Health is a balance

health-is-a-balance

Health is a balance. Our body has an innate drive to maintain balance. It makes constant adjustments internally, to meet demands placed on the system by external lifestyle stresses. By altering physiologic functions such as breath, heart rate and metabolism it is able to keep the internal environment within ideal parameters. Health is not a destination, we do not reach an end point of balance. It is fluid. The fulcrum on which balance has been established will constantly change, as demands placed upon us throughout life also change. We will no doubt encounter events which cause the body to deviate from its natural state as life stresses are unavoidable. While we often grow from adversity, if prolonged, the effects of stress, eating poorly or moving less, can lay the foundations for the disease process to set in.

Osteopaths have a unique way of looking at the body. Osteopathy is a tool for which to facilitate the bodies inherent desire for balance. By searching for where it has compromised from injury or strain and ensuring it’s motion and mechanics are unobstructed, the body is better able to return to health. It is no secret that a patient’s capacity to heal rests with their ability to maintain a balance of their internal environment. Those that succeed with this, look different and their body’s feel different. There is quality and fluidity in their movement and a vibrancy in how their tissues respond to treatment. They feel ‘healthy’ and the outcomes of treatment are far greater.

Health is rooted in the old english word ‘hælþ’, meaning wholeness. When science began to focus on structure and could see how disease affected normal tissue, through dissection and under a microscope, being healthy became an ‘absence of disease’. Now a person is no more healthy, in the absence of disease, then a tradesmen is without his tools. Without disease, we are simply not sick. We are declared ‘well’ when we no longer have the symptoms of being ‘unwell’, yet are often none the wiser for the cause that shifts the balance of health and provides an optimal environment for disease to begin.

“To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease” Dr. AT Still

In more recent times, research has enabled to us to establish the connection between mind and body, and so the meaning of health is once again, realigned with it’s original roots. Whole. Whole in the sum of it’s parts. Parts which are equal and parts which are balanced. Merriam-Webster defines health as ‘the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit’, which  I agree with almost entirely except the or because these are not seperate entities. They are interdependent, making up different but equal parts of the whole. Say you are sound in body and spirit but the mind is lacking, perhaps you are overly stressed or anxious. Muscles become tense, blood pressure rises, adrenals become over worked and nutrient absorption and hormone levels begin to be affected. Before long, the immune system becomes compromised and through a loss of internal balance, we become susceptible to disease.

A balanced life on the outside, makes it easier to maintain balance within. We are only healthy when balance exists between these parts, so one must continually devote time each day to each aspect of health. Neglecting oneand thus upsetting the balance of the internal environment, may lead to a permeation of ill health through the others. This makes us susceptible to disease, decrease vitality and reduces our bodies capacity to heal.

 

References

  1. “Definition Of HEALTH”. Merriam-webster.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.
  2. “Online Etymology Dictionary”. Etymonline.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.
  3. Sternberg, Esther. The Balance Within. 1st ed. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2001. Print.
  4. Still, A. T. The Philosophy And Mechanical Principles Of Osteopathy. Kirksville, Mo.: Osteopathic Enterprise, 1986. Print

 

 

5 thoughts on “Health is a balance

  1. Helping people understand the relevance of this concept is crucial to altering their perception of health and disease. It is a difficult quest to open eyes and minds to the idea that GOOD health is NOT achieved through PASSIVITY. Our educational system (Kindergarten through high school) lacks the fundamental IMPLEMENTATION of healthy living. Elective P.E. classes, poor dietary meal designs for lunch and 1 or 2 health classes does not begin to provide adequate reinforcement to encourage a lifestyle necessary for quality outcomes. In reality, the BUSINESS of POOR HEALTH is a lucrative one creating BILLIONS of dollars satisfying the material wants of an elite minority at the expense of society as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doctor Jonathan, very well put! There is no money to be made when people are well. You bring up a good point with schools, but perhaps we can have a bigger impact on children developing healthy habits by educating the parents?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. Educating parents is an even greater challenge, however. They don’t truly accept or believe the degree of harm caused by unhealthy processed foods and fast foods. They focus their decisions on monetary costs and hunger/taste satisfaction. Adults also believe that any harm that comes there way is “corrected” with the prescriptions provided by their doctors. Unfortunately, many in the medical profession are unwilling to spend the time to reinforce any limited benefits their pharmaceutical intervention offers without the ACTIVE participation or their patient.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think often if the patient isn’t prescribed a drug they feel as though they haven’t been ‘treated’. Do those in the medical profession have the time that is required to educate the patient and address the cause of the issue…. probably not. The medical system is as much to blame for societies view on health. It is now so engrained, it will be difficult to alter perceptions. Although that won’t stop me trying!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have (and will continue in retirement) to help people understand a better TRUTH that aligns more closely with their physical and emotional needs as well. Convincing the patient that (for example, high blood pressure) is not caused by a deficiency in beta blockers or calcium channel blockers, but rather a multitude of lifestyle factors that need modification for the body to be restored to a BALANCED and healthy status. It is this message that MUST be COMMUNICATED as well as HEARD!

        The downward spiraling and recurring experiences of increasing prescriptions without ANY intention or PURPOSE of FIXING the underlying problems is a FAILING proposition.

        There is about as much chance for success using pharmaceuticals (in and of themselves) to achieving qualitative HEALTH improvement as those who pursue DIETING for weight loss without possessing any understanding of nutritional needs. Expecting LONG TERM positive results in either case is highly unlikely.

        Liked by 1 person

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