Saturday, July 2, 2016

How Do You Define Health?

Most people on any given day would define health by saying something to the the effect of: “I feel fine, therefore I’m healthy.” Conversely, when they are lying in bed with a  fever, they would say: “Oh man I’m so sick.”

Neither of these definitions of health and sickness are necessarily accurate. Let’s revisit this. What if we define health through a lens other than our “feeling” on any given day? After all, are “feelings” ever an accurate description of one’s actual health status?

Try this on for size. Let’s redefine health by saying this: if our bodies are functioning optimally, we are healthy. That makes sense now, doesn’t it? Our bodies were designed with very careful and deliberate functions. When those function cease to operate, that is when we really get sick.

So what does this look like on a daily basis? Let’s say you get the flu. Your fever spikes to 103, your throat hurts, and you’ve got a nasty cough. You’re sick.

Except you’re not. Your body is working perfectly to get rid of that virus.

What would happen if you got that flu virus and your body did NOT respond to it with fever (kills viruses and bacteria), increased white blood cells (sore throat), and mucous extraction (cough)? Friend, you’d be very VERY sick if your immune system did not respond to a virus. In fact, you likely wouldn’t survive. The fact that your body is responding to a threat - even though you feel miserable - means that it’s actually functioning optimally: it’s HEALTHY!

Now, let’s say that you are “feeling fine,” but you go for a checkup to find that you have cancer. All this time you’ve felt normal, but your immune system is out of control (which is the essence of cancer… that’s for another post.) Your body is not functioning optimally, so you are sick.

Doesn’t it make sense then, to focus your own health efforts on supporting your body’s various functioning systems?

So how do you support your body to function optimally? Or, better stated, “How can you be healthy?”

The good news? This is not news. You know the answer. You eat whole foods, exercise, get some sunshine, get adjusted, make sure to get enough sleep, reduce your stress, and avoid toxin exposure. (Each of these deserves its own post, so make sure to keep an eye on my blog for upcoming related topics.) A healthy lifestyle does not come in a pill - nobody ever got a headache for a lack of Advil.

A final thought. Your body is your own. You alone bear the consequences of what you do to it. Your doctor doesn’t, so it’s up to you to make the best decisions for you. “As you sow, so shall you reap”, as the parable goes. Taking personal responsibility for your health is a tremendous empowering gift - one that needs to be taken seriously. Fortunately, you already know how to do it. You already know how to be healthy. Now, just do it.

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