Introduction to Healthicine: Theories of Health, Healthiness, Illness and Aging

What is health?  What is healthiness? What is unhealthiness?  Where does illness fit into this picture?  What about aging? What are medicines? What are healthicines? Are alternative medicines healthicines?  No, they are not.


There are many definitions of health, few of healthiness. Illness, disease, and medical condition are technically defined by diagnosis, but many different definitions are used by doctors, patients, insurance companies, employers, etc. Aging too, has many definitions, depending on the goals of whoever is speaking.

Healthicine is the study of health, and definitions of health, healthiness, illness and aging, in the studies of healthicine – are created within goals of understanding and improving health.

Once we begin to make HEALTH our goal, we see many things differently, as if we are standing on a new hill of knowledge.  The entire medical establishment – both conventional and alternative medicines are working to fight illness. They use the word health, because it has a nice sound, but instead of working to improve healthiness – they work to avoid illness, to ‘retain health’ and to treat illness, to ‘regain health’. But once they determine that illness is not present, they assume ‘health’ is present, and no further action is warranted. Medical systems measure illness with infinite precision, probing deeper and deeper into patients to find illness earlier. They are blind to health.

What is health? Health is whole, illness is a hole in your health.  The study of holes, is not the study of health. What is healthiness? Healthiness is a measurable instance of health, as illness is a measurable instance of ‘being ill’.

What about unhealthiness? What is the difference between unhealthiness and illness?  Is it possible to be unhealthy, without being ill?  Is it possible to be ill, without being unhealthy?

What are healthicines? Are alternative medicines healthicines?  No, they are not. What is illness? A growing list of illnesses is being classified as ‘incurable’ by current medical systems. Arthritis, diabetes, cancers, IBS, MS, Parkinson’s, even depression are often defined as illnesses that can be treated, but not cured. There are fundraising efforts to find a cure, but medical textbooks make clear statements – disease X is incurable, the best that can be done is to treat the symptoms. What’s going on? Why is the list of incurable diseases growing instead of shrinking? Because medicine is blind to health. Many illnesses do not need to be cured, cannot be cured, must be healthed. Only healthicines can ‘health’ an illness. But our medical systems do not study healthicines.

These are the questions explored in the book: Introduction to Healthicine: Theories of Health, Healthiness, Illness and Aging.  In the first three chapters, health is explored – without reference to illness. With that foundation, illness and aging are seen in a different light. Healthicine is not ‘alternative medicine’, it is rather, a clear view of health, a new perspective on health.

The book explores the concepts of healthicines – things that improve your healthiness – and compares them to medicines – things that fight your illness.  Many of today’s medicines are actually healthicines – but our current medical systems do not recognize the distinction, thus, they cannot study healthiness.


About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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