Interesting questions, and intereting anwers about money and health. Can rich people buy healthiness? Check it out on Personal Health Freedom’s blog.
Interesting questions, and intereting anwers about money and health. Can rich people buy healthiness? Check it out on Personal Health Freedom’s blog.
Spread your arms as wide as you can. Imagine your presence extending from genetics, in your left hand accross your body, to the nutrients that build your cells and tissues, your organs, your bodily systems – to your body in the centre. On the right, join your hands with your communities, your family, your pets, your environment, the organizations you are a part of, your friends, perhaps your church, your employers, your government, and the corporations around you.
Imagine the different illnesses, from genetic deformities to cellular tissue diseases like cancer, to diseases of the joints and bones like arthritis, diseases of the heart and circulatory systems, diseases of the brain, imagine illnesses of the spirit like fear and hatred, imagine illnesses of the communities like murder – often a family illness, as well as war, torture, genocide. Imagine each illness as a small, almost insignificant hole in the ground close to the line of your body. In the distance, imagine the most serious illness, large holes and finally the cliff of death. The sun rises every day on hope, and casts shadows of doubt - often setting on death. All of this space contains all of the gradations of illness between minor symptoms and ultimately death. It might look like a landscape on a dead planet or moon.
Your body is in the centre of this field of possible illnesses. When you die, your body dies, if you have managed to reproduce, your genetics do not die. Your family does not die. The communities you are part of do not die. Of course sometimes, a genetic line dies out. Sometimes a family dies, and sometimes larger communities as well.
Illness is a huge field of study. Everyone is affected by illness at some time in their lives. The field of medicine encompasses only part of the field of illness, from our body, our current state of illness – to death, in the distance. But the field of medicine ignores illnesses of the spirit, like fear and hate, and illnesses of the community like war and genocide. When we study illness, our studies stop when the illness is gone, or insignificant. Once the illness is gone – our studies leap to a new illness. There are plenty of illnesses to study. Plenty of sick people.
Now turn around and look in the opposite direction. Now, behind you are all of the illnesses that exist, from genetics to genocide.
In front of you is only health.
How can we describe the depth and breadth of health? Health too spans from our smallest genes to our largest, our longest lived communities. But when you look in the direction of health, what do you see in the distance? When we look at illness, we clearly see death in the distance. What do we see when we look at health?
We see hills to climb, mountains to summit, a sky with planets to marvel at and explore. The sun rises every day to excitement and expectation. In the field of health we can see joy, and love, and kindness. We can see the strength of independence, and the strengths of communities. We can see having, and sharing, need and support. The field of health is as wide as the field of illness – but it is much deeper. There is no death at the end, we might see a horizon, but as we approach it, it becomes part of our health – and we see another fair horizon in the distance.
Now. Put your arms down. Look around. Health includes illness. Every illness has aspects of healthiness. Illness does not include health. It is possible to be healthy without being ill – but it is not possible to be ill without being healthy. If you have no health, you are dead.
In this composite image, we see that the line between illness and healthiness is not easily defined. Most of us, probably all of use, have some aspects of illness and some aspects of healthiness. We can spend most of our lives on the healthy side looking a healthiness, or on the healthy side, studying illness. Medical professionals spend much of their lives on the illness side, searching for healthiness – or searching for and fighting illness.
We can choose to move our bodies to healthier status, or to a sicklier status, but often when we make ‘health choices’, were not sure which way we will move as a result of any choice. Many choices clearly move one part of us to healthier status, while moving another part towards illness. Health is about balance, so tipping it one way can create other imbalances.
We measure illness with infinite precision – but who measures health? We study the causes and search for cures of illness – but who studies the causes of health? We might pretend we are studying health, as we study illness. But when we study illness, we are facing the wrong direction to study health. We cannot expect to climb the mountains of health by looking down into the holes of illness.
Health is whole, illness is a hole in our health. When we only study the holes – we learn little about the wholeness of health, only the darkness of illness.
If we are to learn about health, we must learn to study healthiness independent of illness. It is important to study illness. It is more important to study health.
Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness is about the study of health. Healthicine is a new field of study. There are no experts – only those who might claim to be experts because of their successes in studying illness.
