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The Determinants of Health

The determinants of health are the necessary components we each need to ensure health. The determinants of health interplay with numerous naturopathic philosophies including treating the whole person, and treating the cause. There is often a lot of docere -or doctor as teacher-involved in educating patients around how these factors influence their health, as well as in depth counselling around how to make lasting lifestyle changes in these areas. Naturoapthic doctors also understand the numerous social and economic inequities in these areas, and how these inequities interplay and effect both personal and public health. The main principle that the determinants of health help us to reinforce is prevention, as the determinants of health are crucial to our susceptibility to chronic disease.

Here is a short list of some of the determinants of health. Of these, which stick out to you as areas in which you excel? Which could you work to improve?

  • spiritual practice

  • culture/community

  • adequate rest and sleep

  • joyful movement

  • meaningful relationships

  • meaningful work

  • love and being loved

  • access to clean air

  • access and adequate intake of clean water

  • hygiene (personal physical but also environmental-is your home free of toxins/allergens, also dental, sleep and eating hygiene)

  • exercise and enjoyable movement

  • financial stability

  • necessary medications

  • toxins and harmful substances/pollution and their efficient metabolism

  • stress and trauma

  • access and knowledge of nutritious/unadulterated food

  • exposure to and connection to nature

  • natural light

  • proper digestion

  • play and recreation

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