The paradox of healing

Our understanding of health and disease is bound to the idea of perfection. Good health, we believe, is the absence of pain or irritation; it is the good working order of all our biological systems, including our mental health. This more or less is the current western paradigm of health. 

The word health is a derivative of the word heal, which means whole from the old English hælan. It lends itself to our concept of health in which poor health or illness somehow renders the person un-whole; that there is a piece missing; that there is something to obtain before good health can be restored.

However I remember learning about homeostasis in school biology class. It describes an ever changing self regulating system that always finds balance. To be fair, it may not always fit in with our idea of health-led-balance, but ultimately its role is not to keep us healthy or happy. Instead it is a mechanism of keeping the host alive.

 Could trauma and disease be the result of a homeostatic system? A perfect outcome or response to the stimulus? Could healing not be healing at all, but a way in which we can widen the bandwidth for our capacity of discomfort?

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