Healthicine is an enormous field of study, which we hardly know. Today, every expert has an opinion about health, advice about health, an understanding of health, but there is no science of health. There is no commonly accepted way to recognize healthiness – except by recognizing the absence of illness. There is no medical or scientific technique for measuring healthiness – except to measure the absence of illness.
Most of today’s ’health experts’ are facing the wrong way, looking at illness, blind to the majesty and enormousness of health – that exists in plain view behind them. It’s time to turn around, smell the roses, and explore the stars.
After several years researching and writing about the concepts of health and healthiness, as opposed to illness, I have consolidated many of the concepts from this site and the sister site: PersonalHealthFreedom, into a book that provides a foundation for the concepts of healthicine.
Purchase paper edition on Amazon. Purchase Kindle edition on Amazon.
Healthicine: the Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthicine is the book that lays the foundation for exploration of the concepts of healthicine. It is available on Kindle, as well as in traditional paper format. The Kindle version has colour illustrations – and links to larger versions of the illustrations. The paper format has illustrations in black and white. Click here to view full size colour versions of the book illustrations.
Here is a preview of what you can find in the book, chapter by chapter:
1 On Health – what is health? We normally study healthiness only through our attempts to fight illness. As a result we are, in a sense, blind to the actual concepts of health and healthiness. We meet Alice and Zizi, two friends who have no illnesses – but are not sure who is ‘healthiest’.
2. The Foundations of Healthicine – the concepts of health flow from the concepts of life, from genetics through body, mind, and spirit – to communities. The study of health requires a ‘health’ perspective, and health goals, as opposed to an illness persective – and illness goals.
3. Hierarchies of Function and Process – healthiness is not about balance, it is about balancing. Every component of our healthiness is continually working to find health through balancing.
4. Signs and Symptoms – what are the signs of healthiness? What are the symptoms? We normally study signs and symptoms as if they were only indications of illness.
5. Measuring Healthiness – how might we learn to measure healthiness? What can we learn from measuring healthiness?
6. Aging and Infirmity – what are the differences between unhealthiness, illness and aging? Is aging a disease? Is it an unhealthiness? How can we tell?
7. Illness – what is illness? What are the causes of illness? What are the relationships between healthiness and illness?
8. Diagnosis – why is diagnosis so difficult? What types of illness are most difficult to diagnose? What is the fundamental error, or omission, in many medical diagnoses?
9. Preventing Illness – what is the most effective technique to prevent illness? Does red wine make us healthier? How can prevention help us to better health, as opposed to ‘better illness’?
10.How to Create and Improve Healthiness – what are the fundamental techniques we can use to create and improve healthiness?
11.The Failing Edge of Modern Medicine – modern medicine works wonders and saves many lives, but there are situations where it fails miserably. What can we learn from this?
12. The Arts and Sciences of Healthicine – where do we go from here? What do we need to do to develop the arts and sciences of healthicine?
The back cover of the book provides more information:
This is a book about Healthicine, a new field of study. It raises more questions than it answers. As we seek the answers to these questions, I hope we can raise our understanding to new levels, to find newer, more important questions.
The medical view, limited by illness, has difficulty understanding healthiness and Healthicine.
Medicine is blind to health.
Medical professionals, both conventional and alternative, suffer from the same blindness.
Health is whole. Health is honest. Health is true. It cannot be ‘tricked’ by medicines, nor medical sorcery. The most powerful, the most effective tool to fight illness is health. When health is improved, many illnesses simply fade away. Health can be improved before illness is diagnosed, it can be improved after illness is diagnosed, and it can be improved after illness has gone.
The road to health is wide enough for all of us. I have done my best, in this book, to understand and communicate the depth and breadth, from the source to the surface, past illness, past wellness, to healthiness. This book is a first step down that road.
to your health, tracy www.healthicine.org
ps. This is not a ‘self-help book’. The objectives of this book are to initiate an understanding of health and healthiness. I hope and believe this will serve to make our health systems and our medical systems more effective, and our battles against illness more clear, direct, honest, and frankly, less commercial.
