The concept of health has been around for centuries, ever since man started exploring the universe. For a human being, health means much more than clean clothes, neatly groomed back and good health. Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an entire state of full physical, mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of infirmity and disease.” Various definitions have been applied to health throughout the years. In our culture, however, it often means one thing: that a person has met the basic criteria for being healthy.
As defined by the WHO, the key concepts on which well-being is based are: physical well-being, which is the capacity to perform ordinary physical activities; mental well-being, which is the capacity to enjoy ordinary mental activities; emotional well-being, which is the capacity to experience pleasure; and ecological well-being, which is the capacity to maintain a reasonable balance of all natural resources such as air and water. The four concepts are interrelated and interconnected. The good health attained through the concepts of physical well-being, emotional well-being, physical health and ecological health depends, in large part, on the ability to meet the basic needs of the body’s parts such as breathing air and taking in food. These necessities are not always easy to provide for, especially in times of emergency or illness.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a typical count among adults from the United States falls below the average life expectancy of about sixty years due to an increased rate of deaths caused by health conditions. Life expectancy is defined as the amount of time a human being can expect to live. It is calculated by taking the age at which death occurs and multiplying it by the number of years the person can expect to live. The mortality rate, the total number of deaths for a specific age group in a specified period, can also be used to calculate life expectancy.
The definition of “healthy” can vary greatly depending on who you ask. On one extreme, those considered to have unhealthy lifestyles may have a poor diet and engage in reckless and substance-abuse habits. On the other extreme, individuals deemed to be in unhealthy lifestyles may not be aware that they are doing so because of environmental, psychological, or social factors. While some may subscribe to the idea that there is a certain amount of healthy living as part of the definition of well-being, there is increasing debate over the definition and meaning of healthy and unhealthy. A healthy lifestyle could include exercise, a balanced diet, healthy emotional well-being, and social support from family and friends.
This definition is particularly important today, when many people are finding that traditional approaches to medicine and treatment are no longer effective. Prescriptions for powerful and costly drugs, therapies designed to cure physical illnesses and diseases, and invasive surgical procedures are often met with failure. Many are turning to alternative forms of treatment, including naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, meditation, acupuncture, meditation, and other practices that promote well being through mind and body practices. A healthy lifestyle may not be as easy as it seems, but the lack of acceptance toward conventional medicine is making the search for alternative methods more prominent than ever.
Health is often defined as a state of complete well-being. It is important to note that the absence of illness does not necessarily equate to the absence of well-being. In fact, absence of physical health may indicate an absence of emotional health, and vice versa. A healthy mind and body require the same kinds of interaction and care that a physically healthy body requires. Naturopathic medicine and other alternative forms of medicine are making this possible by offering techniques and treatments that promote healing through natural nutrition and supplementation, stress management, and a complete balance of diet and exercise.