Thursday, August 25, 2011
How do you define health? According to some, good health means there is no disease, discomfort, or symptoms present in the body. Well, that sounds good - except - have you ever experienced this state of perfection? Isn't there always some little thing going on here or there? Good health, as defined that way, is almost impossible to achieve.
Among many in the established medical community, good health is defined by numbers. If your weight, blood pressure, cholesteral, respiration, kidney and liver enzymes and hormonal levels fall within a range of numbers deemed "normal" by the people who make these kinds of decisions, then you are healthy whether you feel good or not. This definition of health makes no sense to me whatsoever. Does it to you?
In Chinese medicine, good health is described as the ability of the body/mind to adjust to ever-changing external and internal conditions. Catch a cold? If you're healthy, that means your immune system will defeat the invading virus. When you hurt your back lifting something too heavy, if you're healthy, a massage and some rest is all you need to heal the strain. When something makes you angry, if you're healthy, you will count to ten, say your peace, but then let go.
The above makes perfect sense to me. Any definition of good health should include the inevitable ups and downs of life. It's about response to those ups and downs, it's about resilience. Good health is not a matter of numbers on a chart and it's not about reaching some completely ridiculous perfection, then somehow maintaining it.
For heaven's sake.
May the mighty powers of your human body/mind help your respond to whatever crosses your path today. May it be so. Shalom.