by Michele Carelse on February 24th, 2011 at 7:00 am
“Within each of us, nature has provided all the pieces of the puzzle necessary to achieve exceptional health and wellness… then let it up to us to put them all together.”
~ Diane McLaren
Following this principle includes getting enough sleep, exercising, feeding the body nutritional food and, if needed, additional ‘earth food’, such as herbs.
Herbal plants can gently assist the body without the side effects posed by some synthetic chemicals in modern pharmaceuticals. The emphasis in holistic health is on building health, not only on fighting illness.
This is achieved by creating a healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships.
A holistic approach to health encourages you to:
- Balance and integrate your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects
- Establish respectful, cooperative relationships with others and the environment
- Make wellness-oriented lifestyle choices
Actively participate in your health decisions and healing process!
The World Health Organization defines health as being: “… more than simply the absence of illness. It is the active state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being.” – This is a wonderfully clear description of holistic medicine.
Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way in which the parts behave. Similarly our bodies are a collection of complex tissues, cells, organs and body systems. So with regard to poor health we should not be viewed as just the sum of our symptoms. The underlying root causes of an ailment must be addressed for complete healing to take place. These root causes can exist at many levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. An increasing number of physicians are advocating an integrative or holistic approach to health care, emphasizing prevention as well as natural treatment.
Taking a holistic approach to health includes the principle of “prevention being better than cure”. While most of us may wait until we are in the grip of a cold or battling with emotional pain before we seek treatment to address symptoms, the holistic approach to health urges us to ‘start off how we intend to finish’. In other words, we need to maintain health and well-being in all aspects of our life.
The emphasis in holistic health is on building health, not only on fighting illness. This is achieved by creating a healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships.
Holistic health combines modern-day diagnosis and health monitoring processes with the ancient wisdom of nature. It does this while still taking into account one’s body, mind, emotions, and spiritual life. It takes the individual into account as a whole – placing the focus on prevention, health maintenance, high-level wellness and longevity.
In this way, you as a patient take an active role in your healing process! For most modern health complaints that we face each day – lifestyle, stress, and behavioral disorders – natural, holistic self-care methods are a sensible and obtainable alternative to drug-dependence, side effects, and expensive invasive procedures.
The Holistic Approach to Health
Holism, is derived from the Greek word meaning all, entire, total and is the idea that all the properties of a given system (be it biological, mental, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its component parts alone.
We have all come across the term ‘holistic’, especially nowadays where alternative and complementary approaches to lifestyle and health are becoming more widespread and acknowledged. At the same time, however, the term ‘holistic’ has the potential to be used without understanding its true meaning.
We are all interconnected; from the universe, our planet, to other living things, with each other and ourselves. Most of us will understand or have experienced how stress can affect us not only emotionally, mentally but also how it can manifest into frustrating physical symptoms. So while we might guzzle a glass of wine, smoke that much needed cigarette, take a sleeping pill or headache tablet, comfort ourselves with food or simply try to ignore it, we are not looking at what is causing our stress in the first place. Holistic health means looking at the heart of who we are, what we do, how we feel and why. It is an interconnected web of complexity that can take time to untangle but along the way you will begin to truly understand who you are.
In other words, holistic health does not mean waiting until there are obvious signs of disease, but rather being aware of our everyday choices, our reactions, behavior, thought patterns and emotions while we strive to become balanced and in tune with ourselves and our needs, i.e. reaching our own higher level of personal wellness.
We all have our very own healer, yet we are so quick to rely on other people’s thoughts, opinions and skills when in fact we are the ones who should know ourselves the best!
The bottom line of holistic health is this; your body knows how to be well, given the proper support. To draw a parallel with nature, wellness can be likened to a tree trunk- cut in half a cross section would show multiple rings. Health and wellness is made up of these rings. One ring may symbolize nutrition another may signify sleep, another spirituality, relationships, stress management and so forth. Ensuring each of these ‘rings’ is stable one can grow into a tall tree towards the sunlight…
Still using a tree as an example it is important to see the connection and link between cause and symptoms when addressing health and wellness. Addressing the symptom – (let’s say a wheeze), and not the root cause (underlying asthma) is the same as addressing rotting fruit of a tree – and not the lack of water in the soil underneath. In this way, the importance of getting to the ‘root’ of the problem is nicely illustrated.
MindSoothe™ Promotes balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of well-being