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Are we actually healthy?

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

by Neeru Prashar

In the fast-paced modern society, people got extremely busy acquiring and fulfilling the material aspect of life that they kept health in the back seat. Diabetes, High blood pressure, and cholesterol are some of the common lifestyle diseases that have flared up in the past few years. They have become part and parcel of our lives that we have started identifying with these health issues.

Our dependency on medications has increased many folds, whereas many diseases can be prevented with lifestyle changes. We have long forgotten the body's natural healing capabilities and stopped working to enhance them. The current pandemic situation kept reminding me of the teachings of the great yoga masters - to take care of our everyday well-being by keeping our bodies armed and fortified against the disease-causing microbes and viruses. One such simile given in the yogic texts is that of a forest full of thorns. If one were to go through the forest, it would be foolish to remove thorns one by one and wiser to wear a pair of good shoes to protect one's feet. It is high time that we take charge of our health and make ourselves capable of fighting any such viruses in the future.

When we utter the word health, we immediately think about the body or diseases. But, we need to understand it from a broader perspective and not just focus on the specific bodily functions but a human being as a whole.

According to Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, health is a state where all the bodily functions, including the digestive and elimination processes, are working efficiently and all the body tissues are well balanced. It doesn't stop at the physical body but further talks about the human mind, which should be pleasant and content, in harmony with the inner self.

World health organization also revised its definition, including the four significant aspects, and defined health as a complete physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.