There is a healthcare crisis in America and it has been an important topic of debate for decades, even influencing the outcome and direction of politics. Though there has been great advancement in the medical field, people seem to be sicker and more scared of getting sick than ever before. People are more worried about not being insured than they are of actually getting sick, as if getting sick with insurance somehow makes it better. Health problems in one form or the other have become an acceptable part of life, but should they be? Every other advert on TV is for a pharmaceutical drug it seems, as if health is found in drugs. Is it found in drugs, surgery, or in insurance? Even with all the spending on drugs and all the state-of-the-art surgical techniques being developed, something is still clearly wrong, otherwise there should be a great decline in health related deaths. The top three causes of death according to the Center for Disease Control, in order from the highest are, Heart disease, Cancer and lower respiratory diseases. The leading causes of death are consistently the same in the top three, though the order changes every now and then. Healthcare costs are through the roof and policies are set because of it that are not only affecting us now but will do so significantly in the future, like the historic yet controversial Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. Spending on health is a major contributor to the economic woes the country is facing, but do we understand what it is?
The spiritual state of the world is also a mirror image of the health crisis. Technology has never been more advanced and continues to improve, and yet the moral state of the world is declining at an alarming rate. The world is in darkness, darkness due to the hopelessness and uncertainty of the future! Ever increasing lawlessness, greed and disregard for fellow man have become the way of life. Sexual immorality has become more acceptable and the norm than before. The gap between the rich and the poor is increasing. The majority of the world is starving and lacks basic needs like access to clean water, while a minority has more than is sufficient, and yet there is the paradox of limited resources in the face of great waste. There is fear of a possible world war three, as there is increasing instability among the nations. Organizations like ISIS and Boko Haram continue to advance, gaining territory leaving thousands dead in their wake. Debt is piling up fast, and there is uneasiness about the economy as many dread what an economic collapse will bring. There is not much hope when it comes to diseases like AIDS for which a cure still has not been found leaving millions dead, and millions more being infected daily. Now there are diseases like Ebola which are increasingly becoming global threats. Even nature has its own pains with mysterious die-offs of large numbers of animals reported from around the world. Hordes and hordes of fish are showing up dead on beaches or flocks of birds literally falling dead out of the sky. The weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable and climate is changing globally. Many ask why all this evil exists and if there is any explanation for all these strange happenings. Many are empty and desire for something which all the power or wealth in the world cannot satisfy, but they do not know what it is. Frustration is rampant because there is no answer for the world’s problems, or so it may seem. Humanity is sicker than ever before spiritually, and desperately needs to be healed. Is there any hope of change? Is there anyone or anything that can rescue humanity from itself?
Is there a connection between physical wellbeing and spirituality? Can understanding one help to understand the other? Are there any principles that govern either or both? With all this in mind, I think it is well worth our time to find out what health is. Our understanding of it will be a first and crucial step in how each of us as can make the necessary changes in our lives that can enable us to have better health, not only physically but spiritually as well. What is learned can be applied anywhere not just in America. It is for all humanity!
What is health?
The principles that affect health physically are the same principles that affect it spiritually therefore a good foundational understanding of physical health will help us to understand spiritual health and how we can address both. Health is defined as the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit especially freedom from physical disease or pain, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The WHO says, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health is when we function optimally physically, socially and mentally. Therefore complete wellbeing involves not only the absence of disease or pain, but extends to spiritual wellbeing which has a direct bearing on mental and social health as well. Being sound spiritually means that one is sound mentally and emotionally as a result. When the body or spirit are not sound it can result in disease or illness.
When the body is functioning as it should then disease is absent and we feel good and have no signs or symptoms of any disease. Signs and symptoms serve as the body’s alarm to show us that something is not right in the body. Some signs are for specific health problems and so are essential in helping to identify the problem through diagnosis (the process of identifying a disease or problem in general). Symptoms serve to alert us of a problem or disease process taking place but are not the disease. Addressing the symptom is different from addressing the root cause of the symptom. To achieve and maintain health, we should be willing to get to the root cause if we truly want to eliminate the disease and therefore the symptoms as well.
Generally we live in a world where it has become the norm to address the symptoms instead of the cause. Maybe it is because the symptoms are what the person sees and experiences physically. If for example a symptom is pain, then the natural thing to do is to kill the pain. If it is a rash then naturally it is to deal with the rash. We might be successful in killing the pain or removing the rash with some ointment but the root cause of the pain and rash is still there. The pain and rash are like branches and dealing with them is like trimming branches. Even if you cut down the branches, more will grow to replace them. The pain and rash return after a while or they are absent as long as they are being dealt with directly meanwhile the tree continues to grow. The tree is the disease and to deal with it is to actually uproot it. Cutting it down might work for a time but if the roots are intact, there is always the danger another stem can grow back because the tree is still alive. To address the cause by going to the root of the problem, you would have to uproot the tree so that it is truly dead and there is no chance of it growing back.
To feel and look good is what most seek after and these are by-products of good health which are reaped when the body is sound. Symptoms are seen or felt and so it is why how we feel and how we look would be the natural way to measure health. There are a lot of products for example that promise to burn fat while still allowing people to eat however they would like. Dealing with pain is big bucks for the pharmaceutical industry as well as sleeping pills, and a host of other products that deal with the common health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
All these are ways to deal with the symptoms but not the cause of the problem. The cause of all health problems other than from unavoidable infections like an outbreak or something are because the way we choose to live our lives or lifestyles are not in accordance with specific principles that govern health. Feeling good and having no signs or symptoms of disease are brought about from the inside, from the optimum functioning of the body, and are long-lasting benefits, as long as the body is encouraged to function optimally through a pro-health lifestyle. Good health or the lack of it is determined by lifestyle which can either encourage health or destroy it.
Some illnesses advance without really showing any symptoms until it is too late in some cases. In Cardiovascular disease, the first symptom might be a fatal stroke or a heart attack. Cancer is another type of insidious illness and in many cases it progresses until it is at an advanced stage before being detected. As they progress, the one affected might feel like everything is alright and not see any visible symptoms of any impending health crisis. This is one of the main reasons why it is not wise to measure health by how we feel or absence of visible symptoms. Health is governed by specific principles and following those principles can determine whether even these insidious problems like cancer or heart disease which might not show any symptoms take place. Heart disease can be easier to connect to inactivity or lack of exercise and a bad diet. Cancer is more mysterious and even though one can have it while eating right and exercising, it can be linked to other problems like holding a grudge and being unable to forgive which are governed by spiritual health principles.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish