The NJC Definition of ‘Health’

Virgil health greatest wealth quote

One of the most critical terms to contemplate and define is the word ‘Health’.

The Wellness & Prevention paradigm proposes a very specific definition, which we describe below. It is this definition which inspires and drives our work with chiropractic care and health & wellness coaching.

What does it mean to you?

To begin the discussion, let’s look at several common definitions:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.


The definition of Health, as espoused by the World Health Organization, 1948

This definition was agreed to in 1948 when the World Health Organization was being formed, and it has not been changed since (although few people in the healthcare sector truly look at health and healthcare from the perspective of this definition).

It actually states that having (or not having) symptoms is NOT the defining characteristic in determining how healthy you are!

Common dictionary definitions:

100% function of all parts of the body.

– Webster’s Dictionary

An optimal state of physical, mental and social wellbeing; or normal function

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary

Notice that each of these definitions actually focus on your function, not on symptoms or how you feel!

These definitions, while mainstream, are in fact representative of definitions that arise through using a Wellness and Prevention paradigm!

To be truly well, you need to be assessing your function in objective ways rather than assuming you are healthy because you don’t feel sick!

At Noosa Junction Chiropractic, we take this definition one step further:

Our definition is the simplest and most accurate one possible. It is derived from physiologists (the scientists who study the healthy function of life), not pathologists (who study disease).

We define the word in terms of cell function:

“every cell in your body functioning in the appropriate and balanced (homeostatic) way” 

[Remember each cell is the simplest unit of our life – all muscles, organs and systems are able to function only as well as the individual cells of which they are made!]

Each cell is responding to its environment (including instructions given to it by the body/brain) and is able to complete all of the functions required to express life.

A cell in this state is not experiencing any form of chemical, physical, or mental-emotional toxicity or deficiency, and as a result is not accumulating a ‘stress-debt’ or stress load that interferes with its function.

We humans are actually an ‘ecosystem’ made up of about 17 TRILLION cells, so true health ultimately means every cell functioning together in this way.

Another way to describe this would be to say that full, complete, perfect health would represent 10/10 on a scale of health, where 0/10 would represent full death of the individual/organism!

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