dr.Hahnemann says in Apphorism 9 of Organon....
In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.
Health: Happiness, Selfrealisation, following your inner voice, accepting yourself as you are, healthy body - wich is able to perform what you have to perform, healthy mind - being open, not need to follow mainstream to be happy
Desease: not following inner voice, negative egoism, suppressing on all levels, nonresponsability for your own self and other living creatures, not taking care of physical, mental, spiritual wellbeing - through right diet, awareness, positive thinking, breathing excercises, meditations, willingness to transform bad habits.......
Paul is almost correct when he says health is misunderstood by many. Misunderstood implies there is a correct understanding somewhere but I believe there isn't. I worked for 6 years in the UK health service as a Health Promotion Officer and we were tasked to 'get more health' in the population. We spent much time not only trying to fathom out how to get more of it but also trying to fathom out what it is.
Of course there is the World Health Organisations definition : Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. But there are 2 problems with this. 1. it is unattainable, under this definition we might have 0.01 % of the population healthy at best. 2. it is specific to humans, so for instance what can we say about a healthy plant (social wellbeing?) or a healthy community/population (mental wellbeing?) using this definition?
The problem with 'health' is that it is one of those concepts that looks like a noun, a 'thing' but it is not. We may talk about health as if it is something a person 'has' or 'are in' i.e. they have good health, or they are in good health. And then we can also say they are 'healthy', which is a quality of the person not a thing as such - but if you go on to ask what healthy means it usually comes back to 'possessing health' - a thing again. Health is not a thing though, it is a bit like the word 'quality' - again sounds like a thing but it is not. According to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, quality is the measure of or appreciation of the amount of care and attention that went into something. This simple word which everyone instinctively understands in some way, needs a very abstract definition when you try to pin down what it actually means. I believe if we really want to pin down the meaning of health we need to get to some similarly abstract definition. And that would take some radical thinking and hence likely to be only fully comprehended by radical thinkers. So Paul, health is not misunderstood by many, there is no common understanding of it that the many can come to in the first place.
For me, I am no longer interested in the question of what is it, but the query remains: how can we get more of it? In my health work we came to the conclusion that you can’t measure or perceive health as such but you can measure 'health gain'. We were applying this at the population level and at that level health gain is what you get from
Improved efficiency in services
Improved effectiveness of services
Improved quality of services
Any one of those will create health gain. So if I were to attempt to apply this to homeopathic treatment, health gain might be where as a result of homeopathic intervention the patient:
Is able to go about their life with more ease
Is more able to get what they want/need from life
Experiences greater quality of life
This is an off the top of my head attempt to describe health gain – it is not perfect but I hope it demonstrates the basic idea. The idea is, just as Hahnemann tells us we can only know the disease state through signs and symptoms so I think you can only know health through signs of health gain. We need an agreed understanding of what the signs of health gain are if we are to have a common understanding of how the concept of health is best applied within the discipline of homeopathy.
Paul ~ I really appreciate that you are posting your thoughts and definitions. As I read your comments, I was thinking of how we have "joy" in our lives.
Here too it is a matter of increasing joy or sometimes when it is in decline. This is a dynamic state of mind. So too, "health" is dynamic and in flux as one is impacted by the environment, relationships, accidents, acute and chronic illness, etc. We are constantly trying to improve our 'state of health' through exercise, rest, sunlight, nutrition, conversation, vitamins, meditation and all other methods at hand.
We are in joy when we look on the positive, bright side of life and wear a smile that comes from deep within. We are healthy in mind, body and spirit when we are in a state of joy with where we are each moment. Even through physical disability, working through trauma and challenges, we are all in this life to grow, learn and relate with one another.
It is good to hear what you have learned from your managerial position.
It is very strange, but no doctor in the world can tell you what health is! With the whole of medical science concerned with health, isn’t there anyone who is able to say what health is? If you ask a doctor, he will say he can only tell you what the diseases are or what the symptoms are. He may know the different technical term for each and every disease and he may also be able to prescribe the cure.
