Most of the people I talk to tell me that they’re healthy. As an American society influenced by the ‘wonder pill,’ we have been brainwashed into thinking that we must be beneficial if we don’t have symptoms. From a holistic medical point of view, this is far from the truth. Let’s look at health from both ends of view, though, and let you decide.
Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines health as “having an optimum function and not just the absence of symptoms.” This definition leads us to question, “if symptoms do not define the state of health, and function does, then what is function? There is a gradient scale between having 100% optimum function and death. Based on traditional Chinese medicine principles, 100% function means the person has perfect circulation; the internal organs are balanced, blood is flowing to every cell, and the body has a vital life force continually moving called “Qi” (chee), keeping us at ease. If there is any interruption in this flow of energy or blood, the organs are affected, and health is lost.
Based on contemporary modern medicine, 100% function is based on the absence of analytic and diagnostic findings like M.R.I., C.A.T. scans, or blood tests. If the person’s lab work comes back within normal limits, the person must be healthy, sometimes despite their complaints. People are lead to believe they are healthy as long as their “numbers” are good despite having to depend on medication to keep them that way. For example, based on the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) statistics, more than one-third of you reading this article are considered obese and at an increased risk for high blood pressure, higher cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. These dis-ease problems are caused from chronic inflammation and poor circulation.
Consider an engine oil light that illuminates only when the oil level has reached a critically low level. It warns us that unless corrected, our engine will fail. Suppose the engine operated at 100% optimum function with five quarts of oil per the manufacturers’ specifications. Does it operate as effectively with 3 quarts of oil despite not triggering a warning light indicator yet? Do you know someone diagnosed with cancer or diabetes and never knew they had the disease? People lose function every day from stress brought on by occupational or financial issues, bad relationships, poor diet, accidents, drugs, or lack of exercise. Don’t wait for symptoms to be your first sign of illness. Get your body checked out. Traditional Chinese doctors determine the patient’s health by natural means we’ll discuss in the next column.