LIFE IN BALANCE
Part 3. Symptoms of Health
by Elena Greco
LIFE IN BALANCE is a multi-part series exploring health–
what it is, how to get it and how to maintain it, easily and naturally.
Typical reading time: 3 minutes
So far I’ve asked you to think about what “health” means to you and, in the last segment, I asked you to look at your chosen healthcare system. Do you want to see yourself as a holographic being composed of many facets, all systems interacting synergistically? Is your healthcare a system or plan that includes and supports that view?
I hope, after taking a look at the healthcare paradigm you grew up with, and studying a little about the healthcare systems that focus on balance which I discussed in the last segment, that you’ve chosen a holistic healthcare perspective, and that you have come to believe that health is much more than being free from symptoms of illness.
Assuming those two things are true for you, how do you suppose you might go about maintaining your health from a holistic healthcare paradigm?
Symptoms of health
I asked you previously to think about what health meant to you. Now I’d like you to get more specific, to put your finger on exactly what health looks like. If health is more than being free from illness, what does a healthy person have that distinguishes them from someone who isn’t healthy? Put simply, what are the characteristics of health?
Vitality. First, rather than being free of all symptoms at all times, a healthy person has vitality. And by vitality, I mean that the person is animated and strong. Those who have vitality have a glow in their skin and eyes. You can see their vitality in the way that they speak and move, and sense it in their very presence. They radiate energy.
Resilience. The second quality of health is resilience. As healthy and vital people, we will encounter influences that destabilize our balance in the midst of our lives—illness, injury, trauma, relationship issues, loss, for example—but we will regain our equilibrium relatively quickly, never venturing too far out of balance. Being healthy means being able to weather the inevitable ups and downs of life, and remain relatively in balance and able to function well in the midst of it all.
How do you get it?
So now that you have an idea what health might look like, how do you get it?
The first step is taking stock. I recommend taking an inventory of your health in all aspects. Since you might not have done this before, in the next part of this series, I’ll be sharing a list to help you think of all areas of your life and health. Once you know more about your body type and the specific issues that are currently relevant to your health, you can make informed choices.
Second, in order to make those choices, I recommend that you first choose a holistic healthcare system that feels the most comfortable to you. I mentioned Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine in the last issue as two holistic healthcare paradigms that regard balance, vitality and resilience as the goal of healthcare. Those two are a good place to start. (And if Ayurveda and TCM seem “foreign” to you, don’t assume that that they are any harder for a Westerner to learn or utilize; they’re not.)
I recommend reading beginner’s guides or summaries by established experts in those fields. Most of what you find in an internet search is not trustworthy, as it’s written by people who try to fit those systems into their own Western allopathic understanding and are not trained in those methods. At the end of this series, I’ll be including a reference list that includes some resourses that are a good starting point. Once you’re familiar in a superficial way with those systems, you’ll likely be drawn to one of them more than the other.
Next, I recommend learning the basics of the healthcare system with which you resonate the most. Imagine you’re learning a new language from scratch. It’s best to learn one new language up to, say, an intermediate stage, before attempting to start learning another new language. If you try to learn two new languages at once, your brain is likely to be a bit confused and you’ll likely find it harder and more time-consuming to master either one. So for now, one system, just the basics, simple steps.
After you’re comfortable with the basics of the system you’ve chosen, and you know or have compiled a list of the characteristics of your own body/mind, its constitutional type and inclinations, and any symptoms or issues you want to resolve, you can begin to apply remedies and practices as needed. Becoming adept at this takes a little practice, but it really doesn’t take much time or effort to get to this place.
Of course, you’ll want to find an experienced practitioner or coach who uses that system for times when you’re a little out of your depth or need to consult someone. And you’ll need some good sources of quality products, something I’ll also provide at the end of this series.
As I mentioned at the start, this in no way precludes the use of a Western allopathic physician or remedies. It’s just that you’ll see through the lens of holistic health and consider how everything affects and interacts with the whole. Instead of whacking symptoms into abeyance, only to have worse symptoms pop up, you’ll be treating your body and mind with compassion, looking for the root cause of any problem, with real health as your goal. So … are you ready to be healthy? Let’s go!