Picture these—a couple is expecting their first child and the excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty of what to expect is eating up into the charm of the cherishable period that pregnancy is otherwise; A toddler is crying incessantly due to his earache that is not letting him sleep, or even eat; A teenager just got her first pimple and does not know whether peeling it off would make it better, or worse—and the prospect of letting it be for a couple of days sounds scary; A young woman is worried about her marriage—what if the cysts in her ovary fiddle with her chances of conception, just as they are doing with her monthly cycles for two years now; An elderly gentleman is very disturbed with his enlarged prostate and the already weak urine stream seems to be getting even weaker, faster than he imagined; An elderly woman is suffering from bed sores. The pain and discomfort they cause is worse than her other long standing disease.
Well, most of us either have been in or know someone who has been in one of the above situations. Although we hope that dark clouds of illness will stop looming over our heads one day, in reality, though, the future looks grim. The pollution levels we are exposed to on a daily basis, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits, poor sleeping patterns, and not to mention work pressures—are silently writing a ruthless story for human health. Much as we would not want to accept it, we are the culprits for allowing each of these components to creep into our lives to reduce our health scores, except, of course, pollution which we cannot directly control.
Having said that, what can we possibly do to avoid these? Remedying the situation is grit-based and seeking fitness goals is not tough. Thanks to social media, we can set our daily goals of fitness from any of its myriad platforms which are full of success stories about fighting illnesses, staying fit and aiming to live longer.
While some diseases are expressed by our body, there are others that are expressed solely by our minds. These may not even be considered a disease by family or friends, because they manifest at a different level than what our eye is trained to see. Awareness drives for health encompasses physical, social and mental wellbeing—which, in other words, can also be called holistic health. However, instances where we find ourselves fit to get out of bed every morning, but not inclined to report to work or attend a social event has become all too common. These could be the initial worrying signs, which, if ignored, can show up on the physical level, with problems like migraine, hyperacidity, musculoskeletal pains, or even unexplained headaches or chest pains. Another understanding of holistic health is to identify and appreciate that when we are dealing with a physical illness, we are affected mentally too. For instance, in diseases like, osteoarthritis or kidney stones we may find disease coming in the way of our day to day routine, which eventually affects our mental and social make up.
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Issue 141, 2020