This morning, while preparing for an upcoming class, I stumbled upon the WHO’s (World Health Organization) definition of health. It turns out that “health is the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
Nothing feels quiet as annoying as “complete well-being” shoved down my throat on Monday morning.
How many humans can achieve this state of health?
Am I unhealthy if I’m sick with a cold?
Is depression a healthy response to a loss?
Will antidepressants return me to a sanitized state of well-being?
Is it healthy to feel low in the winter and alert in the summer; or fall ill in response to overwhelming stress?
Is anger a healthy response to a definition that defies common sense?
Who can live up to this utopian vision of health?
Few things are more soul crushing than having to be shoved into a box of definitions. The worst part is that medical profession takes this definition to heart, shaping people into the state of well-being at any cost. Sadly, acupuncturists and massage therapists are beginning to follow this trend. Such fragmented view of health does not allow any room for an emotional component of a physical disease. The art of healing is no longer a part of conventional medicine. If acupuncture and massage therapy follow the case, magic of healing will be lost and our treatments will no longer have any advantages over conventional medical treatments.
Health and healing is about making one whole. It means accepting that illness and death are impossible to avoid in life. Healing is about connecting and mending rather than butchering anything less than perfect out of the whole picture.