Physical resilience refers to the body’s capacity to adapt to arising challenges, maintain stamina and strength in the face of demands, and recover efficiently and effectively when acutely damaged or microbially besieged. The body must have adequate nutrition and the functional capability to utilize that nutrition; as well the body must excel in eliminating waste.
If health is the body’s natural state, ‘resilience’ simply refers to the body’s ability to realize and express it’s true power and always return to that state. Ultimately our role in this is straightforward and incredibly simple. However it is complicated by a broad array of cultural and environmental inputs, and it is foremost complicated by the degree we have grown estranged from our own bodies. Of course years of this estrangement can establish deep patterns and complexes that may require real detective work and a firm resolve.
Vibrant health can remain elusive until we take the time to pay attention and listen to our bodies. The body knows what is good for it and what is not. As long as we remain strangers to ourselves, navigating an endless sea of scientific and philosophical abstractions, we risk putting off real self knowledge by investing all of our energy in treating symptoms.
Health can be defined simply as being free from illness. That sounds so good! But the words health and resilience and how we use them naturally evade textbook definition. There are many kinds of illness. The mind and body create each other. A lot of people stress themselves out trying to eat healthy and science has shown that constant stress is literally poisonous! We also know that stress and a broad range of mental imbalances can be significantly improved, even completely resolved with proper nutrition.
I have offered my own definition of physical resilience as it pertains to the human body, and I have hinted at what is fundamentally required to achieve it. In my next post I will go deeper into the language of resilience and how it applies to ecology.