Believe it or not, the “meaning of health” is a tricky question.
I believe that the essence of health is balance and a kind of inner resilience that allows you to move through the world unharmed by all the things out there that have the potential to injure you. Part of being healthy means that our bodies go through cycles that include periods of temporary illness or injury, followed by stretches of physical wellness. You can get the flu and still, on an underlying level, be healthy.
Recently, the “Hastings Centre Report,” a publication of the famed medical think tank, reported, “One can have a sickness yet otherwise be healthy.” The authors note that people with major birth defects can be, “…so whole and well-functioning despite their disability that one does not see the defect but only their health.
“Of course, every doctor has his or her own concept of the meaning of health. Some might say that a patient with the flu is not healthy, while others might agree with me that ill health may have less to do with physical symptoms and more to do with issues of lifestyle and with mental, emotional, and spiritual qualities.