In the last couple of decades, a good number of medical professionals and patients alike have begun to not only educate themselves on the basic fundamentals of the holistic concept, but through implementation of holistic practices, many have become die hard believers in the legitimacy and scientific foundation on which it actually does indeed stand. For centuries humans have lived with the firm belief that each individual human being is nothing but a body. There is no further essence abiding within, and therefore the body deserves the most respect and focus. As of late, however, we have all become more aware of our own genuine complexity.
While we are an individual person in ourselves, we are made up of different parts which make the whole. I am not referring to arms or legs or eyes. This philosophy refers to the body, mind, spirit, and emotions. We are far more than machines. We possess a number of individual forces that not only make us the unique individual we are, but require individual care in proper accordance with the needs of each. We must learn to care for each of these special forces with diligence, which in turn will provide harmony throughout the entire being. If any one part of the whole is neglected, or “starved”, so to speak, the result will be a negative effect on the overall health of the entire individual.
The philosophy of holistic healing and medicine is essentially a lifelong pursuit of wholeness and wellness in the entire being. Its primary focus is optimal health, and this is made manifest through the learning and maintaining of proper balance in one’s life. While it has its focus on natural remedies and supplemental methods, doctors who practice holistic medicine will use a wide array of treatment methods. Everything from regular medication to alternative therapies themselves, and many times they will use these in conjunction with one another. A combination such as these, as well as alternative medicine alone has been known to relieve problems such as sleep disorders, appetite problems, and stress, and even migraine headaches. Other studies have reported consistent findings which support continued use of holistic treatment as an effective tool in the treatment of cancer.
As stated earlier, medications may be used at times by holistic physicians to provide comfort to the patient on a temporary basis, but the primary treatment of any ailment of focus will primarily involve lifestyle changes in specific life areas that are suffering. Regardless of the high level of apprehension and doubt in the medical community, holistic medicine is proving itself to be not only effective, but basically invaluable, as it treats, balances, and heals the entire human entity as a whole.
Now, your holistic physician or caregiver may recommend diet and exercise regimes that should, in theory, be good for you. These theories have more than proven themselves. For instance, physical exercise is vital to the wellbeing of any human being. You will typically find the main focus a general practitioner to be one that centers on the well-being and brain chemistry of the individual. The spirit and emotions are typically considered a “reaction to action” with some in these fields. A true holistic healer will not only pay attention to these vital parts that make up you, but they will focus equally on the parts of you which are hardly seen, and barely tended to.
There are many misconceptions surrounding the topic of holistic healing and natural remedies, and it is highly likely that you have heard the good as well as the “bad”. Be proactive and take it upon yourself to do the best research you possibly can regard holistic medicine. Educate yourself first if you want a good understanding of the differences, drawbacks, and risks involved in anything regarding your personal health and wellbeing. Below is a bit of information that will give you a bit of footing regarding holistic medicine, what it consists of, and its boundless effectiveness in the treatment of human beings.
The Basics of Holistic Healing
At its very core holistic healing sits firmly on a foundation of belief which firmly believes that love and affection hold the most potent healing power in universal existence. While each and every one of us is ultimately responsible for ourselves and every decision we make, a strong, loving support system will make all the difference in the world regarding our personal health as an individual, and plays a vital part in the individual we are to become in this life. Holistic medicine also abides by other beliefs that support possessing wholeness as a human being:
- In order to treat any problem you may be having, be it spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical, you must identify and attack the root of the problem. To do any less is likened to putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. While the symptoms may temporarily subside, the deep roots will eventual morph into a fester that could have destructive repercussions.
- You, the patient, is not the disease, not should you tolerate being treated as the disease; you are a human being seeking health and balance.
- Inside each and every one of us resides the ability to heal ourselves, maintain balance, and improve ourselves on a daily aspect in each and every part of our lives.
- We believe you are entitled to a caring team approach in regard to your personal healing. This should involve not only the patient and treatment team, but loved ones and any extended support system should be included as well.