Healthicines increase healthiness. Medicines decrease illness. It’s easy to say, but it can be very difficult to understand clearly. Are “alternative medicines” healthicines or medicines? Are vitamins healthicines, or medicines? Are herbal medicines healthicines or medicines. Let’s begin with some simple examples, where the lines are very clear.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. An apple is a healthicine, not a medicine. You can eat as many as you want. Your children can eat them. Apples don’t make you healthy ‘quickly’, health is created slowly, “an apple a day“. Apples don’t fight specific illnesses, they improve general healthiness. If you are sick, an apple won’t make you well and if you eat too many, you will get diarrhea. But if you are sick, an apple a day will still help you be healthy. You don’t need a prescription to buy an apple.
If you have a bug, you might get a medicine to treat your symptoms. Medicines that treat your symptoms don’t make you healthier, they only make you feel better. Or you might get an antibiotic. An antibiotic kills bacteria. It is a medicine, not a healthicine. It works by decreasing the healthiness of many bacteria in your body – it does not discriminate between healthy and unhealthy bacteria and can be dangerous to your healthiness. Antibiotics are powerful, and work quickly, over a few hours or a few days. Antibiotics are designed or prescribed individually, for specific illnesses and are not effective for other illnesses. If you are not sick, antibiotics won’t make you healthier and can be toxic, and dangerous, to yourself and your children. You need a doctor’s prescription to purchase an antibiotic.
The difference between apples and antibiotics is pretty clear. Apples create health, antibiotics fight illness. We can summarize the differences as follows:
When we see it in this table, it seems pretty clear. Medicines are not always bad, healthicines are not always good. Each has a function. Continue reading “Do you need a medicine, or a healthicine?” »
I read a beautiful quote on Quora the other day, from a five year old. Her father had asked “How do we show someone we love them?”, and she responded “We play with them.” I love it! We sing, dance, and play. Sometimes we play hard. When we love, we are strengthening our communities.
Communities, in the healthicine hierarchy, cover a wide range, from couples, to families, to partnerships, companies, corporations, churches, and governments. Any group of people, even people and animals living or working together. Communities, healthy communities, can be competitive, cooperative, or even playful.
Let’s look back in time, before there were any communities. Adam lived alone in the garden of Eden. His constraint consisted of one rule from his God. You must not eat from the tree of knowledge. God made no other requests, no other rules. Adam had no needs that were not met by the garden, and thus no need to make requests of God. Was it possible for Adam to love? Was it possible for Adam to sin – alone in the garden? Continue reading “Community Healthiness: the Origins of Sin and Virtue, Love and Hate, Freedom and Prison” »
Body, mind, and spirit are often presented as the “wholeness” of health. The elements of this triad are not sufficient to encompass healthicine, but they are important components. However, body, mind, and spirit are poorly defined, poorly distinguished and poorly articulated in many health (sick care) practices.
Philosophers have pondered for centuries, and more, definitions and locations of mind, and spirit. We often confuse, or mix discussions of body, mind, and spirit with body, mind, and soul. Continue reading “To be or not to be: Bodies, Minds, and Spirits” »
Got to thinking about my cat this morning. As I reached over to pet her, she purred and pushed into my hand. ”What’s going on?” my sleepy mind wondered. As my mind drifted in and out of sleep, I thought of the body mandala.
Well, maybe not the body mandala, maybe the body mind mandala? In an interesting book The Body Has A Mind of Its Own, authors Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee use the term “body mandala” to describe how our mind maps represent and understand the body. They also refer to it as our peripersonal space and “how the body maps in your brain help you to do (almost) everything better“.
When we pick up a tool – a hammer for example, Sandra and Matthew explain, our brain maps outwards from our body and the hammer is included into our body mind mandala. When we drive a car, the car becomes an extension of our body. Cars are big, and hard, and noisy. Maybe this is why we become bigger, harder, and more aggressive when we are in our car?
So, back to the cat. When I touch the cat, and the cat touches me back with a nudge and purr, the cat becomes part of my body mind mandala. I become me and the cat, as one. I wonder, do I become part of her body mind mandala? Does she perceive us as ‘one’?
The authors write about how our mind maps our body, and holds and uses those many representations of our body – and how this can affect our healthiness and be affected by our healthiness, illness, disability and disease. The authors view of healthiness stops, however, at the body and mind. They do not consider the our spirits, nor our communities – important aspects of the hierarchy of healthicine.
