In 1948, in its constitution, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". In more recent years, this statement has been modified to include the ability to lead a "socially and economically productive life." In the medical field, the technical term for health is homeostasis, an organism's ability to efficiently respond to challenges (stressors) and effectively restore and sustain a "state of balance". In the field of alternative medicine the term used to describe one's overall state of being is wellness.

Health is metabolic efficiency. Sickness is metabolic inefficiency. Nobody is totally healthy or totally sick. Each of us is a unique combination of health and sickness. And each of us has a unique combination of abilities and disabilities, both emotional and physical. As we grow up, we learn that we are loved for our abilities but hated for our disabilities. This happens at home, at play, at school, and at work. Sometimes, this even happens with our doctors, especially if our disabilities mystify them or remind them of their own disabilities. So, we try to hide our disabilities from people and from ourselves. This charade undermines our relationships and our self-esteem. We learn to fear society and hate ourselves. Self-hatred is the most debilitating sickness. It interferes with our ability to seek and accept help. And everybody needs help. How do we free ourselves from self-hatred? First, we reclaim our disabilities, whether society accepts them or not. This means that we learn to accept ourselves. Then, we cope with our disabilities. This means that we learn to take care of ourselves.

Getting healthy depends on: * Eating the right food. * Doing the right exercise. * Taking medicine if you are sick. * Knowing what to do if you have an illness or disability. * Feeling good about yourself.

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