The Five Modalities of Optimum Health: Body, Mind, Spirit, Emotions, & the Overarch.

Optimum health, wealth, and success, require peak performance, or functioning, in each of the five major layers of the Self what I have come to define in my Coaching practice as the Five Modalities. There are the basic three: Mind, Body, and Spirit, that many progressive thinkers in the current medical paradigm are beginning to acknowledge and embrace.

The fourth layer is the Modality of the Emotions which is as important as the above-mentioned three; and I coach through a fifth Modality that has yet to become part of the ongoing conversation about Optimum health and success: what I refer to as the Overarch, or Social Ecosystem.

Each of us is born into a Social, or Economic Ecosystem. The dictionary definition of an Ecosystem is: a localized group of interdependent organisms together with the environment that they inhabit and depend on. So, we all enter into this world ecosystem in a particular social or economic status. And, we enter into this world as interdependent creatures. Socially, and economically, we depend on one another for survival, just as much as we depend on the earth for our food and water and other essentials.

Although our social or economic status can change throughout our lives, based on a variety of factors; the structure of the Overarch, itself, remains intact, and will continue to remain thus. It has been this way for thousands and thousands of years in all parts of the world.

This structure is hierarchical in nature, resembling a pyramid. Those near the apex, have more control, access to resources, and decision-making capabilities than the ones near the base. Yet, those toward the apex are only able to exist at that spot with the support of all those that are holding them there from the base on up. So, we all fall into position somewhere in this hierarchical pyramid structure. And, as the physical structure of a pyramid would suggest, the vast majority of the worlds population is closer to the base of the pyramid than the apex.

Why would this be important in Optimum Health? Three reasons; the first is that the level of control over ones basic physical survival, (in our current paradigm, this takes the form of finances and access to resources) increases as they move toward the apex fewer people have direct influence over major areas of a persons life the closer s/he gets to the pinnacle.

Factors such as whether a person has an income and how much they earn, are examples of specific areas that a person gains increased command over as he or she nears the top of the Social Ecosystemic pyramid. In other words, there are less people that have the capacity to fire or hire you; less people who decide how much or how little money you make; less to decide when you work and the terms of that work; less who decide whether or when there is time off for family or leisure.

The closer a person gets to the top of the Social Ecosystem pyramid, the more control they have over their time and resources, and decision-making capacity increases dramatically. For example, heads of state have the ultimate decision-making capacity; the decisions they make affect the entire social and economic ecosystem of our pyramid. They have ultimate control over their own finances, when and under what terms they work; access to more resources than anyone else in the Overarch; and ultimate control over how much income they are able to generate (not all of it necessarily being through earned income from their “job”). The same is true for others who are not heads of state, but are on par with that positioning on the pyramind.

The second major reason that this Modality should be a significant consideration in evaluating anyones capacity to achieve Optimum health and success in life is that the further up the pyramid they are situated, the lower their levels of chronic stress. An overwhelming number of studies have shown that predictability and control over ones life, ones body, ones destiny, ones finances, etc., is directly linked to stress levels; the less the amount of control, the higher the stress levels. And, levels of stress, especially chronic stress which is the type most common to this particular Modality, are directly linked to how healthy a person is in each of the other Modalities.

So, our aforementioned heads of state may consider themselves to be Optimally healthy in this Modality because of the level of control that being in their position affords them. Yet, whether or not they are Optimally healthy in the other Four Modalities, is debatable. Depending on what ones definition of success is, having a position that affords ultimate financial control and access to resources, while having chronic ailments related to suppression of emotions does not make for optimum quality of life.

The third reason is that this Modality affects each of the other four. It has a direct relationship with the Mind, Body, Spirit, and Emotions. Some of the factors that have direct bearing on where we fall in the Overarch are the social dynamics of a particular region; economic strata; one’s relationship to his/her surroundings; and the accepted wider cultural perception of a person or group. Whether you are male or female, whether you are Asian, Latino, European, or American; whether you are considered Wealthy, middle class, or working class; whether you never finished high school, or have several post-graduate degrees under your belt. All of these factors contribute to where you are positioned in the Overarch. And, that positioning absolutely lends itself to how you are perceived by your environment, how your enironment relates to you, and by extension, has the capacity to shape your thoughts and perceptions about yourself, your abilities, and what you are entitled to in this world. This all has a profound effect on each of the Five Modalities.

In order for Optimum success and health, one must strive to be healthy in all Five Modalities: Mind, Body, Emotions, Spirit, and the Overarch, or Social Ecosystem; creating balance, and thus, actualizing maximum potential, through placing equal weight in each Modality.