What is Health?
As we approach the topic of prevention and healthy lifestyles we need to begin by establishing what health is and what it is that we seek to prevent. All methods of healing, alternativ and allopathic alike, base their treatments on their individual concepts of health.
Health can be seen as a static state of the body marked by the absolute absence of any physical or mental inconveniences and difficulties. These can be called illnesses and diseases.
Health can also be understood as a fluid state oscillating between minor conditions that your body’s immune system can easily fight on its own. Illnesses or diseases would be situations in which your body’s self-defense mechanism is overwhelmed.
A third concept of health is to see it as an energy balance that may fluctuate, but always evens out again. Disease, then, is the continuous imbalance in your energy system.
It is very easy to see why the first definition of health as a static state may not be very healthy. It does not allow any room for our body to participate in dealing with the outside forces that we are exposed to daily. A perfectly natural process is considered an illness, thus further burdening us with a negative image. This, however, is usually how allopathic medicine approaches health.
In contrast, the following thesis understands health as an organic state in constant movement which is always relative to each individual’s immune system. It combines the last two definitions of health in that it sees beyond the material of the human body and takes into account its energy blueprint as well.

What is Healing?
As we talk about health, we also need to consider the instance when health has been lost and needs to be regained. The concept of healing is very crucial not only for treatment, but also for considerations of maintaining health and a healthy lifestyle.
Experiences with allopathic medicine have taught many of us that healing comes from the doctor’s intervention in form of medication and/or treatment. This intervention needs to be continued until all symptoms are gone. Any interruption of the treatment constitutes a threat to the healing process. Here, the doctor is the giver, and the patient the recipient of healing.
In contrast, Alternative Medicine sees the process of healing closely related to the patient themselves. In the case of this thesis, which understands illnesses as situations where the body’s own immune system is overwhelmed and the body is experiencing a prolonged energy imbalance, the primary work in healing is done by the body of the patient itself. Outside intervention, in whatever form it is given, is nothing more than assistance for the body to regain its own self-healing powers. The intensity of any treatment is lowered step by step in order to not suppress the immune system.
In this understanding of healing, diseases can lose much of their overwhelming threat. With a little impulse, patients are able to stand up to most challenges their bodies face. They are not dependent on outside treatment, but are empowered to heal themselves and regain health.

The Holistic Approach To Health
From Allopathic to Alternative Medicine, health practitioners have slowly begun to broaden their view of the factors that should be considered in maintaining health. From symptoms over physical causes to the body-mind connection we have come to understand human beings as a whole of body, mind, and spirit. Every aspect of this whole contributes to a person’s health.
However, there are two more areas which this thesis considers important for maintenance of health and a healthy lifestyle: these are a person’s culture, and their environment.
All human beings are cultural beings. Culture defines our world. In order to understand a human being as a whole we need to also understand their thinking patterns, their expectations in interpersonal contacts and their ideas of right and wrong as they are defined by their individual culture. In a world where cultures cross paths regularly, it has become imperative to be culturally sensitive as a healer. Culture will hold the key to understanding a person’s reasoning and their feelings, and to make suggestions for appropriate treatment options.
The second area to be considered is the environment. When we speak of environment in this context, we are less concerned with what is known as Environmental Medicine which deals with air pollutants and chemicals found in our surroundings. Rather, we are talking about the energetic makeup of the social, cultural, physical and natural environment of a person. All of these environments emit a certain energy frequency which will consequently affect the individual exposed to it.
Feng Shui, for example, is the ancient Chinese art of locating energy blockages within a house. These blockages allow the practitioner of Feng Shui to identify corresponding stagnations that the person living in this environment experiences. By lifting the energy blockages in the house, Feng Shui has a positive impact on the inhabitant’s life as well.

Health and Life
There is a German proverb that says: “No wish is greater than the wish to be healthy”. All of us who have been challenged by a serious condition know that without our health, nothing else in life matters or will move forward towards success.
Alternative treatment methods assess a person as a whole, in their physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. They believe these aspects of a being to be causally connected, and there are many examples, experiential as well as scientific, that prove this conviction to be true. Now we understand that all of the above areas are factors in health.
If we were to establish, then, what differentiates this understanding of health from life, we would quickly be at a loss. In truth, any area of a person’s life is connected to their health, and whatever facilitates health, will also facilitate life. The underlying concepts are the same. We call health in relation to our bodies what we call success in relation to life. If we fail in the arena of health, we are faced with physical or emotional ailments, and if we fail in the arena of life we are unsuccessful.
In other words, a truly holistic approach to health naturally includes strategies for a successful life. As we recognize the interactions, we can no longer artificially separate health from life.

‹ zurück


























































This is an excerpt from an essay titled "Prevention (through holistic means) and what constitutes a healthy lifestyle".