The World Health Organisation states that ‘health is a ‘state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ Health is a dynamic condition resulting from a body's constant adjustment and adaptation in response to stresses and changes in the environment for maintaining an inner equilibrium called homeostasis.
The Merriam Webster Thesaurus defines it as:
a: the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit
b: the general condition of the body
The Oxford English dictionary simply states: "The state of being free from illness or injury"
although to be grammatically correct here, they are talking about what would be described as 'good health'.
In fact when we talk about 'health' what we usually mean is ‘good health’ as health is just a noun describing the general condition of the body and by logical extension the mind.
Good health is intrinsically linked to a positive healthy attitude and emotional state.
The fact that emotions and mental states produce chemical changes in our bodies has long been known even in traditional western medicine, although many vastly older cultures knew this for thousands of years.
To go into a philosophical debate here would be pointless… there are enough opinions on the subject to fill a thousand libraries. The point we do believe is worth mentioning is how can any of us consider our own good health in isolation to that of the environment in which we exist?
In reality the realisation of the interconnectedness of all things can only be postponed, as increasing numbers of people are understanding. How can we be healthy when we pollute our environment with virtually every human activity?
The answer is 'impossible'. Even if we could create barriers between us and our interaction with our environment they will never last and as Jiddu Krishnamurti so justly observed ‘it is no measure of health to be adjusted to a profoundly sick society'.
Many of the causes of such catastrophic actions are based on pure greed and a refusal to accept that we are not the only species that has a right to share this planet.
Others simply arise through wishful ignorance. We know that many of the chemical compounds we employ in our daily existence are dangerous not only to human health, but to animal and plant life. Yet we continue to use those products, often for such banal reasons as a non polluting alternative costing more money.
Well perhaps we should wake up to the fact that when we discard all these chemicals into our environment they eventually re-enter the human food chain This will result in a plethora of negative effects on our own organism. If we continue on this path we will ultimately cease to exist and the other life forms which profit from our own stupidity will continue to thrive.
Life and the universe will continue. Several major extinction events have already occurred on this planet which led to nothing more than bacteria surviving. The only difference this time will be that it was entirely self provoked by humans.
Some causes of poor health are simply a failure to maintain good health. Whilst that might sound simplistic it is in fact true. In many cases organisms which can be fatal to human life inhabit our organism all the time. There are even some that we could not live without.
However whilst good health is a condition of balance and not an absence of a potential negative influence, there are times when for any number of reasons (not always self inflicted) this balance is lost. This can provoke a deficit in the ideal conditions required to maintain 'good health'.
This condition leads to a short term requirement to adjust the situation and humans and animals have been very successful in finding solutions in the local environment. We call this medicine, although the word in itself has many varied definitions.
The problem does not only lie in the disposal of these products after use, but in their over use in the first place. Antibiotics are a prime example where the rampant over use of a perfectly effective therapy has led to the development of organisms so resistant to treatment that they pose a serious threat to human life.
Maintaining a condition of good health is as much about respect for our environment as it is about what we eat and how much exercise we do. We hope to propose here some alternatives to traditional drug based therapies, but we also wish to foster a change in attitude and human behaviour.
"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied".