Dr. Glen Hepker is an author (A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health), and has doctorate degrees in psychology and traditional Chinese health arts. He is a part-time individual and marital counselor, a wellness coach, and a master instructor of tai chi chuan, chi kung, kung fu, refined meditation/guided imagery, and associated health/wellness arts (which are intrinsically inclusive of the quite broad and ages-old benevolent, altruistic, and empathetic health/wellness philosophy set forth in his book - along with acupuncture/pressure, nutritional arts, herbal arts, tui na, stretching arts), at Mason City Wellness Center LLC/Mason City Tai Chi~Chi Kung~Kung Fu LLC, Mason City, IA USA
Discussions/Questions (from readers of my book or in general): Dr. Glen, I'd like you to address the concept which was recently in the media: “Hunting for Health, Wellbeing, and Quality of Life.” Health, well-being, quality of life, and lifestyle are central concepts within health science, although generally accepted definitions are still lacking. Lifestyle can either be seen as an independent variable and the cause of unhealthy behavior or as a dependent variable, which is affected by conditions in the society. In the first case, the attention is directed on each individual case: maintaining or improving health requires changes in lifestyle and living habits. In this perspective, diet and physical activity are important features for health promotion. In the second case the attention is rather directed on structural conditions in society, for example the food industry, the lunches for children at school, and the “fast food” industry should be influenced to protect human health. The structural perspective has, so far, received restricted impact when it concerns prevention and promotion of health. Processes of individualization in the society have to an increasing extent viewed health as an affair for the individual. The benefits of physical activity, healthy food and beverage, social support, and joy are documented scientifically. In general, the trend towards increasing responsibility for one's lifestyle and health is positive, but might reinforce the inequality in health. With an even harder climate in society there might be a risk that individual health projects undermine the solidarity and the will to accept costs for medical treatment and care for people who risk their health through an unhealthy and risk-taking lifestyle. However, we argue that peoples’ well-being and quality of life presupposes a society that stands up for all people.
Response: Great commentary J., thanks so much for sharing. Humbly and respectfully, the modern Diathesis Stress Model sets forth tenets which associate to our health, i.e., genetic effects, environmental effects, and what each one of us does or doesn't do with regard to our health and well-being (how we eat, do or don't exercise, and do or don't deal with stress).
In contrast, though not in disagreement, the ages-old health/wellness philosophy that I teach, coach, and endeavor to follow, sets for its outlook on True Health through True Responsibility (i.e., the Bright Beautiful School of Thought/Ming Chia - as set forth in my new book…A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health): NOT taking responsibility for one's own health/well-being is the real/true disease in most cases, i.e.: the TRUE disease is in not embracing an adequate/truly healthful aerobic exercise/mobility WAY OF LIFE; the TRUE disease is in not realizing a truly healthful dietary WAY OF LIFE; the TRUE disease in in not enjoying a truly healthful stress/anxiety-controlling WAY OF LIFE (which is inclusive or refined meditation and all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing). Most of the time, what we conventionally perceive to be chronic disease, is the RESULT/symptom(s) of the REAL disease...mentioned as set forth above. This is not to say that health problems/lightning bolts cannot still strike…albeit, MUCH less so. –
Dr. Glen Hepker