What does being healthy mean to you? A few weeks ago I had a man tell me that everyone shares the same philosophy on being healthy. I couldn't help it but disagree. I witness people posting "healthy" recipes on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook and I cringe because it isn't healthy to me. I see people practicing so called healthy hygiene with antibacterial soap/hand sanitizers and my skin crawls as I know those chemicals are culprits to causing disease. I may be a little critical but I want you to achieve optimum wellness.
Merriam-Webster defines Health as
"The condition of being well or free from disease; the overall condition of someone's body or mind; the condition or state of something"
The World Health Organization defines it as
"Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
I have this discussion with a lot of patients, friends, strangers, and colleagues. Each person has a slightly different idea. For a lot of people being healthy is a goal: losing weight, running a marathon, increasing energy, walking a flight of stairs, beating cancer, kicking the caffeine addiction, walking a daughter down the aisle, being their for the birth of a grandchild... Others believe being healthy is not getting sick (they are dumbfounded when I tell them differently). Some live and breathe being healthy each day. On rare occurrences, I talk with people that view being healthy as going to the doctor or hospital. Many define health as living a long life. I am here to validate all of these definitions.
The beauty of having a naturopathic physician is we get to spend a lengthy amount of time with our patients. We are here to assist with each individual's journey to achieving a healthier lifestyle. For some people we have to start with the fundamentals: you must drink water to survive, pooping is a daily occurrence, fat is essential for brain power, the body requires identifiable foods, and sleep is not for the weak. Once one masters the fundamentals then we can advance to: why you are freezing when its 110, why your feet itch, why you haven't pooped today, why you have no energy to deal with your todos, why you don't sweat in the desert.... Once we have eliminated a few of these issues we can proceed on to finding the cause, preventing future ailments, promoting a healthier you. How do I do this? I look at your genetics, toxic exposures, and use advanced medical testing to help you optimize your health. Some people may be pleased knowing that they really needed to drink water, and others may be praising Jesus that they finally have regular toilet time. However, the vast majority of people are so excited that they want to know more.
My own definition of being healthy for myself is eating organic foods, supplementing my biochemical pathways, empowering my cells to function optimally, relaxing, loving, compassion, and being faithful. Guess what? I'm always altering the subcategories to each of these as I learn more about my body and with new research. I can't simply define my health definition concretely because my cells are constantly changing. However, I strive to be the healthiest I can be each and every day.
I hope you define your own health. I wish you well on your journey.