Friday, December 30, 2011

The Arts of Healthiness

Some people think I am against conventional medicines and techniques, and in favour of alternative medicines and techniques.  Not.

I am student of science, and of the arts. I believe in a scientific and an artistic approach to the studies of healthiness.

This diagram on our planet represents the layers of our healthiness, from our genetics to the highest levels of our communities.  Each body is comprised of the layers of the hierarchy of health; genetics, nutrients, cells, etc to the entire body. Each person is more than their body, having a spirit and existing in many communities.  Each of the layers is hierarchical, built on the layers below.  Each layer is greater than the sum of the parts below. All health is connected. Each layer can have an effect, positive or negative, on the health of layers above or below.

Illness is represented by red spots. Illness is isolated by its causes, although can affect all health areas. Illness might exist in a single layer, or cross layers.

Healthiness is larger than illness and disease.  Health is about the whole being, and includes illnesses. We all have some illness. Illness can exist in a single layer, be caused by a single factor, or may exist in many layers and might be caused by many  interacting factors. 

Our medical systems are very sophisticated, with surgical precision, not just in surgery, and scientific rigor. They are designed to search for illness, to identify illnesses, and to search for causes of illness and for treatments.

But they don't search for health. Strange? or normal? Health is all around, but we don't see it.  We are so busy looking for illness - that we can't see health for disease. We don't search for causes of healthiness. The tools we use to measure illness are very sophisticated.  We can use MRI to peer into the body and spot tumors before the cause any problems.  We have standardized tests for blood and tissues to search for signs of illness. The tools we use to measure healthiness are very rudimentary. This is because our understanding of health is very rudimentary.  It is also because the search for illness facilitates and forces a focus of attention.  If we are searching for cancer, we can look for spots that look like cancer. We focus our attention on those spots.

In the diagram above, you can search for illness in the red spots.  Of course illness in your body is not hi-lighted in red, but it stands out from the norm.  Our scientific processes search for something that is 'not normal' when we search for illness.

If you are searching for health, in the diagram above - where will you look?  Health is everywhere.  Even in the places where there is illness.  It is everywhere, and nowhere to be found. Because we assume that 'normal' is healthy - we neglect to measure healthiness. Each state of healthiness has a range that can be measured and should be measured to facilitate healthy targets.

We need to develop powerful scientific tools to understand and measure health.  And when we do - we will gain a much better understanding of illness.

There is a potential danger in our search for health.  The fields of illness, diagnosis, treatment, etc. have been doctopolized (doctor monopolized) by our medical systems.  It is illegal for a non-doctor to diagnose illness, to design, implement, produce or sell treatments, or in any way to 'practice medicine'.  This monopoly is created and upheld on the theory that it minimizes risk to patients. But it has been extended so far that it increases risk for some patients.

In our studies of health - we must not make this same mistake.  We must make it better, not worse.  My blog is about health freedom.  I believe in medical freedom as well.  Illness is a subset of health. Medicine is a subset of healthicine.

We need an open investigation of health and healthiness to understand and improve individual health and health of our communities. We need to apply our science to learn about health.  But not just science.  One of the problems with our medical systems is 'over scientification'. A reliance on science's ability to separate right from wrong. To avoid the wide grey areas we don't understand.  Health exists in the areas we don't understand. Our reliance on 'clinical studies' of illness and treatment has been extended so far that it is no longer science.  Medical science has become dogma, not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from or challenged - even when it is clearly deficient or incorrect.

We need to develop a science of health and healthiness.  And we need to go beyond that.  Science gives us techniques and tools of measurement.  Science gives us frameworks to understand and to develop further understandings.  But the structure of science limits the boundaries of a search. Science focuses our attention, but limits our view. We don't want to limit the boundaries of our search for healthiness.

We need to study and explore the arts of health.   Individually and collectively.

Science might, someday, tell us what nutrients are essential to health, and what amounts of each are optimal.  But nutrients compliment and conflict with each other. We need people to create and develop foods, meals, diets and supplements that help us to consume healthy nutrients in a healthy fashion. Then we can use science to measure the results.

Artists are the people who create things. 

There are many arts of health.  Music creation, expression, collaboration, and enjoyment are arts of healthiness.  When we are ill, music helps us heal.  When we are well, music makes us better.  When we sing, we feel. Dance is the art of movement - the art of body health. When we create our own dance, we improve our own health. When we dance, we heal. All movement is dance, the dance of life. The creation of dance takes our health to a higher plane. Drawing, painting, designing, writing -- creating; creating is art. Creating is healthy. We need to move our communities from consumption to creation.  To move our focus from productivity to creativity. From commerce to arts. For the health of it.

When we create, we are creating health. We need to create the science and art of healthiness. And then, maybe, we can truly learn the arts of medicines. As long as medicine remains solely the field of technicians - it will continually fail to reach our highest expectations.

We want our children to create beauty.  We want them to be artists - to rise above the mundane creations of builders, factory workers and technicians. We want them to live a better, healthier life.  We are all children.

yours in health,
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: