Elements Of Health

Elements Of Health

Words: Dr Deborah OLENEV

First the big question. What does it take to be healthy? Or, is it enough just to take a homeopathic remedy? The answer is absolutely not. Health has to be approached from several angles.

The first ingredient is nutrition. You can prescribe the best remedies, but if the nutrition is poor then the remedies will be limited in what they can do for you. An analogy would be planting a beautiful orchard of fruit bearing trees in the Sahara Desert. The seeds are fine, but the soil is not friendly and nothing will grow.


What does good nutrition mean? It means eating organic fruits, vegetables, and salads, daily. It means eating unprocessed, or whole, grains and foods.

It means getting adequate protein in your diet if you are a vegetarian, and eating organic meats, poultry and fish, and keeping the red meat to a minimum, if you are a non-vegetarian.

It means drinking good quality water — preferably not in plastic bottles, or containers. It means avoiding foods that are high in processed sugar and caffeine, like carbonated drinks.


The next ingredient is exercise. Most of us are living extremely sedentary lives, where we spend hours a day in front of computers, TV sets, iPads and iPhones. Movement is not a natural part of our lives, the way it used to be before, so we have to do it by choice, by engaging in sports, t’ai chi, yoga, dance, or any form of physical exercise that appeals to you. This has to be done daily. Walking is excellent, but it should be done in addition to exercise — not instead of exercise.

Health & Hygiene

The next ingredient to health is hygiene and proper dressing. Hygiene means washing your hands when you come in from the outside and before you eat, or prepare food.

It means daily bathing, or showering. It means keeping your physical environment vacuumed, swept and dusted. It means opening the windows to let in the fresh air.

This may seem so obvious that it shouldn’t even be mentioned, but many people attribute the health that the general population enjoys to improvements in hygiene above everything else.

Good sewage and plumbing systems and vector control has been key in controlling epidemics. Some people believe that these have done more for the health of humanity than anything else.

Even the understanding that it is important to wash our hands before eating is a relatively recent concept in human history. Proper dressing is important, because one must dress appropriately for the weather in order to maintain health.

Mental Health:

The next ingredient is mental health. These days our minds are inundated with information, or entertainment, e-mails and so forth. Our brains are taxed and overused. We are out of balance.

Too much attention is given to the mind and too little to the body. Also, our education teaches us that it is important to put things into the mind, but it doesn’t teach us that it is equally important to remove things from the mind and ‘to keep house.’ That means to sweep the mind out daily and practice mental hygiene.

Mental hygiene means the learned and trained ability to quiet the mind through meditation. Meditation should be practiced daily as a part of one’s health regimen. Ideally, it should be practiced in the morning, when one first wakes up, and before the events of the day take over.

As one gets into meditation one has to focus the mind to one point of concentration. This process of focusing the mind to one point sharpens the mind and clarifies it. It ensures the proper functioning of the mind, and brings about improved judgment, and decision-making ability.

Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian saint says that dhyana, or meditation, means ‘fight,’ and that when you are sitting in meditation you are fighting with your own minds’ tendency to go hither and thither and chase after this and that. It is not an easy thing to do, but in that process of engaging with yourself in battle, you begin to gain mental self-control and peace.


The next important ingredient in health is not chasing ego drives, but taming them, and putting them in their place. What does this mean? If I let my ego drive me, I would get up in the morning and run to my computer and turn it on and begin working, because I am passionate about my work, and I feel I have so much I want to accomplish in a day. But, I cannot let myself do that, because it is all ego drive.

First, I have to answer to my Higher Self. Some may call it god, and to do that I meditate. That way I put my Higher Self, or god, first before my ego drive. Second, I understand that it is important to exercise for my health.

So, I exercise next, and I restrain my desire to run to the office and get to work. Next, I understand that I have a family, and I have pets, and I have myself to give nourishment to, so I make breakfast for everyone and wash the dishes afterwards, which is part of hygiene. So, I am practicing self-control and holding my ego back, which is chomping at the bit to get to work, but I restrain it.

Then the dog needs a walk, and my husband wants to have some time with me, so I restrain my ego, because I understand that my relationship with my husband, and the needs of my dog, have to come before my ego drive.


The next thing that is important is cultivating healthy relationships. Anyone who has been in an unhealthy relationship knows the power of unhappiness to destroy health.

Healthy relationships are not always presented to one on a silver platter. Often, they have to be worked at, and a priority has to be set on them. If one allows the ego drive to supersede the relationship and places insufficient value on it, unhappiness will result.

Good communication, good will and affection are the key ingredients to healthy and happy relationships and ultimately to good health and happiness themselves.


Yet another important ingredient is ‘grounding’ oneself on a daily basis to the earth. This means wearing leather-soled, instead of plastic, or rubber, soled, shoes and walking barefoot on grass, sand, or other conducive surfaces that enable us to absorb the earth’s healing negative electrons.

There are a myriad number of benefits to this, including reversing free radical damage in the body, improving sleep, reducing pain and inflammation in the body, and helping the cardiovascular system, by making the blood more fluid.

In summary, these are the things that I believe are the basic ingredients to health:

  • Good nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Hygiene and proper dressing
  • Mental hygiene
  • Restraint of the ego
  • Attention to relationships
  • Grounding, or ‘earthing’
  • Homeopathy, the mind/body therapy.
Dr DEBORAH OLENEV, CCH, RSHom [NA], is a Classical Homeopath based in Mountain View, California, US. She treats people from all over the world via phone and video conferencing. Dr Olenev has had a passion for homeopathy for nearly forty years and has been in private practice since 1991. She has a vast knowledge of homeopathic Materia Medica, and integrates homeopathy with herbal medicine too. She is the owner of First Aid Cream, where she teaches about and sells homeopathic first-aid creams. She has several years of experience treating autistic children and people of all ages for all manner of health conditions.

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