So they don’t think about what happens when two bodies intersect. The book is, about the ‘singularity’ in the hierarchy – the body, and about individuals, not about pairs, groups, families, nor communities.
When we hold hands, hug, and shake hands, we create communities. Not just communities of bodies. We create communities of body mind mandalas. Sometimes, communities of body, mind, and spirit – and even sometimes, communities of communities.
When we shake hands, two bodies merge momentarily into one body mind mandala. When we hold hands, in pairs or in chains, our bodies merge into the safety and comfort of one body mind mandala. When we shake hands, we often get a contract; when we hug – we get what we give.
Hugs, holding hands, and handshakes are very different intersections of body mandala.
Handshakes are quick. When we meet a handshake can range from a simple cultural gesture, to a gesture of friendship, to a momentary joining of our bodies – and thus a momentary alignment of our ideas, goals, etc. However handshakes can sometimes be gentle, sometimes brutal. Some people see the handshake as an opportunity, or a need to express aggression or dominance. Grasping with force of grip, rapidity of motion, in an attempt to control the situation. Others might see the handshake as ‘something to be avoided’ – to avoid the occasional blatant aggression – or simply out of inexperience or lack of confidence. The handshake is more than just a gesture, more than just a touch – it is a joining of bodies and of minds. But not always comfortable, not always ‘equal’.
Handshakes can be an artificial joining of the body mind mandala, thought, by some to be a gesture indicating that the hand holds no weapon, no threat. The handshake is a joining of bodies, of forces, but there is little implication of joining minds, spirits, or communities – unless that is in the contract. When a handshake is used to ‘seal the deal’, it is understood that the participants are ‘joining forces’ – body and mind, dollars and contracts, lawyers (and possibly liars) to the cause. But it does not necessarily imply that we are joining in spirit.
When we shake hands, we create a community of two. When we shake many hands, we can build larger communities. These individual communities might be small, but they’re a step forward. Repetition and reinforcement can build larger, stronger, healthier communities.
What about holding hands? There are two main types of hand-holding. Parents and friends (or lovers).
Holding a parent’s hand – or holding a child’s hand, is an act of protection. This can be extended into chains of hand holding – alright children, let’s all join hands while we walk to school. When we hold hands we join our bodies. The child becomes a bit more like the parent, and the parent a bit more like the child, while holding hands. In a chain, the more mature look after the less mature. We learn to lead, and to follow, depending on our nature.
When lovers, or close friends hold hands, their bodies, minds and spirits join together, creating an integration of body mind mandala. Public hand-holding is frowned up on in some cultures, or some situations. Hand holding is sometimes a step stone towards more intimate engagement of extensions to the body mind mandala.
The closeness of a hug begins before we are born. We can hear our mother’s heart and breathing. We can feel her moods, and sense her resting. We leave our mother’s body, and then she holds us to her breast. In that embrace, we are again one body, mind, and spirit. When the baby cries out the mother’s calm hug can calm both of them. The hug is about joining of more than body, more than mind, more than spirits.
A hug can be short or long – an embrace, a snuggle or a cuddle. When we hug, there is more commitment to each other than to a ’cause’ or project. A hug is about community. And a group hug is about a larger community. It’s pretty difficult to arrange, or make sense of a group handshake – but a group hug is easily understood. When we group hug, we merge many into one body, mind, and spirit.
What about those tree huggers? A tree has no nervous system – so we can’t integrate our nervous systems, but we can feel one with nature. A tree hug can be one person one tree, or for large tress it might be many people hugging a single tree.
In fact, we don’t need to ‘hug a tree’ to integrate our body mind mandala with nature. When we lie on the grass at night and watch the stars, our senses reach out millions of miles. We can feel this immensity, as if it is part of us, and it is.
Our body, mind, and spirits can truly be one with the universe. We just need to free our hugs.
I’m sure that when the mother washes the kitten, their body mind mandala’s join together and when I pet my cat and she pushes back, we merge into a community that extends beyond the human realm, beyond our bodies, and our minds, creating community of spirit.
welcome to the community of healthicine
Disclosure: I was once very shy of hugs and handshakes… but I’m learning.