Thursday, February 7, 2013

A new friend in Health: Can we attain health?

I made a new friend today, someone who understand much about illness and health, but, like many of my friends who understand much - (s)he does not go far enough.  Like many (s)he believes we can, with the right actions 'attain health'.  This is a shortsighted conclusion.

We agree on many things:

 - 'health care' is actually disease care.  CHECK

 - it treats symptoms, not causes. CHECK

 - your body is incredibly resilient. CHECK.

 - health is not the absence of disease.  CHECK.  It is also not the opposite of disease.

but, like many people who almost understand, (s)he concludes with: 

 - x is the problem.  x is the first and most obvious sign of a body in trouble.

This simplification of health is a cause of many errors.  It results from the fact that we commonly simplify disease in order to treat disease.
It is valid to search for, and if possible, find a single cause of disease and a single cure for each disease. To separate disease into individual classifications in order to fight and cure disease most effectively.

But we cannot do the same for health. To attempt simple solutions is a simple error.

If we are to move forward in the field of healthicine we need to change two things.  


We need to understand that healthiness is more complex than illness.  Healthiness is about complete balance and harmony - balance in the face of constant change.  There is no single 'problem', no single sign or indicator of problems, nor of healthiness.  Disease is simple.  Either you have a disease, or you do not.  Healthiness is much more complex.  We can optimize healthiness only when we look beyond illness.

Healthiness goes beyond healing, beyond cures, beyond our current view of health, which stops looking when we are not sick.

Complete healthiness is about every element in each layer of the Hierarchy of Healthiness and about how they affect each other as well. This is enormously complex - and trying to simplify it is simply wrong. 

Hierarchy of Healthicine
Hierarch of Healthicine

Health cannot be 'attained', it can be improved and must constantly be maintained. If we, for one second, 'attain health', our bodies are already changing and our health must be maintained.

Healthiness must be maintained throughout all layers of the hierarchy, from genetics through nutrients, cells, tissues, organs, systems, body, mind, spirit, and community. Putting focus on any single approach will miss some of these layers and has potential to create unhealthiness in areas that are not considered. Healthiness must be maintained by different approaches depending on the specific person, their situation and many individual factors, gender, age, genetics, etc. 

The ultimate health freedom goes beyond freedom from illness.

to your health, tracy
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: