There are many definitions for the term pain. Internationally recognized is the definition of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).
“Pain is an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such injury.“
Acute pain serves as a warning signal that informs the body about impending or already occurred damage. So, acute pain has an important role to play in maintaining or restoring physical integrity. However, pain can also occur without cause or persist even though the cause no longer exists. These chronic pains have lost their warning function.
Whether acute or chronic, strong or long-lasting, dull or stinging, pain represents an enormous physical and emotional burden for those affected. Thus, pain is not only a pure sensory perception, but also an unpleasant emotional event.
Everyone goes through ups and downs. Often there are reasons for a bad mood, e.g. incisive life events such as the loss of work, grief or conflicts with other people. Usually people recover from such in the foreseeable future. However, when the bad mood manifests over weeks and months and increasingly begins to influence daytime activities, social relationships, or work performance, depression can develop.
Depression is a disease that affects people on a physical and psychological level and thus in their entire thinking and experiencing. It affects not only the ability to work, but also family and social relationships. The behavior of those affected changes.
The human brain is without a doubt a fascinating construct. It is made up of approximately 100 billion nerve cells called neurons and trillions of connections between them. That means there are more neural connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy!
This immense neural network is responsible for anything and everything related to your reality. From your sense perceptions to your thoughts, to all functions of your body – it’s all driven by data flowing through your brain’s neural web. And this data is passed from one neuron to the next through electricity. When millions of neurons are communicating at the same time, this generates a significant amount of electrical activity which can be detected using an EEG (electroencephalograph). This combined electrical activity in the brain is known as a brainwave pattern due to its wave-like shape.
Bone metabolism is a continual cycle of bone growth and resorption that is carefully orchestrated by the dynamic relationship between osteoclasts, osteoblasts and an array of hormonal and regulatory influences. The relative levels of these signaling molecules dictate whether healthy, balanced bone metabolism ensues. Disturbances to this delicate equilibrium where resorption is greater than growth can weaken the skeletal architecture and put one at risk for the development of chronic and debilitating diseases such as Osteoporosis.
“Burnout” is a collective term that refers to an emotional, mental and physical state of exhaustion characterized by a lack of drive and performance, typically at the end of a month or even after years and is a long lasting vicious cycle of overwork.
It is completely normal to be exhausted after hard work, whether physically or mentally. Everybody knows that – and everyone has his or her own way of dealing with it and how to recharge the batteries: perhaps by sleeping in, relaxing, having a long weekend, a vacation or engaging in a sport… But once these methods no longer work and recovery is no longer possible, it becomes dangerous.
“I am healthy”, means more than just a person’s medical condition. Being healthy means having a good work-life balance, being fit and creative, having energy and feeling attractive. Health is a requirement for people to live productively and self-determined. So health is not just the absence of disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized this and defined health in the 1986 Ottawa Charter as follows:
«Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity»
Although several aspects of human life are included and the concept of health is henceforth tied to well-being rather than illness, this definition does not seem flawless. Who can say that he is in a „state of perfect physical, mental and social well-being“? If not, are we directly sick by definition?
Aaron Antonovsky presents an interesting point of view in his concept of salutogenesis2: health is not rigid, static, no snapshot, not a clearly definable construct; rather, health is a dynamic process for balancing individuals and their environment and must be viewed multi-dimensionally.