Guest Writer for Wake Up World
What is health? What is healthiness?
There are a few definitions of health. Search anywhere for healthiness – and you will find yourself re-directed to ‘health’. What about Healthicine? Medicine is well defined, but no dictionary defines healthicine. A PhD of Health Sciences does not study health, nor science. Health Science is the study of ‘health administration’ – administration of hospitals and other centers for the sick. Healthicines are the arts and sciences of health and healthiness.
Why don’t we have a science of healthiness? Why are there no experts in healthicine? Spring is here, it’s time for some changes. It’s time to move health to the forefront. It’s time to wake up to healthicine. To put illness, behind and beneath healthiness and unhealthiness. When we explore the sciences of healthiness – we will see illness in a new light.
What are the foundations of health? The sciences of healthiness requires foundations. How can we claim to study the foundations of illness if we don’t understand the foundations of healthiness?
The foundation of health starts with the foundation of life. Genetics. We study genetics for causes of illness. It’s time to study genetics as the foundation of healthiness.
Genetics does not give rise to life without Nutrients. Nutrients are the second layer in the science of healthiness.
Genetics and nutrients give rise to Cells. Cells specialize; our bodies contain over 100 different types of cells.
Tissues are collections of cells, with specific properties and roles. Take note: tissues consist of cells, and terrain. The stuff between the cells. The ‘dirt’ that our cells live in, consists of nutrients, toxins, inactive chemicals, and dead cells. Healthy tissues consist of healthy cells and healthy terrain.
Organs are created when tissues and cells work together for specialized purposes. Organs are created by genetics, nutrients, cells and tissues; and their healthiness depends on the health of your genetics, your nutrients, your cellular health and tissue health.
As we move up the hierarchy of healthiness, each layer is based on the layer below. Each layer raises our complexity and our healthiness to new heights. It’s important to stop at this point, and take a closer look at one important aspect. Cells. Many of the cells in your body are non-human cells. In fact, most of the cells in your body are not human cells, although most of those are in your digestive system. It is also believed, but not yet proven, that a valuable component of a healthy human body is our healthy viruses. We have found health giving viruses in other organism – and some people believe the only reason we haven’t yet found healthy viruses in humans is simply that we are not looking.
Our Bodies are walking, talking sacks of living, breathing soil. Our healthiness depends on the health of our entire biota, not just the human cells. Our genetic healthiness depends on the genetic healthiness of our entire biota including healthy, and unhealthy non-human cells and viruses. Our nutritional healthiness includes the nutritional healthiness of our entire biota – not just our human nutrition. Our cellular healthiness includes the cellular healthiness of our entire biota. And so on, throughout the hierarchy. Our entire healthiness is dependent not just on our human healthiness, but also on the non-human components of our bodies. Both the live non-human components, and the non-living, non-human components.
Our genetics, nutrients, cells, tissues, and organs work together to create health enhancing Systems like our respiratory system, our circulatory system, our lymphatic systems. Bodily systems provide the ability for our bodies to rise, breath, walk, listen and talk. To perceive and to communicate.
Our body consists of the components from lower layers. Healthy genetics, nutrients, cells, tissues, organs and systems combine and harmonize to create healthy bodies. Our mind, like the body, is dependent on all prior layers – and contributes to their healthiness. Our spirits rises beyond our conscious mind.
We live in communities of peoples. Families, friends, religious groups, governments, cities, and nations. The health of our communities is dependent on the health of individuals, which is dependent on their genetics, cells, and so on…
The hierarchy of healthiness rises from our genetics, using nutrients, creating cells, tissues, organs to our body, which contains our mind, which is freed by our spirit and enhanced by our communities. Each layer is dependent on the prior layers – and every layer and every component can affect the health of other layers, positively or negatively.
Where does illness fit into this picture? We need to look more closely at healthiness before we ask that. We barely know anything about healthiness. We can see from the hierarchy that healthiness of the body depends on many prior layers, and many higher layers.
Can we measure our healthiness?
Measuring healthiness might appear to be as difficult as measuring a seashore, constantly moving, fractal ragged. The smaller the measuring stick – the longer the shore. But it’s not so difficult. Place two markers and measure the distance between them.
A measure of healthiness might contain thousands of measurements, dozens or hundreds for each layer in the hierarchy, possibly hundreds for a single organ or cell. How can we possibly create a summary? In the same way that a final exam can consist of dozens or hundreds of questions. Over time, we will learn the most effective measurements, and appropriate weights for an effective measurement of healthiness.
When we measure healthiness, we find we are also measuring unhealthiness. Unhealthiness, not illness, is the opposite of healthiness. If your healthiness score is 72, your unhealthiness score is 28. If your liver’s healthiness score is 43, then you have an unhealthy liver- with an unhealthiness score of 57. If your nutrient score is 82, you probably have a healthy diet.
What about illness? If you are unhealthy, are you sick? At what point does unhealthiness become an illness? It would be an interesting question – if medical profession had not co-opted the answers. The medical profession defines when you are sick, by clearly defining diagnosis and by clearly defining who can practice the techniques of diagnosis. You are only truly sick when a medical doctor diagnoses an illness.
Medical doctors don’t measure unhealthiness. To do so would create a measure of healthiness. They don’t measure healthiness – there is no need. The medical profession diagnoses illness – and then prescribes treatment. A doctor might think you are unhealthy, or might say you are healthy, but both statements are scientifically meaningless without an effective measurement technique.
Illness is important. Very important. Our entire medical profession works to prevent, treat and cure illness and the effects of illness. However, illness is distinct from healthiness, and distinct from unhealthiness.
Once we understand the concepts of the hierarchy of healthiness, we can clearly define the primary disciplines of healthicine: genetics, nutrition, cytology, histology, human anatomy, system anatomy, anatomy and physiology, cognitive physiology, spirituality studies, and community studies.
Click on the above photo to enlarge it
The secondary disciplines of healthicine are created by a simple combination of the primary disciplines, as in this diagram.
There are some interesting insights here. All of the primary disciplines of healthiness are recognized and studied by the medical profession – although from a medical, not a health perspective. Many of the secondary disciplines are also clearly recognized and studied by medical professions. But some are clearly not well understood as disciplines of healthiness. Spirit Genetics, for example. The study of the way genetics and spirit interact, contribute to, and affect our overall healthiness.
When we wake up to the study of healthiness – we will learn that the study of healthiness is more important than the study of illness. We are healthy more often than we are sick. Illness is a small subset of healthiness.
When we wake up to healthiness, we will recognize the need for health freedom. We all have the right to information about our health, and the right to make decisions about our health.
to your health, tracy
About the Author
Tracy Kolenchuk, author of Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness is a retired Canadian computer geek, health nut, arts photographer, cyclist, swimmer, world traveler, dog and horse lover, chess-player and tai chi practitioner who is passionate about everything he does.
He is not a doctor. He is Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of the blog PersonalHealthFreedom.blogspot.com and the site Healthicine.org, where he expects to change the way the world defines and looks at health, healthiness and healthicine. He has written posts for GreenMedInfo.com and now WakeUpWorld.com.