Western medicine provides some amazing life-saving research and treatments. Yet one of its potential downfalls may be a tendency to look at the body in sections or groups of symptoms, rather than as a connected whole.
The holistic approach to health is different. It looks at five components of health — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social — and how imbalances in any of these areas may affect other areas and the person as a whole.
Holistic health also tends to focus on wellness and preventing illness rather than on drugs and invasive procedures (although holistic practitioners may also utilize these conventional therapies).
People today are living longer than in the past, yet they’re also experiencing high levels of fatigue, stress, and mental anguish. It seems like now is a critical time for taking care of the whole person through a more holistic approach to wellness.
What Is Holistic Health?
When people discuss holistic health, they’re usually talking about an approach to wellness that encompasses the individual as one whole system of body, mind, and spirit. Many people also consider “holistic” to mean a more natural approach to wellness with minimal invasiveness.
Holistic healing usually involves multiple complementary disciplines and alternative wellness techniques. These may overlap with modern medicine, but are designed to look beyond the treatment of symptoms to support the whole person.
Many people who live with day-to-day discomforts and mysterious ailments embrace holistic health practices to help them feel better. These include:
- Chiropractic care
- Energy healing
The five main components of holistic health each make a major contribution to overall health and wellness. Conversely, imbalances in any one of these areas can affect other areas and the person as a whole:
This is what most people think of when they hear the word health. This makes sense, as it’s often the physical body that communicates the first signs of a problem. Eating a clean diet, getting enough sleep, being active, and avoiding dangerous substances are all ways you can help your physical body function at its best. Energy healing methods such as The Body Code™ may also help you investigate symptoms and access information about how your body is functioning, including nutritional needs and imbalances that may be affecting your physical health.
No matter how healthy your body may be, if you’re emotionally distraught or carry a huge amount of emotional baggage, it may be difficult for you to be truly happy. Emotional health can also affect physical health.
Practicing simple mindfulness and regular stress reduction techniques can help you manage the day-to-day ups and downs of life, so bad experiences or bad days don’t turn into bad weeks, months or years. Energy healing techniques such as The Emotion Code® are designed to help you uncover and resolve trapped negative emotional energies from past experiences that could be holding your emotional health hostage. If you have severe emotional issues you are trying to overcome, professional therapy or counseling may be necessary.
You don’t have to go to church to be spiritual, so long as you’re focused on your connection to your higher power and inner sense of self. Aside from taking time to study and practice your own faith, some ways to support your spiritual health include spending time in nature, praying, and meditating. Getting Trapped Emotions out of your way can also help remove any blocks between you and your spiritual self.
Most of us are happier when we have deep connections with friends and family. Even people who describe themselves as introverts have a need to connect. Even when circumstances such as illness or distance don’t allow for in-person connection, a good telephone or video chat can go a long way to satisfying that need. Simply going for a walk around your neighborhood and observing people walking their dogs, working in their yards, or coming and going can help you feel a sense of belonging to your community. Volunteer work is an especially good way to get outside of yourself and feel not only socially connected, but also socially responsible as you care for others.
People often wonder about the difference between emotional and mental health. The main distinction is that while emotional health refers mostly to daily mood and feelings, mental health encompasses cognitive abilities that affect behavior and the function of the brain.
Addressing mental health often requires the expertise of a trained mental health professional. If you feel you might need this kind of support, please seek it out. However, there are plenty of ways you can support an overall positive mental state that may help improve your outlook, even if you combine them with professional therapy. These include taking care of the other aspects of holistic health, such as:
- Physical: Stay active and eat healthy.
- Emotional: Release emotional baggage.
- Spiritual: Connect with your higher power on a regular basis.
- Social: Stay connected to loved ones.
If you use these methods to take good care of yourself in a holistic way, you will probably be better equipped to handle the mental stress that life throws at you.
Take Care of Your Holistic Health
Being mindful and proactive in caring for your health needs holistically can help you add life to your years, and may even help you add years to your life. So make sure you’re taking good care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and mentally.