“Health is the condition of being sound in body, mind or spirit, especially freedom from physical diseases or pain”. Various experts have tried to do this complex task, but they have to face innumerable difficulties as the scope of this term or concept has gone a revolutionary change from the time it was first used in the history of mankind. It has been found from a study that the word got appeared in the English language in around 1000 A.
D. for the first time as a means of referring to the quality of soundness and wholeness in a very broad sense. As its usage is traced in the literature of the period, it soon became apparent that physical prowess, wit and intelligent, and spiritual salvation were included as important aspect of one’s wholeness, but, as scientific progress began to provide physical explanations for human phenomena, the meaning of healthy shed many of its intellectual and spiritual connotations gradually.
As a result of various changes taking place in the manner in which concept was used, it began to be used as far more than the absence of physical illness. During the past few decades, this narrow, simplistic concept has been revived by which today it has become one of the most important quality of life. Today, the health is considered to be a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in any way. This definition was put forwarded for the first time in the year 1947 by World Health Organisation, after which it got revived in various ways by the experts, but still, majority of experts and physicians still rely on this definition and use it as a tool for bringing various kinds of innovative changes in the area of health. However, various experts considered this definition to be vague and very broad in nature. They were of the view that this definition was dangerous and should be replaced by something more modest definition. According to them, this definition put both medicine and society in the untenable position of being required to attain such goals which are impossible to be achieved. But still this fact cannot be denied that it is by providing this definition that World Health Organization provided a useful starting point from where the concept of health could be discussed out.
Although this definition was criticised by various experts on various grounds, but even till now, many of them rely on this definition and the concept of health as defined by this definition has not changed till now in significant manner. Thus for our discussion of the concept of health, definition provided by the World Health Organisation will be taken into account and it will be used as the basis for discussions. This broad definition is multidimensional and as a result of which concept of health also becomes multi-dimensional in nature.
A truly positive concept of health was being developed by an expert, through which he concluded that as the term health has been distorted beyond any hope of clarification, because of which’ it is more appropriate to use the word high level wellness in its place. According to this expert, healthy state is that which is characterized by freedom of all kinds of diseases in which human being feels himself at peace with the immediate surroundings, but high level wellness is quite different which is an integrated method or function which is being oriented towards maximizing the potential of human being, of which he is capable within the environment where he is functioning or exists. Thus through the perspective provided by this expert, another dimension got attached to the concept of health, by which it became a condition with the help of which an individual can become able to make progress towards his life goal with greater pace and in well organised and controlled way. Various experts have taken use of examples of various persons who got success in their life in terms of their own particular potential. This seems to be valid criteria to judge health level of a person, but it is quite indirect and subject in nature.
Health is exactly not success in itself, but with the help of which a person can attain success in life. It is quite difficult to find out the basis on the concept of health rests. For identifying such basis properly, an observer has to first perform the task of identifying successful persons existing around or in different parts of the world, and then to identify the particular personal qualities which helped them in attaining success. This is quite a complex issue, but still various experts have explored them in accordance with their abilities.
Some of the basis which has been explored by experts is as follows:- a. Uniqueness:All persons possess certain unique features which make them distinguishable from one another. It is because of these features that they differ from each other physically, mentally and in various other grounds. b.
Totality:Personality of a human being is made up of various continuums of body, mind and spirit and their individual is nothing but total personality. Various kinds of changes take place within the body, mind and spiritual features of human beings with the changing conditions. c. Interior and Exterior Worlds:Every person lives in two worlds, namely, interior and exterior. The exterior world is what exist outside in which he lives and in which he interacts with other members of the society, while it is through his views and insights that he develops an interior world. The manner in which a person behaves in his interior world and that in the exterior world differ to considerable extent, but still for all human beings, there is existence of an outer and an inner world. d.
Energy Level:Human beings are manifestation of organised form of energy. It is because of this reason that they possess the ability to extract energy from the physical environment in which they exist. As a result of this fact, nature of life a human being spends gets reflected by the nature of man. Here it is important to mention that all human beings have different kinds of nature. We can find various persons who are very talkative, while some of the human beings do not like to talk much. Thus, personality traits and features determine the kind of life a person spends to great extent. e. Self-Integration:Inner world of awareness should be integrated properly, as this is an important basis of self-assurance.
If this task will be performed at sufficient level then body energy will flow without any kind of interruption through normal channels with the help of which human beings will be able to perform various kinds of activities efficiently and properly. Thus all the factors mentioned above should be present in a person, as without it, no one can even dream of attaining success in the life. All these factors serve to emphasize the difficulties which one encounter as soon as one abandons the traditional concept of health, which is safest one and simple in nature, as it only implies freedom from all kinds of diseases and state of normality. As said earlier that in a narrow way, health is a state in which a person is free from various kinds of diseases.
For proper understanding this narrow definition of health, it is first necessary to understand the concept of disease.