To answer this question we must first define “healthy.”
According to the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Now that we have an understanding of what health is, we need to look at our own level of health. Too often I see people assuming they are healthy just because they are not currently having any symptoms. This is a dangerous view on health. The lack of symptoms has nothing to do with health! To illustrate my point I’m going to go over a few scenarios that will hopefully help you see that symptoms are a terrible gauge of true health.
Scenario 1: You go to a new restaurant with a friend and share and appetizer and an entrée. You both sample each other’s food. Later that night you get a call from your friend who has been vomiting since she got home, while you feel just fine. Who is the healthier individual?
Based on the symptoms alone you would probably say that you are healthier because you didn’t experience any symptoms. However in this scenario your friend vomiting is the healthy response. Your friend’s body identified an overwhelming amount of a toxin in her body and immediately expelled it, which is a correct and healthy response. However, your body didn’t identify the large toxin load and therefore allowed those toxins to remain in the body to potentially create further problems. In this case the individual with the symptoms was the healthier person.
Scenario 2: A middle aged woman is playing in her company softball game. Prior to the game she feels great, has no pain and feels that she is completely healthy. While running the bases she collapses with a massive heart attack. She like many others had a sudden heart attack with NO prior symptoms. In fact 40% of heart attack victims had no symptoms prior to their heart attack. In this case a lack of symptoms obviously did not mean that the individual was anywhere near healthy.
So I ask again, are you healthy or just not sick?
If we can’t base the answer to that question on symptoms, what can we base it on? The best determinant for overall health is your body’s function. If all you body’s systems are functioning normally, you have optimal health. For instance, if your cardiovascular system had normal function you wouldn’t need blood pressure or cholesterol drugs to stay in the healthy and normal ranges. If a diabetic’s endocrine system were functioning normally they would not need to inject insulin to normalize blood sugar levels. If a senior citizen’s spine and other joints functioned well they would have no need for a walker, knee replacement, wheel chair, or pain medications. I hope you see the pattern here: the function of your body’s many systems can and will determine the length and quality of life you will experience.
So what can you do to ensure your body is functioning well? Since all your systems are controlled by the nervous system, it is important that this “master system” functions correctly. The nervous system controls the repair and replacement of all the cells in your body so a poorly functioning nervous system could have wide ranging negative effects on vital processes like liver cell regeneration, lung function, immune system function, inflammation control, and proper hormone levels. Doctors of Chiropractic are uniquely qualified to evaluate both the condition and function of the spine and nervous system that it protects. If you or a loved one is experiencing less than optimal health please take an active step to finding the cause of the dysfunction and get scheduled for a complimentary evaluation.