When is a person really healthy? And when are you sick? Although these do not seem to be difficult questions, it is important to have clarity about these concepts.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. When you realise that the human being is an unbreakable unity of mind and body – that it’s not a body becoming ill but a person – it is obvious that disease and health says something about the whole person.
Healing can only be a reality if the whole person becomes healthy. According to this holistic viewpoint, there are very few people who are completely healthy – have’nt we all one or more emotional, physical or social hangup?
The greatest majority of grownups are ill: either clinically (must have regular treatment or medication) or sub-clinically (latent problems of which people are not even aware). One writer distinguishes between “illness” and “disease”: the first being a general condition of unwellness that causes specific diseases.
A person becomes aware of unwellness through sickness. There should not be a negative feeling about dis-ease. It should be accepted with gratitude as a call to give immediate and radical attention to the lifestyle of the person concerned.
We should all aim for perfect wellness. How does one get there? Because we live in a fast-forward mode, people are apt to expect quick fixes for their health problems. The medical practitioner must prescribe medicines that immediately fix everything – and then we forget that most of our problems develop through a long-term lifestyle which was sloppy and even reckless.
There is no quick fix or “magic bullet” in our quest for perfect wellness. It can be an arduous and long walk – healing is a life-long process through which a person builds himself or herself up and makes provision for optimum environmental factors. These are clean air, pure water, sunlight, nourishing food, positive thoughts, exercise, a frugal lifestyle, good relationships, a positive self-image and a depending, trusting relationship with our Creator God – all aspects that definitely ensure growth in health.