When you throw the word ‘health’ out there, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is probably exercise or diet, perhaps even medicine. This is true to some extent, because health relates to the absence of disease, and these facets can play a role in that. But what if there is more than just being in a non-diseased state? Is it possible to be disease-free and still not be 100% healthy?
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Holistic health takes the whole person in to consideration. When the water supply in your house shuts down, you don’t just loosen the faucet of the kitchen sink and hope water starts flowing. No, you check all the pipes for a blockage, and if that doesn’t work then you check with the utilities company for a system failure. The point is, you try to get to the root cause and fix the problem from there.
Unfortunately, with the advancement of modern Western medicine, we have adapted a reductionist perspective of healing our sickness instead of looking at our bodies as a whole system. We go to a gastroenterologist when we have heartburn, a dentists for a toothache, and endocrinologist for hormonal problems. While these specialists are experts in their field, they often only know how to put bandaids on symptoms. Here’s an antacid for your heartburn, a filling for the tooth, some pills for your insulin resistance. But have you noticed, when you take the bandaid off, the wound starts bleeding again?
Rather than focusing on a particular illness or specific parts of the body, a holistic approach to health considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with the environment. Human beings are comprised of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual elements- all of which are interconnected.
Though you may be committed to a regular exercise routine or a diet of whole foods, is there a possibility that you are neglecting your mental health by forcing a “healthy diet” on yourself while expecting perfection out of your performance at work? Often we pay attention to things that come naturally, while sacrificing other parts of our life. And while we’re busy filling our buckets to make us the best performer, we start neglecting our thoughts, feelings, and body that tell us what we really need.
The concept of holistic health encourages people to take responsibility of their own health and the every day choices that affect their wellbeing, rather than being at the mercy of healthcare practitioners and prescription medication.
My goal is to help you take charge of your own well-being by discussing potential underlying causes to your symptoms and ailments, spinning perspectives on the “healthy” choices you may be making, and helping you listen to your body.
Your health then becomes integrated into your lifestyle, rather than the consequence of the unobtainable “magic pill”.