What Is Health?
One thing is true: We ALL want the best possible health, yet nearly everyone agrees that our individual and collective health is no where near where we would like. Over the years, I have asked the question "what is health" to hundreds of patients and dozens of doctors. Amazingly, almost 100% of people (including top health experts) really struggle to answer. 100% of folks give long, vague, subjective and conflicted answers. And, no two people give the same answer! No wonder why our country is in such a health crisis!? I once read the following quotes:"If you don't know where you are going, you are likely to get there. "If you aim at nothing, you are likely to hit it." So true! If WE ALL want health, doesn't it make sense that maybe we should all agree on a clear, concise and objective definition?
The USA's government has NO official definition for the word "health". I repeat, the NIH, the VA, Medicare, etc. ALL have NO official definition for the word "health"! Can you begin to see why we are in this mess? There are some definitions out there that are published and recognized, such as the WHO's definition. But the WHO definition is unworkable because it uses terms such as "well-being" which have no consensus as to their meaning. The only definition that I have seen that comes close being workable is The Oxford English Dictionary, the definitive dictionary for the English-speaking. It defines health as: "that condition (of the body) in which its functions are duly and efficiently discharged... the general condition of the body with respect to the efficient or inefficient discharge of functions." I like that definition because they use the "magic word": function. But still that definition is not holistic enough in my opinion. So here goes. Here is what I feel is the best definition of health:
"Health is the presence of proper function from the cellular (micro) level to the social (macro) level."
In order for any living thing (including human beings) to be truly healthy, the cells that make up the organism must be functioning properly, efficiently and sustainably. ("Function" is: 'The successful fulfillment of purpose.') It is absolutely impossible to be truly healthy if your cells are not functioning optimally, no matter how good or bad you 'feel' or how well you function socially. Proper social function is NOT sustainable without proper/appropriate/homeostatic cellular function! In reality, most people are not 100% healthy (with all cells functioning perfectly all of the time). Most modern humans move up and down on the "health continuum" somewhere between 'poor','fair', 'good' or 'excellent' health etc.
Every human being has a set of 'blueprints' or design specifications contained within their cells' nuclei. These blueprints are called the 'genes' and are made up of DNA. In order to achieve and SUSTAIN true health, each cell's 'design specifications' or genetic requirements must be met! There is NO other way to be truly healthy. Adding synthetic chemicals (drugs) or removing parts (surgery) NEVER improves cellular function, so these steps should only be taken in order to save life in an emergency.
Think of race car. Its design requires that it be fueled with a 'specific' blend of high-octane ethanol/gasoline, it must be driven on a 'specific' surface (flat race track) and it must be driven by a 'specific' type of professionally-trained driver. Even the best-designed race car in the world would perform poorly if you filled it with diesel fuel, took it 'off-road' and put a teenager behind the wheel! After the inevitable breakdown or crash, would we blame it on the car's design? NO! Would we wonder what drug or surgical procedure the car needed for its 'medical condition'? No! Would we raise more taxes and spend more and more money trying to figure out how to make the Indy car design perform outside of its normal parameters? No! The same exact thing is true for human beings! The design (our genes) is not the problem! I repeat: Despite what you have been told, the design (your DNA) is NOT the problem! Health is the natural byproduct of living according to your design. Sickness only comes when we do not fulfill our design 'requirements'!
What Are The "Design Requirements" In Order To Be Truly Healthy?
- Move 'Innately' (The way you are genetically designed to move)
- Eat 'Innately' For Health (The way you are genetically designed to eat)
- Think 'Innately' For Health (The way you are genetically designed to think)