Health has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a state of complete physical, mental and social well being : not simply an absence of illness or disease. This definition of health involves the person as a whole, i.e, it is holistic in its dimensions,and also should reasonably include the spiritual health of the individual. Jesus was a teacher par excellence, and was concerned with the whole person. His teachings go beyond the main problem, to include the attitude and aspirations of the person, and not just the immediate symptoms. Thus, Jesus was a holistic teacher. (Ref: Triple Helix, Millennium Edition, Christian Medical Fellowship, UK, 2000).
This holistic approach is well substantiated in the Sermon on the Mount in the Holy Bible. The main themes which Jesus taught are recorded in the Gospel of Mathew (Chapters 5-7) :
5:24: Anger is bad for you. "Leave your gift there in front of the alter, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God".
5:28: Don't harbour bad thoughts. "But now I tell you: anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart".
5:37 Have integrity. "Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.Just say 'Yes' or 'No' == anything else you say comes from the Evil one".
5:39 Don't retaliate and make things worse. "But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on your or your right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too".
5:44 Nursing grudges is bad for you. "But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you".
6:14 Keep short accounts with people. "If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you.Your Father in heaven will also forgive you."
6:19 Cultivate simplicity of lifestyle. "Do not store up riches on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal".
6:25 Avoid anxiety. "Do not worry about your life --- but seek first His (God's) kingdom.
7:12 Social concern. "Do to others what you want them to do for you".
The references quoted above from the Bible illustrate as to how to lead a healthy life in the surrounding unhealthy world, which is full of psychosomatic illnesses and disorders. This is the Christian way to health.
The concept of health has swung from absence of disease to physical and social well-being of a person (WHO Conference held at Alma Ata in 1978). The changing definition of health calls for a transformation of approach in the treatment offered to the patient aiming at the goal -- Health for all by 2000 AD laid down by the WHO, for which enhancing good Doctor-Patient Relationship, and relieving stress by relaxation techniques including Yoga and Meditation, in addition to other usual measures. A lot more has to be done in this direction.