But health? About health, he does not know anything. He can only state that what remains when there is no disease is health. This is because health is hidden inside man. Health is beyond the definition of man.
Sickness comes from the outside hence it can be defined; health comes from within hence it cannot be defined. Health defies definition. We can only say that the absence of sickness is health. The truth is, health does not have to be created; it is either hidden by illness or it reveals itself when the illness goes away or is cured. Health is inside us. Health is our nature.
from From--- Sex to Superconsciousness .. by OSHO CHAPTER 1. SEX, THE GENESIS OF LOVE
Even in great disease there is health. Only a healthy person can be ill, remember. A dead person cannot be ill – nobody has ever heard of that. Only an alive person can be ill. And remember that life must be more than disease. Once disease is more than life, you die.
in my practice with all the patient that i had and introspection in my inner life, i realized that whenever attention in all of his aspect for example in physical,emotional,mental and subtle beings can not move easily and it is fixed on some part of these beings, disease start developing and our distance with health get more.
I believe that the roots of our real health in all his aspects is in our inner balance and this balance can not be realized until we get aware of our attention!where is our attention? are we thinking? are we thinking on past or on future? are we honnest with ourselves and with all our desires? what is our real and deep desire?only the purity of our desire can awaken in us a movement of a vital energy that supply and nourish all this creature and also all the needs of our different beings. when attention is prone to some subject, it can be more easily fixed on some part and as a result of that the vital energy get blocked on that parts also this vital energy can moves and free our attention from some subject that is prone to it . so only this vital energy can give us the silence and in that silence we can be in the present.what means to be in the present? means this vital energy can lead all our living functions in their optimum function and the result is a maximum adaptation and harmony with anything that happen around us instantly. when we live in past or future , these thinks can creates an aura around our brain and dominate natural activities of the brain. so adaptation become less and less to that extend that inner balance disappear and we go to the collective subconscious or supraconscious and all their diseases like anykind of cancers and noncurable diseases and possessions.so i believe that only to get aware of our attention can put anyone into the path of health and ultimately when the light of spirit come in our attention, experiences of freedom of our attention and oneness with all divine parvading power become steady and complete otherwise all of us in a wide spectrum we are not healthy it moves between to side of this spectrum.In all my prescribing i saw with some prooves that how when your prescribe is correct you can see how the attention that was fixed , moves and and help this vital energy to moves and nourish all the parts of our beings.
Shirley's Wellness Cafe:
Health is not the absence of disease ... it is a universal good condition on all levels--physical, emotional and mental. Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. Disease or "dis-ease" is defined as a lack of health. Disease results when any cell is not functioning 100% of its designed duty whether due to trauma, toxicity, lack of communication or a combination thereof. Disease is due to stress. Whether due to ignorance or laziness, exposing the body to stress will produce a diseased state of the body. Stress is the only means of tearing down health resulting in disease, our bodies paying the price for violating the laws of nature (our wrong doings). We do not "catch" a disease or illness, we earn it. We must "work" for disease.
Disease is nothing more than the body responding to the wrong we have done to it. It is the body's attempt at keeping us alive in response to the wrongs we have inflicted on our bodies. Pathological changes are the cell's response to stress. These changes or compensations allow the body to survive - maintain homeostasis - as long as the stress continues. These tissue changes which result in disease, are the outward manifestation of internal compensation to stress. Until the cause is removed, the condition will remain in one form or another.
The word "holistic" means "whole". In providing holistic care, the therapist addresses you or your animal not only from the point of view of its disease, but also considers what may have caused the condition. There are many levels to look at: lifestyle, dietary habbits, emotions; these may all have a relationship with the symptoms you observe. Believe it or not, our body knows how we got sick, why we got sick and how to heal us. The reason it doesn't do so is because of the stresses that we put in the way
"Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness." Hippocrates, Greek physician (460 BC - 377 BC).