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We are used to asking immediately what has made us ill in case of illness. And we want to eradicate the disease maker as soon as possible so that we feel well again. This concept of health and disease is called pathogenesis. The disease symptom (eg headache) and the cause (eg tension) are described and then "combated", for example with a headache tablet.

More or less healthy or ill

Salutogenesis represents a very different and much more modern approach. With its holistic approach, it starts from the health aspect of a symptom. The symptom as a warning sign that tells us to look for the true causes of the disease. Because ultimately, the tension is just a symptom of another cause, such as stress.

In salutogenesis, therefore, the main focus is placed on the "recovery pathway" that the symptom shows to the patient. According to the salutogenesis model, developed by the Israeli-American medical sociologist Aaron Antonovsky (1923-1994) in the 1970s, there is no absolute state of health or illness. Humans are more or less healthy or ill as they see fit, and are constantly moving either towards a health or a nuisance.

It is not asked what makes us sick, but much more about the factors that keep us healthy. Why does one person get sick under similar external stresses and the other stays healthy? Antonovsky's conclusion: It depends on the individual resistance reserves whether we remain healthy or become ill under external stress. These, in turn, are the higher, the better we are financially, the higher the level of knowledge, intelligence and self-esteem.

In addition, our lifestyle plays a role and whether we are socially well integrated, ie, whether we find the balance between overload and under-demand. One of the most important resistance resources, according to Antonovsky, is the sense of coherence. This very theoretical term denotes a comprehensive sense of being safe.

It is based on the belief that one understands the environment appropriately, that one has the ability to influence it, and that one sees the daily requirements as a positive challenge and does not feel overwhelmed. Health is therefore a holistic task of the human being, which affects the body, mind and soul and is above all based on the fact that we feel safe and secure in our environment.

In our series we will take a closer look at the different facets of health and wellness. Learn more about the topics:

  • Strengthening the soul - what our intuition can do
  • What do I emit?
  • Stimulate the mind
  • Diet and exercise
  • Gentle movement and relaxation forms
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