What does being healthy really mean?

woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring

There is a body

There is a mind

There is a soul

And there is the environment we are surrounded by…

The health definition

The definition of health is not an easy one.

WHO defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.

Why did conventional medicine forget about it?

Sanus in Latin means healthy but also ‘sound, whole, well, sane’. There is no mention of the lack of the disease.

Can we work together?

We focus so much on the disease. We forgot about health. Do we want to be less diseased or more healthy? I am humbled by the achievements of science and medicine over the past decades and centuries. Diseases that once seemed incurable, now can be treated and symptoms alleviated, we can undergo surgeries, take sophisticated drugs, have new hearts and parts of eyes. But does it make us healthier or less diseased? Well-being has been given away to the holistic or ‘alternative’ medicine practitioners which in Western understanding, or rather lack of understanding, consist of an unvalidated, grey area, woo woo, placebo treatments. But sometimes we are talking about the practices which have thousands of years of tradition. How can the young Western Medicine brother be so dismissive towards elder wise Chinese Medicine or Ayurvedic Medicine sisters? Can the lack of robust scientific evidence mean that something does not work? Or is it just that there is no available proof at the current moment? Do we have the means to examine everything? Do we always need evidence? Can we listen to our inner voice instead, which may be telling us to take the unconventional path?

We can see so much hostility, distrust or just indifference towards ‘alternative’ or sometimes called complementary medicine and vice versa. But maybe there is common ground here. Maybe if we work together we can achieve something better and bigger? If there is a way to relieve somebody’s pain and suffering, does it really matter by which means? And is there anything you can do about it?

Why or what?

Coming from a doctor’s perspective, I recommend safety first. Conventional medicine is great at making diagnoses, this is what doctors are well-trained in. Talk to your doctor, they will know what to do next, trust them. They really care for you and want to help. Your pain is their pain. They work with the tools they have. Anyone who went through medical school must have had some desire to help others. But what if even with good intentions, we just cannot put our symptoms and signs in a fixed box of diagnosis? And does it always matter to have a diagnosis? Or even if we get the diagnosis, does it tell us about why or only about what?  

Can we think for ourselves?

When I went to medical school, I was told that we cannot create new neurons and that type 2 diabetes is a chronic progressive disease that cannot be reversed. Now we understand much more. Do not take things as they are only because you were told so. Make your own research. But be humble and careful. Ask questions but don’t blame or point fingers.

If it is your twentieth trip to the doctor with the same symptom, all your tests are ‘normal’ maybe it is time to think for yourself? Maybe it is time to listen to your body. Maybe your body is trying to tell you something? Is it your job? Is it your relationship? Is it the toxic environment (literally and not) you live in? Is there something you are suppressing?

Do not give up. Slow down. Stop. Look at the signs given to you by your body. There is a solution. It may be outside or it may be inside you. And ask yourself, what does ‘being healthy’ mean to you? Where is your imbalance? Is it in your body, is it in your emotions, is it in your soul?

I can already see a small shift happening.

There are more questions than answers. And I don’t have all the answers. But it is certainly the time for reflection.

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