What is health? The Triune of Life

What is health? The Triune of Life

One of the most useful pieces of information I learnt about during my chiropractic studies, was a particular framework for describing health – the Triune of Life. This framework comprises the physical, chemical and emotional facets of life, which when in perfect balance with each other, constitute general good health.

The topic of health can be very subjective: what is considered a healthy way of life by one person, professional or group, may be considered not so by another. The endless combination of variables at play around the world: climate; food; culture; medical availability; etcetera, are so much that it is impossible to decide that one particular way of life is the healthiest. Keeping in mind the Triune of Life is a useful tool for individuals to take a snapshot of their health in time and decide for themselves just how healthy they are.

It does of course help to have some guidelines, and so we can expand on the trinity components.

PHYSICAL

Maintaining physical health means not just avoiding freak accidents such as motor vehicle or sporting injuries. It also includes awareness about the subtle, and sometimes more sinister, repetitive strain injuries such as postural strain at work. Such repetitive injuries could be prolonged sitting at a desk, or repetitive motions in labour intensive jobs such as tiling or brick laying. Think how you spend most of your time throughout the week and review the intensity of physical movement you apply to your body. Is it too little or too much?

We could view physical health as a spectrum, where at one end there is the sedentary lifestyle, and at the other there is the overactive. Both could be detrimental to physical health. The median might see the most physical longevity with respect to joint degeneration, muscle wastage and general inflexibility.

CHEMICAL

Anything we put into our body has an effect on our chemical health. Our body is an engine, and the fuel you feed it determines how it will run. The topic of dietary requirements can be daunting as again, there are so many variables at play that affect how one person will respond on a particular diet compared to another. The purpose of viewing diet in terms of the Triune of Life however, is simply to make one more aware that all fluids, food, drugs and/or medicine contribute to one’s chemical health.

People should always be conscious of what they are feeding their bodies as it has a huge bearing on their health. Consulting a dietician may be of benefit to those who struggle to assimilate certain nutrients or are just simply unsure of what healthy eating involves. For some basic tips on how to eat healthy, you can also try reading this.

EMOTIONAL

The quality of the relationships in our lives has an equally huge bearing on the state of our health. We might have found the right balance of exercise and healthy eating, but if we are amidst relationship difficulties with family members; friends and/or work colleagues, then this can have a major effect on our mental health.

All relationships require constant attention and whilst it is inevitable we will encounter difficulties in our relationships with other people, be it professional or personal, when they start to have a negative impact on the normal functioning of our lives, this impacts our health. Oftentimes we lack the skills or we are too emotionally involved to resolve relationship issues. In these cases it can be beneficial to utilise counselling services.

We could sum this topic up in a single word – balance. Regardless of what you might choose to do to maintain good physical, chemical and emotional balance, the Triune of Life serves to bring our awareness into these facets of our lives which have such profound influence on our daily health. We may never quite find the perfect balance, but try to take some time to assess your current situation and ask yourself, Am I living a balanced life?