A holistic health approach addresses the underlying causes of illness or disease from the perspective of the whole person as opposed to the symptomatic approach. For this reason, many experts believe the common spelling of “holistic health” should actually be “wholistic health.” Interestingly, holistic comes from the root word “holy.” As far as I am concerned, wholeness equates to “holiness,” so whether it’s spelled “holistic’ or “wholistic” is irrelevant.
You might be wondering, what constitutes a “whole person” anyway? This term will obviously mean different things to different people, but I think most people will agree that we all experience life in at least four different aspects of being. These aspects include the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.
In essence, each of these dimensions vibrates at a different frequency of energy. According to quantum physics, the essence of all life is energy. We also know that to a large degree, whether energy flows freely within us or not determines our health, happiness, success, and longevity. Thus, blockages in the physical body, the psyche, or even the spirit can lead to disturbances in the natural energy flow through the body. According to ancient Chinese medicine, these blockages of energy, in the most simplistic terms, are the cause of disease.
One of the major blockages in the human body comes in the form of stress. Medical researchers estimate that about 80% of all doctor visits are stress related. The stress response in the body often arises out of habitual patterns of thinking that create undesirable emotions such as anxiety, depression, unhappiness, fear, and agitation. These emotions, in turn, produce chemical messengers in the body that wreak havoc at the cellular level and decrease immunity.
The spiritual aspect of health is not conditioned so much by religious beliefs as it is by one’s inner sense of purpose and oneness with Life. Some define that Life as Love or God or Spirit. Whatever we call it, the spiritual connection for many is at the core of one’s “wholeness,” or “holiness.” All healing naturally spirals outward from that core of being.
Thus, from the holistic health perspective, if we are truly looking for healing, the first place to look is within. The current medical term for this self-introspection, which is being used at a few well-known cancer clinics, is psycho-spiritual therapy.From my experience, the psycho-spiritual aspect contributes at least 75-80% to one’s health condition--and yet it is largely ignored! The remaining 20-25% is the physical aspect, which involves focusing primarily on removing toxins and giving the body the essential nutrients it needs to do what it does best—to survive and thrive!
In summary, the holistic health approach is not a quick fix and thus it’s probably not for everyone. It’s for people who are willing to take responsibility for their health (without self-blame) and are looking for long-lasting results. A qualified holistic health practitioner can help guide someone on their journey and provide valuable resources.