What is Health?

What is health?Symptoms of health

One day a thought wandered through my mind: “What are the symptoms of health?” Perhaps because it was so catchy, it caught my attention. I began to wonder about it. Searching for symptoms of health has been a huge challenge, which is bizarre given that I’m supposed to be a person who helps you get healthy.
As I began my investigation, I realized that most health care practitioners cannot easily describe health. I know this because I have asked many: “What is health?” They are immediately stumped and confused. They want to tell me about the symptoms of disease. They want to tell me how health is what you have when you don’t have disease.

Seeing our clients through disease clouded glasses

From a perspective steeped in symptoms of disease, how do we see our clients? I think we are swayed to see them as bundles of symptoms leading to future or current degeneration and disease. I think this limits the possibility of wellness, joy, and contentment for both practitioners and clients.
How can we lead anyone to health if we cannot even define it?
How do we recognize healing if we can only see disease?
How do we know when our client is “done” with us?
How do we know when we have accomplished our desire to help?
G60_Enso GB5_Enso Guide to the 12 Meridians

Posted in

Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Sigrid Ihne on June 30, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Hi Cindy, I encountered the same questions years ago. I googled Health and all I could find were disease-oriented thoughts. I do believe that disease and healing are two sides of the same “stick”. Both are conditions. There are conditions that leads to disease and there are conditions that leads to healing. Real health in my opinion is an alignment with who we really are. Our true divine essence. Our true authentic self. It’s alignment, it’s harmony ( no longer balance, here you walk the stick again ) and that all starts with inner peace. Making peace with who you are, where you are, what you are doing, how you are looking, what your health conditions are and then starting the alignment with your your divine self. Healing will follow and Being Health is inevitable.
    Lots of Blessings, Sigrid.♥♥♥

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on June 30, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Thank you for offering so much clarity and insight. I appreciate your wise words so much.
      Here’s to inner peace!

  2. Virginia A Arnold on June 23, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Spirit in the eyes. Spirit in the face/complexion. Color under fingernails. Condition of the toe nails .Spirited walk and talk. Comfortable pleasant composure. Through conversation. Enjoys life. Enjoys family and community. Enjoys physical activities. Happy in their work situation and relationships. These things are a good indication of health.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on June 23, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      Thank you for these wonderful symptoms of health!

  3. Leonor on June 23, 2016 at 11:18 am

    From my massage therapy and TCM perspective, I look at the overall person first thru sight, how does this person carry themselves…feeling low and carrying the world on their shoulders or straight and fully engaged with each step. Also their face, lustre of skin, color or lack of in their cheeks, eyes–shiny and bright without dark circles or bags under their eyes and the corners of their eyes–droopy or turned up when they smile. From palpation, their fascia and skin tell me how well hydrated they are and how well they sleep, based on the elasticity and moisture it has. The color of their nails when pinched and released lets me knwo how the circulation is doing.
    So…in a preliminary assessment there can be many tools, such as active listening to the organ motility and mobility, and tongue and pulse assessments, cranial rrythms, etc. it seems to me that each person has a range of health. So to generalize it to everyone may not serve us as practitioners well. Perhaps to see the range in each client and see what happens when they are under stress, on vacation, feeling fullfilled and accomplished, feeling down and exhausted, creates a multilevel pattern of wellness which may be more useful if we are to be a part of their wellness team. When should we not attend to them, when they don’t need us. It is good for them to be the leader of their team and tell us to take a backseat when they are doing well. Keeping them independent and self reliant with education and self care protocols is in everyone’s best interest.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on June 23, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Leonore, thank you for adding so much to the discussion. Thank you for sharing your insights from your many years of practice!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.