It’s a well-worn cliche. And there’s a reason for that. Each of us will suffer physical injuries, illness, struggle with mental heath in our lives. We take our health for granted until we’re not healthy. And we’ll spend any amount to feel better.
While modern medicine defines health simply as a lack of disease, injury or pain, true health much more than that. I’ve suffered through a variety of health challenges, some that were self imposed, others due to injury or disease. Western medicine tends to look at health from the standpoint of parts of the whole system, what’s injured or hurting, not necessarily looking at the body as a system and the role the mind plays in well being.
Ayurveda, India’s system of holistic medicine which has been in existence for more than 5000 years, defines a healthy person as someone whose doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are all in equilibrium, the digestive fire (agni) is in a balanced state (sama), in addition to the body’s tissues (dhatus) and wastes (malas) also being in balance. The quote also states that the mind (mana) and sensory organs (indriyas) as well as a person’s spirit/soul (atma) must be also in a pleasant state (prasanna). When a person is balanced in all of those areas, he or she is considered healthy by Ayurvedic standards.
Among the most important lessons that Ayurveda has taught me is that there isn’t a magic pill to heal a disease or to bring about health. True health comes about from a lifestyle that is focused around healthy practices for mind, body, and soul.