Aside from living in a body, we are creatures with a mind (or free thought and the ability to reason), and we possess a soul, the life force of our being. Our emotions and the level of maturity which they demonstrate are also a vital part of our being. Each and every part we have just mentioned, combined with conditioning, genetics, and life experience, make up the one-of-a-kind fabric of our individual self. This is one of the reasons it is so vital that we surround ourselves with those who love us when we are seeking healing and wholeness. We can liken this to an automobile. A transmission without an engine does not make a car, and even if you have an entire car, but only maintain it by refilling your gasoline, you will eventually begin to experience trouble with the parts and functions you have not maintained. The end result is either a car which barely runs or a car in your front yard that doesn’t run at all. We are much like this. If we neglect the body but feed the mind and soul, we will eventually find ourselves drained of energy, or we will begin to experience other physical symptoms that can make our day to day life more difficult to live productively.
On the same note, ignoring the needs of the mind can dull the memory and affect our level of productivity in socialization, work, or play. The human spirit, or soul, is the same. The problem with unbalanced self-care is that, since humans are one being with many parts, a perpetuation will eventually occur which will result in an unhealthy body snowballing and resulting negative effects on the mind and spirit as well. This spiral will continue, however, causing each part to negatively affect the others until the entire being is so out of balance that rectification can be an overwhelming prospect.
Maintaining one’s wellness holistically has a very simple dynamic, but it involves practice and a change of lifestyle, particularly when it has gotten out of control. Loss of control is inevitable when one is not aware of the reality of the need to care for oneself holistically. When caring for yourself in this manner, you are basically paying attention to each and every part of yourself, which results in harmony of self when practiced with diligence and consistency. The very first step in beginning this new routine is to recognize, admit, and accept that there is indeed a problem, and you alone can fix it. There are a wide variety of things that can be done to improve your mind, body, and spirit, first and foremost being personal education.
Once you have determined to learn and implement the tools you will learn, you can begin to make a solid routine for yourself that will heal all of the issues that have been, in essence, stealing your life and sense of wellbeing. In addition, as you adapt to the change in lifestyle and acquire knowledge, you will find exercises which will supplement your efforts that fall into all three realms of self, fitting your personality while providing impressive benefits at the same time.
The Parts of the Human that Form the Whole
Below is a brief, but complete, list of the various things that make you an entire person. We will not only identify them, but offer you a brief summation of each to assist you in understanding the need for personalized care as it pertains to these parts, and we will give examples of exercises and activities for each that you can implement into your lifestyle which will result in an effective overall change, improving the way you feel for the better. Feel free to conduct research the countless other options available which you may enjoy when engaging in these highly beneficial lifestyle change techniques. Another excellent suggestion is to begin a daily journal that centers on how you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Over the passage of time you will recognize the changes that are taking place, and this alone will motivate you to continue in this positive venture.
- The Human Body – Our bodies are, quite literally, amazing, beautiful, and complex machines, and like any machine it requires maintenance, attention, and special care. Because it is motivated and energized by the fuel we give it, it is vital to not only eat regular meals, but to rid yourself of fats and sugars that are not necessary. Fresh vegetables and chicken and fish prepared in a healthy manner will not only nourish, but these foods will also assist in maintaining a healthy weight. Keeping up on the amount of water we drink is vital to our physical well-being. Being properly hydrated not only keeps our metabolism running at its personal peak, but it will also energize and cleanse, resulting in an overall feeling of health that is nearly indescribable. Another vital part of caring for your physical self is exercise. This can be a dreadful thought for many, but there is no need to be apprehensive. If lifting weights, running, or aerobics are not for you, walking or yoga are excellent options. With so many forms of physical activity to choose from you will certainly be able to find one you enjoy. As stated, you do not have to run a marathon or spend all day at the gym; you can, and will, find the physical activity that fits your individual personality and preference. All of the above pieces of advice, when practiced regularly and as part of a healthy lifestyle will improve your physical health and clear the mind for the benefits you have to offer it.
- A Healthy Mind and Mindset – One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to not only exercise the mind through regular activities which are challenging and fun, such as crossword puzzles, brain teasers, and other forms of entertainment which make us think, but we must also practice being on top of the thoughts we think. The way we look at the world will determine how we respond to it, and if our thoughts about life are primarily negative, this will certainly manifest them in a negative manner in reality. The way we think will affect our ability to be motivated to take care of ourselves properly as a whole, as well as discourage us from taking risks or pursuing other healthy activities. One of the most important things we can do to take control of our personal thought life is diligently pay close attention to our thoughts. Journal each one you feel has impacted, or will impact, you day or future. Granted, this takes commitment, as it can be time consuming. Diligence is key. You will notice, however, with the proper dedication and work, your attitude and outlook on life and yourself in general will slowly but surely change, enabling you to care for the other parts of yourself with excitement and eagerness.
