According to the revised definition of health given by WHO in 1984, health is the extent to which a person is able to realize his aspirations, satisfy needs and to cope with his environment. Health is considered as a resource for everyday living, not the objective of everyday life. It is a positive concept that emphasizes on social and personal resources along with physical capacities.
DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
Three interdependent fields have been identified as key determinants of an individual’s health. These are:-
- Lifestyle– It includes personal decisions and lifestyle choices that can contribute to or cause illness o death. According to this, people can improve their health through regular exercise, adequate sleep, spending time in nature, maintaining their body weight, avoiding tobacco smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
- Environmental– It includes all matters that have an impact on health and over which an individual has little or no control. This includes the natural environment, human-made environment and social environment. Factors such as clean air, clean water, well-ventilated house, safe road and communities, neighborhood recreational spaces to be able to spend increased time in a natural environment have a positive effect on health.
- Biomedical– It includes all aspects of health, be it physical or mental, that developed within the human body and are influenced by genetic makeup or inherited traits from parents. This includes increased tendencies to acquire certain diseases and also various behavioral traits an individual develops by observing those around him.
COMMON HEALTH ISSUES ARE:-
- Disease- It includes both non- infectious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, chronic lung and heart diseases, etc. and infectious (caused by viruses and bacteria) diseases such as AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
- Malnutrition- It mostly affects young children who die from starvation due to a lack of money to find or cook food.
- Injuries- This includes fractures and burns that lowers a person’s quality of life.
- Poor lifestyle choices- This includes cigarette smoking, inadequate or unhealthy diet, overeating, lack of physical activity, lack of adequate sleep, alcohol consumption in excess and neglecting oral hygiene.
- Lack of access to health care system or unavailability of good quality medicines.
Mental health is also known as mental health problem, illness, dysfunction and disorder. WHO defines it as state of well being in which the individual realizes his abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, work productively and can contribute to his community”. Factors that contribute to mental health problems are:-
- Biological factors – This includes genetics and brain chemistry as well as family history of mental health disorders.
- Psychological factors– This includes life experiences such as trauma and abuse.
GENERAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT
One should observe the following practices to achieve and maintain good health:-
- Diet- Have a nutritious diet that gives energy to the body as well as helps to strengthen bones, muscles and regulate various processes of the body. It includes water, macronutrients which are consumed in comparatively large quantities and include proteins, carbohydrates and fats and micronutrients, which include various vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet helps to maintain the right weight and prevents the risk of various chronic diseases and cancer.
- Exercise- Exercise is beneficial as it strengthens muscles, improves the cardiovascular system and enhances overall health and wellness. About 30 minutes of brisk walking for five days in a week is considered beneficial to maintain good health.
- Sleep- In children, sleep is essential for growth and development. In adults, lack of sleep, i.e., six or fewer hours of sleep at night, has been associated with low immunity, delayed recovery from illnesses, increased risk to develop chronic diseases, weight gain and impedes weight loss. Also, disruption of circadian rhythm due to working in night shifts has been associated with increased risk of developing cancer by studies conducted by WHO.
- Maintain good hygiene practices such as bathing daily, washing hands before meals, sneezing into elbows, brushing teeth twice daily- once in the morning before meals and then at night before sleeping, flossing teeth once daily, cooking and storing food safely.
- Maintain strong social relationships and volunteer in social activities to have positive mental health and longevity. According to some studies, those who have active social life tend to have better cognitive performance, fewer depressive symptoms, better mental well- being and life satisfaction than those who live in isolation more.
- Practicing stress management- Stress management refers to using methods that either reduce stress or increase tolerance to stress. It includes methods like cognitive therapy, meditation and positive thinking. One must also develop crucial skills like time management and problem-solving that help builds confidence and reduce uncertainty.
HOMEOPATHY MANAGEMENT OF GENERAL HEALTH
Homeopathy has a significant role to play in restoring and maintaining the state of a healthy body and mind, that too, without any side effects. Best homeopathic tonic for general health is the homeopathic medicine that is most similar to the cause as well as the characteristic manifestation of the disease.
Common medicines used as homeopathic general health tonic are:-
- Calcarea Flourica– It is indicated for malnourished bones, joints and glands.
- Calcarea Phosphoric– It is indicated in anemia, healing of fractured bones and chronic wasting illnesses.
- Ferrum Phosphorica– It is indicated for anemia and minor fevers.
- Kalium Muriaticum– It is indicated for ear, chest and liver complaints.
- Kalium Phosphorica– It is indicated for nerves and brain-related complaints and aids in getting tranquility and boosting mental power.
- Kalium Sulphuricum– It is indicated in chest, joints and skin complaints.
- Magnesium Phosphoricum– It is indicated to restore and maintain the health status of muscles, uterine tone and heart. It acts on the pain related nerves and relieves sudden severe pain that is aggravated from exposure to cold and better from warmth and pressure.
- Natrum Phosphoricum– It is indicated for healthier metabolism of fats and to control hyperacidity.
- Silicea– It is indicated to aid in better assimilation and gaining mental and physical stamina.