Wellness Versus Disease

What is Health? According to the World Health Organization, “health is the state of full physical, emotional and social health and not just the absence of illness and infirmity.” Various definitions have also been applied over the years. In its most basic form, health simply refers to the quality of being able to enjoy one’s life.


The word “disease” has been used to describe the lack of a condition in two very different contexts. In one context, disease is described as a circumstance in which something manifests with a progressive onset without warning, threatening the health and even life of an individual. This definition may also include situations in which there is an absence of appropriate medical treatment or any form of cure. This definition of disease becomes problematic for those attempting to apply the definition to many types of conditions and diseases.

A second definition is healthy, which in fact refers to the ability to function at an optimum level, with the proper diet and exercise as specified by personal choice. The absence of disease or infirmity does not necessarily imply that a person is in perfect health. It simply means that the individual is capable of managing his or her health and preventing or controlling diseases or conditions, without the use of modern medical technology or medications. While it is true that a healthy life style will keep a person healthy and disease free, it is impossible to achieve this lifestyle in a society that places great emphasis on being healthy, which is why the definition of healthy has been expanded over the years to include all of those things that make a person healthy, rather than simply disease free.

The third definition of good health, which is also the most expansive, includes a definition of quality of life. Quality of life can be defined as the ability to meet the needs and interests of one’s family, to participate in meaningful activities, to experience a sense of personal growth, and to enjoy a reasonable degree of physical freedom. It is also meant to correspond with the person’s ability to take control of his or her health and well-being. The absence of disease or infirmity does not necessary mean the absence of good health. Instead, it may simply mean that the person is capable of managing some aspects of his or her life well enough to be able to enjoy some aspects of quality life.

These three definitions of wellness represent the three different aspects of general health. The fourth dimension of wellness is called physiological well-being, which refers to the ability of the body to properly absorb, use, and utilize nutrients, fats, proteins, and other substances. This definition excludes emotional well-being, which is what makes up the concept of well-being in the first place. Health and physical well-being are two separate concepts, though they are strongly related.

There is great debate over whether one can exist without the other. It would be hard to think of a person who could be both physically healthy and psychologically healthy. Nevertheless, even if you do not possess the necessary qualities of having good health and disease free mind, it is still possible to live a healthy life by using some basic strategies for prevention and controlling the likelihood of acquiring diseases. Getting routine check-ups, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting regular medical care are three of the most important steps towards achieving a healthy lifestyle. In fact, these three steps represent the three different dimensions of general health–the absence of which brings no benefits nor any threats to your well being.