The term “health” has varied over the years, from being a political term to a philosophical one. It now has a more universal use in the field of medicine. According to the World Health Organization, health is “a condition of full physical, emotional and social well Being.” Various other definitions have also been used over the years for different applications. However, the most accurate definition of health is the ability to sustain life throughout life, with normal functioning of body, mind and soul.
The advances in technology over the past two decades have helped improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world. Technological advances in health care have helped focus research efforts on prevention, early detection, and treatment of serious health conditions. Technological changes also have influenced health in other ways. They have provided a platform for public health and community management. Technological change has also brought about changes in the way people experience health, with some health issues now being addressed more effectively than in the past.
One of the most influential changes in the health policy and practice has come through developments in diagnostic imaging technologies. With the growth of the computer and telecommunications industries, the ability to treat patients more effectively and reduce cost has resulted in greater patient mobility and better disease management. Imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT) scanner, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner and endoscopic ultrasound surgery have made it easier to detect diseases earlier and offer effective treatments for them. Other imaging modalities such as genetic analysis and immunohistochemistry have improved disease identification and treatment. These developments have reduced the average life expectancy of individuals in many countries by as much as fifteen or twenty years.
Environmental factors such as air pollution, ultraviolet light, chemicals, pesticides, radon, lead poisoning and tobacco smoke have also had an impact on morbidity and mortality. Many studies show that exposure to these environmental factors over an extended period of time can cause a lot of health problems such as cancer, chronic fatigue, asthma and other diseases. Researchers are conducting studies to determine if there is a link between psychological stress and illness duration. They are also looking at how these factors interact with each other and how they affect a person’s susceptibility to pathogens. Stress reduction strategies such as meditation may be able to help people to cope with their stress-filled lives.
Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety and depression also affect the physical health and well-being. Although the relationship between psychological factors and health is still unclear, people who are suffering from frequent mental health disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder are at higher risk for mortality compared to healthy people with similar illnesses. In addition, both physical health and well-being are influenced by the extent of lifestyle behaviours and attitudes, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, exercising, social class, cultural diversity and physical activity. These factors also affect the level of physical functioning and self-rated health, together with self-rated satisfaction and social support.
If you want to enjoy good health, it is important to manage the many factors that can affect you, such as your lifestyle, emotions and environment. Stress reduction strategies such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, positive imagery, journaling, alternative medicine and cognitive behaviour therapy have been shown to be helpful in the management of these factors and can therefore improve your health and well-being. These strategies can also prevent the occurrence of future illnesses.