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Dec 14

The Health Triad

The Health Triad


Health is a state of well-being and happiness, both physically and mentally. The WHO (World Health Organisation) definition is: ”Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Clearly then, there are more aspects to health than pain levels and immune system functioning. A good way to visualise this concept is as a triangle or ‘health triad’. The three sides of the triangle represent Physical, Emotional and Chemical factors. The key to good health is for these areas of life to be in balance.

Factor one is the easiest to understand, because if we are sick or in pain, we are clearly not at our optimum health. However when we turn our attention to factor two, how many of us fully accept the impact of high-stress jobs, not enough hours in the day and the emotional rollercoaster that life often is, as important factors affecting our health? Consider how tight your shoulders feel after a busy or stressful day. Imagine how they would feel if you were stressed, even at a low level, at lot of time. This can be a significant factor in your aches and pains.

Factor three, chemical, is the one that raises the most questions as I describe this triad to people. There are many things that fall under the chemical bracket. Firstly, the emotional side of the triangle directly affects the chemical in the form of stress hormones. These then affect the very fine chemical balance that the body tries to maintain. Equally, the food and fluids that we consume can have a huge affect on our health both in the nutrition they provide and the hormone release they trigger (e.g. eating chocolate triggers endorphin release).

When working towards good health, it is not possible to completely isolate any of these factors as they all impact on each other and ultimately us. Therefore, remember to consider lifestyle. Eat well, exercise regularly (also releases endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemical), spend some time on yourself, and if possible have a regular chiropractic adjustment and/or massage to keep you well.

Allow me to describe one more image for you. Imagine your health like a bucket of water, with your level of health represented by the water level. There are holes in the bottom of the bucket that represent the stresses life brings. For example financial pressure, work, children, Christmas (!), more jobs than hours in the day, etc. then imagine what happens to the water level if it continues to leak out through these holes but is not replaced. So, you ask, what do I do to replace the water? The answer is the examples given above: exercise, good food, relaxation, fresh air, chiropractic care, massage, meditation, to name but a few ideas.


Here is to a good Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.