- The Human Spirit The Core of Our Being: – Our spirit is our very life force. Since we cannot see or feel it, it tends to suffer a great amount of neglect for a majority of us. When the spirit is healthy, the person is healthy, which in turn compliments the work you are doing on your entire self. Some suggestions for the feeding and exercise of the spirit include exercises of meditation, prayer, reading of devotions or scripture, yoga, martial arts, and a variety of other activities designed to slow down the mind, allowing you to become one with each part of yourself. When we ignore the needs of the human soul, the results will manifest in very negative ways. Poor attitude, depression, and at times, explosive anger can result. I would venture to say that care of the spirit or soul is the single most important part of yourself that you can care for; it will in turn lead you to straight paths regarding everything else that needs done in regard to being healthy, not only for your own piece of mind, but for the happiness and satisfaction of the family and friends who love you.
Emotional Health and You
Our emotions, no matter how uncomfortable or overwhelming, are necessary to this life we live on earth. When we experience situations which are happy and fulfilling by nature, laughter and tears of happiness allow us to process these things and help them to hold the memories deep within our being. We are able to share fond memories with others, and these incredible emotions sustain us through the hardships we experience in our lives. Other emotions, which we consider “bad” or negative, are just as necessary. They are needed for many reasons. Fear protects us; anger lets us know we are being done wrong or treated unjustly. Sadness allows us a means in which to deal with grief, loss, or other feelings of despair. These emotions are motivating factors which move us to seek change in whatever are our emotions are telling us is out of whack. There are many, many resources we can use to deal with any emotion, good or “bad”. Sharing our positive experiences with friends and loved ones result in our being able to share our laughter or source of pride and elation. These emotions are much easier to process and deal with. Emotions that fall under a more negative category in our minds are typically more difficult to process. They stem from traumatic events that can leave deep, non-fading scars, and to ignore them or “stuff” them can literally result in physical illness, depression, isolation, and in some cases, self-destructive behavior. The manifestations of this can be deadly if not properly faced and eliminated. The good news is that it matters not how much time has passed. As long as you are alive, these can be dealt with. Talking to a trusted friend or mentor is vital. If you are in need of more intensive therapy and help, there are excellent professionals available who can assist you in pinpointing the problems you are having and leading you down a healing path. You can also find books on any topic regarding to these types of emotions and their repercussions, and by reading and exercising them you are arming yourself with the priceless tools needed to be an over-comer. When we refuse to deal with these emotions, we are sickening the other aspects of our being as well, and will neglect the needs of each and every one because we are so focused on the overwhelming emotions that are controlling our consciousness.
Getting Started With Your New Life
Being armed with a much better understanding of who you are and what you consist of as a human being. Along with a genuine interest and concern for your own peace, healthiness, and happiness, you can take steps to begin changing your lifestyle with confidence. Sit down alone and begin make a list consisting of the aspects of your being. Beneath them, itemize some strategic methods of attack that will get you off on the right foot in your lifestyle change. Research is vital during this beginning step. The internet offers a plethora of information regarding self-improvement holistically, not even offering suggestions regarding diet changes, exercise suggestions, and mental workouts, but also supplying you with information regarding edification and feeding of the soul and spirit. Bookstores also have abundance of resources, and by investing a bit of time checking out both, you will be able to formulate a plan of action that will be perfect for you as an individual. Some of the best ways to start would include eliminating foods that are damaging from your diet and adopting a form of regular exercise that suits your desires and personality. You can also take a refresher course at the local community college to work that gray matter, or you could join a book club or trivia group. Take up crosswords or some other puzzle that makes you think. All of this will sharpen the mind and improve productivity in all aspects of your life. Finally, decide where you are in your own personal spirituality, and seek out activities that are in keeping with your beliefs and interests. Surround yourself with others who are like minded, thereby providing yourself with a support system to hold you accountable in being good to yourself.
