According to the legend, the historical Buddha began his search for the truth with desire to find a solution to human suffering. After awakening, he summed up his realisation through the Four Noble Truths. Thus, suffering became not only the central theme of humanity, but also of the Buddha’s teaching:
1 - “Existence is suffering”
All existence is dukkha, that has been translated as ‘suffering’, ‘fear’, ‘pain’, or ‘inability of satisfaction’. The Buddha's insight was that the main problem of existence is that we are in constant struggle during our lifetime, and therefore unable to find ultimate happiness or pleasure regardless of the kind of experience we are going through.
2 - “The origin of suffering is craving”
Samudaya (the cause of dukkha) is translated as a craving, thirst, and desire. People tend to search the cause of their own difficulties outside themselves, constantly blaming others. However, according to the Buddha, the root of all difficulties lies in the mind itself. In particular, our tendency to grasp things (or alternatively push them away) puts us fundamentally into conflict with life as it really is.
3 - “There is a way out from suffering”
Nirodha (cessation of dukkha) comes with the cessation of craving. Since the source of craving, which is ultimately the cause of our difficulties, lays in ourselves, this means that the solution, the victory over craving lays also within us.
4 -"Path to relieve suffering"
Marga (the Noble Eightfold Path) is the path that leads from suffering (dukkhe), through the victory over the craving. By practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, the Buddha conveys responsibility to the individuals, but also teaches methods that help them to use that responsibility for their own development and liberation from suffering.
If we look deeper into the Four Noble Truths, we can see that they are comparable to the action of the physician: the Buddha first diagnosed the illness (suffering), next he realised that craving is the root cause of the illness, than he considered that through the removal of craving the illness is removed, and finally he introduced the cure, prescribing the Noble Eightfold Path as a remedy.
Coming from this, it is not surprising that the Buddha has been known as the Peerless Healer (bhisakko) or the supreme surgeon (sallakatto anuttaro).
In fact, at every stage of history, awakened people considered the value of well-being and health as a necessary aspect of meaningful life and provided their adherents with frameworks, tools and ways that could enhance their health and enable them to deal with disease, pain, and suffering.