Two features support the view that health is an emergent phenomenon. First, health is inherently associated with the interconnected nature of fractal anatomy and physiology , and second, health is influenced by the layered hierarchical nature of interdependencies between the environmental and socio-cultural environments at the most important scale, personal behaviors at the intermediate scale, and molecular and physiological factors at the littlest scale.
Furthermore, health and illness also are subjective states and this extra dimension must be distinguished from the target taxonomic finding of disease. especially , health are often experienced both within the presence as absence of objective disease. The latter is true exactly for the very fact that a person’s being—as described within the previous paragraphs—is ready to adapt to new situations with a restoration of experiencing health despite objective loss of function or accumulation of physical, emotional, social, and/or cognitive damage.
Rothman’s exploration of multiple different combinations of sufficient causes resulting or preventing the occurrence of manifest disease supports the non-linearity that underpins the emergent nature of health. Diseases themselves, especially chronic age-related diseases with a multifactorial nature also can be best explained by this component cause model. The model can, however, even be helpful to know (dis)congruence of illness and disease states (Figure 2). In many situations disease presence and illness experience coincide as diseases are obviously a crucial component cause amongst the various multiple sufficient causes that trigger the illness/health experience.