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Many people are able to recognise the signs of ill health within them. We have been conditioned to look for signs of ill health rather than health. |
Natural Hygiene on the other hand lays emphasis on the importance of discovering health within you. An absence of disease does not necessarily mean you are brimming over with health and vitality. Many people consider themselves healthy because they have no visible signs of disease, e.g. a bad cold, headaches, bad breath, not having a temperature or bloodshot eyes with puffy lids, dizziness, or aches and pains.
But how many know what the signs of health are? The most popular pastime is diagnosing disease symptoms. The Hygienic Practitioner must instil in the hearts of the people the alertness and significance to look for signs of health.
Let us look for those signs and symptoms that are indicative of the fact that we are healthy mentally, spiritually and physically.
Habits that lead to such wellbeing (e.g. eating whole foods naturally, getting enough sleep or exercise, etc.) are important, because out of such habits your pattern of health is formed. Let us take inventory of your present wellbeing. Reflect on each of the signs and whether your answer is yes, no, or occasionally: you evaluate how you shape up.
One of the first signs of health is the constant feeling of wellbeing, as if energy is brimming over from the moment you get up till the end of the day.
How quickly do you heal? Do you heal more quickly than other people, or faster than what your doctor said at the time of recovery, after an accident, an operation, a sprain or strain or a bout of acute illness. The faster the recovery the healthier you are.
When you wake up in the morning after a good night's sleep, are ready and willing to be on the move instantly? A long period of wakefulness and wanting to hug the bed for a few more minutes is not sign of vigour but gradual loss of energy.
Do you feel like running or get an urge to move faster when you I'd just as well walk or dawdle? The oftener you get this urge to step out, the healthier you are.
When you see your reflection in a mirror, is your posture firm and erect? Good posture without any attempt to correct it is a reflection of health.
Are you able to perform all the normal daily movements in the course of your day to day living without feeling you are in any way straining yourself or feeling uncomfortable? Flexibility is a good sign of health. If all your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments are supple and flexible, it is indicative of health.
If you have to run for a bus or walk a distance of a few miles because you have missed the train or bus and you are winded or have little stamina for sustained effort a fair period of time, the chances are that you are below par in health.
How acute is your sease of sight? And smell? And hearing? If you can read the smallest print without glasses and then immediately can perceive an object at a very long distance, the chances are you have good health.
Next pick up your flesh. Is it firm and solid or flabby, with the skin wrinkled and full of fat and the flesh sagging? The former is an indication of health. Healthy tissue is firm tissue.
Next hold out your hand and with the other press slightly with the thumb of the other hand on the part reverse to the palm. Observe how long it takes for the mark of the thumb on the skin to vanish.
In healthy individuals it is almost instantaneous as soon as the pressure is off, indicative of good circulation.
Do you at the end of your usual day go to sleep almost as soon as your head touches the pillow? Under normal circumstances it is a good indication of health. The ability to relax and fall asleep easily is often seen in healthy children, but seldom in adults.
Now having discussed some of the physical signs of health, let us cast a glance on the mental and spiritual (emotional) signs of health.
When someone hurts your feelings, e.g., you feel jilted, rejected, ridiculed or made fun of, do you recover your usual optimistic outlook within a few days? This indicates how quickly your feelings heal and is equivalent in the emotional field to how quickly your flesh heals after an injury.
Now we come to the question of guilt. Suppose you have done something silly or foolish or wrong. How quickly do you forgive yourself? Soon after the act? Or do you nurse the guilt for days and months? A healthy person learns from this mistake, chalks it up as an experience and then proceds serenely to life's further adventures.
Are you gregarious? I.e., do you enjoy the company of people, going to parties, dances, theatres? Socialising is an assessment of your temperament as it relates to health and disease. The researchers call this type of temperament Beta and it is compatible with an unusual degree of resistance to physical and mental stress.
Are you able to stick to any current development in your life that you have undertaken, to enhance your abilities, to accomplish something that you think is important in your life? Stick ability is an indication of mental health.
Are you adventurous? Do you sigh off projects that you have never tried before or back off an outing or adventure a friend suggest? Life is a gamble and there are occasions in life when one must take the "bull by the horns". Professor Alan Watts has written an excellent book, The Wisdom of Insecurity. The ability to meet life anew from moment to moment and say "yes" to life is an indication of good mental and emotional health.
Do you often sing in the bathtub or suddenly burst into a song while enjoying a walk in the country or indulging in your favourite hobby? Expressing joy and delight in living through song is an expression of mental and emotional health.
Do you express anger when annoyed or perversely disturbed? Or are you in the habit of bottling up your frustrations and anger at some stupidity? The former is a sign of good health. Just as it is healthy to express one's joy, it is also right to express one's disappointment, anger and frustration. This does not mean you have to explode every time. The happy mean is a healthy sign, showing you have the capacity to be tolerant.
Do you laugh and smile frequently? I.e., does your face light up spontaneously when you meet someone or think of something funny from your store of memories? A spontaneous smile at a passing neighbour or child, or at reading a comic strip are all indicative of good health.
Do you love yourself? In other words, do you accept what you are with all your faults and virtues? A healthy man or woman is a person who accepts the truth portrayed. A hypercritical attitude is indicative of continuous conflict within oneself.
Are you a relatively happy person? Happiness is what health is about.
Last but not least, do you have the capacity to love, i.e., do you love someone very much, not necessarily a sexual relationship something or someone to whom you are deeply attached? This is an important indication of health; a passionate devotion to something or someone whereby you are able to transcend the 'I', your "ego", and lose yourself in something larger than your own importance. All healthy people have that innate capacity to rise above to that state of consciousness whereby you are filled with love and compassion towards all creation.
How is your health barometer?
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