Industry of Health
The sixth building block of health
By Vince Methot, DC Student
There are seven categories in which all factors that influence health can be included. This set of seven I call the ‘fundamentals of health’. You can find the basic overview of these on the Vital Source Blog. The sixth of these I call the industry of health, not to be confused with the health industry.
Within each of us is an inborn need and desire to work towards a purpose that causes us to feel fulfilled, to make our own decisions and act on them, and to improve and perfect skills. We inherently have a desire to do and produce things that are fulfilling, pleasing, and rejuvenating. We also want control over something; what that something is will vary from person to person.
Our body has a need to be moved and challenged. It is the stresses on our body, when properly handled, which allow us to grow, strengthen and improve. Our muscles and bones allow us to move and do many things. They also allow us to handle physical challenges that we face. Without these stresses they waste away to nothing.
These two needs, to have purpose and to move, when combined, allow us to be industrious or to work. The industrious nature that is in us allows us to produce something of value. In society, the type of work chosen is often classified as an occupation, industry, or career and is more effective when coordinated with others in a unified purpose.
It is possible to live alone or with a family and do everything on your own such as grow food, make clothing, and build and maintain a shelter. While this would be truly self-reliant, an important skill to have, it is possible to be self-reliant in a community. We specialize in areas that interest us and is enjoyable and then we create value. As a community we verify that all needs must be met, but as an individual we must produce enough value to equate to providing all of those necessities of life and more. Then we exchange with those who produce something of value for us and as a group we uplift each other.
In today’s world there are an increasing number of jobs or careers which fulfill the need to work towards a purpose but not the need to move and be physically challenged. When this is the case we still have to fulfill that need. Some people pick up hobbies that fulfill this need, such as exercise. Exercise and work that is physically challenging needs to be done in a way that is not damaging to the body.
Exercise and physical labor can be done in many different ways. These many ways can be divided into two categories – quality and quantity. The quality of exercise that we do involves the level of difficulty, muscles of focus – such as core or extremity, stages of emphasis – such as isometric, concentric, or eccentric, preparation and cool down, aerobic or anaerobic, power – such as strength or endurance, or refined movements – such as flexibility or balance. The quantity of exercise that we do is how long we spend and how often we repeat. Likewise, within a training session we can do interval or continuous training. It is good to keep all muscles in balance with each other, especially opposing muscles.
In a large society a medium is created that represents value produced by individuals and businesses. This medium is money. “Money is preserved labor, it is industry made negotiable, [and] it is stored up accomplishment.” (S. Sill) Money allows for a large diversity in how value is exchanged. How money is perceived and handled has an effect on health just as our physical labor has an effect on health. When money is treated as an object in and of itself, separate from what it symbolizes, it is spent in excess, even to the point of unmanageable debt; then problems occur and health is negatively affected. When it is treated as the symbol that it is, it is spent with limits and invested to the point of abundance; then health can be positively affected.
These behaviors are a window into some of the person’s core beliefs. When someone spends money as if it had little value they are showing that they have a small perceived value of themselves and their work. When someone has a low perception of their own self-worth that will manifest itself in their body and show in what they do and how their body handles stress. When someone is reasonably frugal they are showing that they have a more balanced value of themselves and their work. This has positive effects on their health.
As we fulfill our needs to manage our money well, live a self-reliant life, and physically challenge our body, we will see many health benefits. Some of these include improved stress management, self-confidence and self-esteem, productivity, creativity, body image, and memory, learning and overall brain performance. It also increases endorphin release and happiness, strength, brain power, relaxation, and control over addictions. It decreases anxiety, depression, undesired weight and risk of common health problems such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis. Take control of your health by taking control of yourself.