If you are considering treatment for an ailment, and holistic treatment seems to be an answer for you, here are some of the different types of holistic treatment available to you. Keep in mind that the treatment may vary depending on the training of the practitioner you choose to utilize. It is important to remember that you should not just go to anyone. Some of these practitioners are very skilled and caring, while others are simply not going to be up to par. One of the best things you can do is ask someone you have strong confidence in to recommend a quality holistic practitioner, and it should be one they have used on occasion if at all possible. You can also contact health organizations in your area, and they will be able to steer you in the right direction.
Make sure you research all applicable points thoroughly. When you do find a practitioner you have a deep interest in, do not be afraid to check out their credentials, background, reputation, and history. Find out what kind of training he or she has, as well as who they have been previously employed by, and what hospitals or other affiliations their portfolio may boast. Most importantly, what are the doctor’s thoughts on healing, the use of medicine, and holistic healing as a whole? If your outlooks appear to be opposite, they are more than likely not an option for you and your efforts.
Pay attention to your gut. How do you feel emotionally about the doctor you are considering? Are you comfortable when speaking to them, or do you lean toward the more apprehensive, nervous side? Our minds, bodies, emotions, and spirits work together in an effort to communicate. It is up to us to gain balance, tune up, and learn its language. When it comes to health care choices, you have to pay attention to the signs from every aspect of your being. Also, make it a point to get to know anyone on the team that is treating you. It is more important to feel okay about them, as you will spend quite a bit of time in their company during the healing process.
Don’t forget to ask any questions you can think of. You have the right to receive straight answers, thereby being a proactive participant in your recovery. Pay very close attention, as well, to the questions being asked of you by your holistic practitioner. Are they on target? Do you perceive a genuine effort on the part of your doctor that he or she is focused entirely on your healing and wholeness? Or are they just tapping on the basics and whipping out a prescription pad? Do not settle for a “holistic practitioner” who avoids implementing any form of holistic healing methodology when recommending treatment. Ask, ask, and ask!
Finally, when you feel comfortable with a particular doctor, and have opted for their services, it will be important to make an appointment to see them as quickly as possible. Once the appointment is made, arrive early for paper work, and when you meet your provider, spend sufficient time discussing what has been going on, ask sufficient questions when needed, and be honest. Your inner health is as important, if not more so, that what we see in the mirror, and we find over time that what these things lack will directly affect everything on the outside as well. Be proactive today and find a holistic practitioner that will not only be trustworthy, reputable, and experienced, but will have your best interests at heart as well. As with any profession in the world, it is vital you trust the one providing the service, and the most important of all is trust in your physician. You need someone who cares about the state of everything you are.
Expect you practitioner to be concerned about the way the various aspects of your being have affected each other, particularly if one or two have gone neglected. Do not feel alone! Most people have an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset, which results in us ignoring the things we cannot see, taking them for granted. Never fear. There is a solution, and your holistic healer will help you design a system that is just right for you, helping you to get back on the right track. Take the advice you are given and run with it. While some of the “prescriptions” sound overwhelming, they become quite easy when implemented into a regular routine, and you will find them as easy as ever with the passage of time.
Remember, this is a very small percentage of the options available to you though your holistic health.
- Lifestyle change education and self-care. This may include diet and exercise changes, therapy, counseling, and much more.
- Common medications or surgeries.
- Acupressure, acupuncture, and massage, as well as other forms of stress relief.
Keep in mind that holistic providers can be any type of physician, including chiropractors, osteopathic and homeopathic doctors. Depending on what you need personally, you should be able to find a holistic medicine practitioner that will be able to get you back on the right track with a customized treatment plan just for you.
Caring for oneself holistically is not for the timid or lazy, but if you are determined to find complete peace and happiness in your entire being, paying attention to each of the things that make up your being will take you a very long way in achieving your goal. Keep your chin up and press on. You will soon notice the difference in the amount of stress you feel, and you will deal with issues more calmly and efficiently.
Whether you are developing a fresh interest in holistic medicine and healing, or you are one who has enjoyed the benefits of this type of treatment for years, you deserve it. You will love the personable approach and the concern shown by your professionals regarding your whole self. Take care of every aspect of your being, your whole self, and you will find it paying off in a priceless manner. Get started today!