Definition of Health according to Dr Maharaja SivaSubramanian N
In this page the following questions are answered;
– What is Dr Maharaja’s definition of health?
– What is the approach of this definition of health?
– What are the benefits of Holistic Approach to the patient?
Definition of Health has undergone a lot of changes over the period of human life. Many have tried to give a tangible definition of health, which is otherwise considered to be an abstract phenomenon. When health of an individual is measured using various parameters, health can be restored & sickness alleviated appropriately.
Before we get on to my definition of health, let us have a look on few other popular definitions & explanations of health as proposed by many others along with the development of the fields related to health-care.
1 Health is a condition of freedom from non-curable diseases.
2 Health is a condition of freedom from disease.
3 Health is a condition of physical well being.
4 Health is a condition of psychological well being.
5 Health is a condition of physical, mental & social well-being & not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Now, let us discuss my (Dr Maharaja SivaSubramanian N) definition of health.
Health is a condition of well-being & more than absence of disease in the following planes of health, which are;
1 Physical fitness.
2 Mental preparedness.
3 Emotional appropriateness.
4 Social connectedness.
5 Environmental stability.
6 Economic abundance.
7 Career growth.
8 Nutritional enrichment.
9 Spiritual progression.
Let us now discuss each plane individually.
Physical fitness. Physical fitness can be explained as a state where the individual has little or no pain and is able to do their personal work without discomfort. The state where the individual is not prevented from engaging in an activity due to physical disability. Some of the important aspects of physical health are hydration, exercise or physical activity level, and sleep. For more resources on physical health, click here.
Mental preparedness. Mental preparedness can be explained as a mental state where the individual has an acceptable thought pattern system which consists of beliefs which are constructive, exhibit characters of equality, & are devoid of selfishness. The individual should have a thought pattern of possibility thinking which should have beliefs which are clear, rational & realistically optimistic. Some of the important aspects of mental health are creativity, focus, mental preparation, positive attitude, positive self talk, realistic optimism, time management, visualization. For more resources on mental health, click here.
Emotional appropriateness. Emotional appropriateness is a state concerned with the individual wherein the individual has appropriate value system, ability to feel & express emotions appropriately, adequately & rationally in a healthy manner. Some of the important aspects of emotional health are empathy, enjoyment, gratitude, interpersonal effectiveness, openness, patience, self-confidence, self-regulation, trust. For more resources on emotional health, click here.
Social connectedness. Social connectedness can be explained as the amount of connected feeling & affiliation of the individual in a healthy manner with himself/herself, the individual’s family, & with the society at large. In this state of well-being, the individual will be in a state of ease in both giving & receiving appropriately. It is also the comfortable blending with the concerned social culture. Some of the important aspects of social health are aligned, ,celebratory, complementary, connectedness, interpersonal encounter, sociability. For more resources on social health, click here.
Environmental stability. Environmental stability can be explained as the role played by the environment in developing the individual’s health & potential, as explained by the nature-nurture concept of developmental psychology. The environment of the individual should be in such a way that it should first stabilize the life of the individual & then promotes the growth & development of the individual in all ways. The environment includes geographic, political, socio-economic, society, etc. Some of the important aspects of environmental health are cleaner, ergonomic, greener, nurturing, promoting growth, spacious. For more resources on environmental health, click here.
Economic abundance. Economic abundance for a healthy individual will be the state which every individual should achieve & maintain that they have enough wealth to meet their needs, & also are able to contribute in generating wealth for the welfare of the society. It can also be explained in a way that no individual should be restricted from achieving appropriate goals or from satisfying appropriate needs due to shortage of wealth. Wealth will include economics of all materialistic things, principally being money, and secondary being other material resources. Some of the important aspects of economic health are stability, security, freedom, abundance, prosperity-enhancing. For more resources on economic health, click here.
Career growth. Career growth is a situation in relation to occupation of a healthy individual where they are able to express themselves in a self-actualizing mode. Career health is determined by the amount of job satisfaction; the prospective growth opportunities in the job which will enable the individual to meet self needs of various forms like money, relationship, social status, significance, security, etc; & an avenue to express by working on their passion. Some of the important aspects of career health are existential, experiential, expertise, growth oriented, knowing about, satisfaction, value adding service. For more resources on career health, click here.
Nutritional enrichment. Nutritional enrichment is a healthy state where the individual is able to have appropriate balanced nutrition to take care of their nutritionally health needs. Nutrition which improves health in all planes of health instead of a diet which focuses only on physical health. Nutrition which is neither below the needed levels nor exceeding the needed levels, but maintained in a balanced level, enriching the individual for higher level of wellness. Some of the important aspects of nutritional health are balanced diet, ergogenic, hydration, love-enriched. For more resources on nutritional health, click here.
Spiritual progression. The sum of all parts or planes of health discussed above is the overall functional definition of health according to me. When all the parts of health are functionally in a healthy manner, spiritually also, the person can be said as to be in a healthy state. Focusing on the above mention eight functional aspects of health will help the individual to get to a higher state of health or wellness and promotes the individual to a state of self-actualization. Some of the important aspects of spiritual health are courage, equanimity, excellence, fellowship, flow-state, integrity, peace, self-realization and self-actualization, service to others. For more resources on spiritual health, click here.
To discuss in further detail, health needs to be seen in a higher degree as wellness. The state or level of health can be discussed in three levels (especially in reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs).
Level of Disease. In this state, the individual is suffering from illness. An individual may or may not be able to take care of his needs in this level. Focus will be laid on to take care of primary needs of the individual like treatment, food, water, shelter, etc. Need for affiliation may also be seen in this level. Predominantly, the individual may not be able to serve the society in this state.
Level of being healthy with absence of disease. In this state, the individual is relatively free from illness. An individual in this state usually is able to take care of his/her needs. The individual may also be able to contribute to a certain degree to the society.
Level of wellness. This is a level where the individual is healthy in all the 9 planes as suggested by me and is healthier much beyond just physical, mental & social well-being. Individuals in this level are usually good contributors to the society and are also able to meet the need of self-actualization. To achieve this level of wellness, emphasis should be laid on health-care which focuses on treatment of illnesses along with major emphasis on preventive care like in the concierge medicine model.
The Approach through this definition of health is to lay emphasis on holistic approach towards the health of the patient or client. By this approach, treatment & help is provided with the focus on the individual as a whole & not on the illness alone.
The following are the benefits for the patient or the individual undergoing treatment using Holistic approach to health & disease;
1 The person is the main focus in the treatment & not the illness. The patient is treated as an individual having an illness. This approach helps in handling the treatment according to the patient & is known as client-centric treatment. For more information on client-centric holistic approach used by Dr Maharaja SivaSubramanian N, click here.
2 This approach helps to also focus on the cause of the illness, which can also be treated thus helping prevent relapses.
3 Being a holistic approach, the emphasis is also on prevention along with treatment. Prevention is always better in all ways, including being a cost-effective approach as compared to treatment after occurrence of illness.
4 Instead of treating the patient from a state of illness, the emphasis is to promote wellness of the individual. This approach adheres to the achievement of the health level to a better appropriate level as explained by various definitions of health.