By Seyyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari

Celebrate World Health Day with tips from Iranian traditional medicine

April 8, 2018 - 9:15

TEHRAN — World Health Day, April 7, is a universal health awareness day celebrated since 1950, which is intended to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health annually.

Looking at a poster for the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion 2016 giving 12 tips to be healthy I soon started thinking how tips provided by Iranian traditional medicine some 15 centuries ago by Iranian polymaths are more comprehensive than those of World Health Originations to remain healthy. 

1) Eating a healthy diet, 2) being physically active, 3) getting vaccinated, 4) not using any form of tobacco, 5) avoiding or minimizing use of alcohol, 6) managing stress for physical and mental health, 7) practicing good hygiene, 8) not speeding or drinking while driving, 9) wearing a seatbelt while driving and a helmet while cycling, 10) practicing safe sex, 11) regularly checking your health, and 12) breast feeding babies are the 12 tips passed on by WHO.  

Now let’s take a look at the six core principles behind the Iranian traditional medicine. Food and drinks, climatic conditions and environment, physical activities and rest, psychiatric conditions including that of sadness, happiness, depression, and stress, sleep and wakefulness, absorbing key nutrients and ridding body from waste materials (sweat, urine, or feces) are the six fundamental and guiding principles behind the Iranian traditional medicine lifestyle and issues one must take into account while trying to maintain their health.

Healthy habits number 1, 5 and 12 are covered in first principle of the Iranian traditional medicine which is food and drinks. Healthy tips of 2, 8, 9 and 10 are considered in physical activities and rest, while number 3, 10 and 11 are very well acknowledged in absorbing key nutrients and ridding body from waste materials. Also tip number 4 can be deemed as an element in climatic conditions and environment. Healthy habits number 6 and 10 can be also included in psychiatric conditions including that of sadness, happiness, depression, and stress. 

And last but not least healthy habit number seven is identified generally in all six core principles of the Iranian traditional medicine. 

However, WHO’s list of healthy habits is lacking one thing: sleep and wakefulness which plays an important part in keeping healthy. On the other hand it has put emphasis on safe driving, which is certainly important in keeping alive and not sustaining physical injuries, but not directly related to the body’s health.

This is the difference between a philosophic, divine, holistic and deep view towards the human health and a shallow, one-dimensional attitude to the subject of health. 


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