You have likely heard of holistic therapy before. But what is holistic health?
Better known as “wholistic” therapy, this ancient approach to treating symptoms is much more involved than western medicine. Modern day western medicine, for example, compartmentalizes different systems of the body. In many cases, practitioners don’t consider lifestyle or diet habits when treating patients.
On the other hand, holistic practitioners consider every aspect of your lifestyle: emotional, spiritual, physical and social.
As a lymphatic massage therapist, I am well aware that each of these aspects plays a role in health. This is part of the reason I recommend holistic therapy.
Let’s take a look at a few simple ways to practice holistic health in day-to-day life based on these four components of health.
Holistic Emotional Health
We, humans, share a desire to live in a state of harmony and peace. Balancing our schedules and reducing stress is an important goal we share. Fortunately, there are several ways we can enjoy holistic emotional health.
One of my favorite tools is visualization and breathing. A simple grounding exercise I use is to imagine myself as a tree with strong roots shooting down into the earth. This creates a strong sense of stability and presence, even in the midst of chaos in our outer world. As I breathe in, I imagine those roots becoming stronger. As I breathe out, I envision total stability and peace.
We all have a monkey mind, but focusing on the present moment eliminates much of the chaos surrounding this aspect of our mind.
Holistic Spiritual Health
Whether you are religious, an atheist or a firm believer in deeper meaning to life beyond our senses, spirituality is an important aspect of our health.
Mindfulness is also important to our spiritual health. The act of focusing on the present moment and seeing our thoughts and emotions as clouds that come and go in our consciousness, allows us to separate from the negative emotions clogging our spiritual growth.
Integrating the spiritual aspects of our inner world, even if that’s awe for the universe and our place in it, can lead to a healthier body and mind.
Physical Elements of Holistic Health
Holistic therapy would not be complete without some form of physical focus. For many holistic practitioners, bringing the body into wholeness involves several therapies. This includes acupuncture, massage, naturopathic medicine, nutritional support, chiropractic care, and more.
Each of these facets involves a somewhat ‘unconventional’ approach, but one that nonetheless produces significant results.
Acupuncture, for example, is thought to restore the body’s balance by working with its energy or it’s chi. The needles cause the brain to release endorphins that work as an internal pain management system.
Chiropractic care and massage use adjustments and physical touch to improve the body’s energy alignment.
Nutrition is important too, as what we eat makes a major difference in our energy levels. Lifestyle habits contribute to disease over time, so by incorporating a better diet into your life you can reduce disease and promote better health.
Social Elements of Holistic Health
Our social health is equally important.
I often find that when my clients are feeling stress much of it has to do with a lack of healthy boundaries. Demands placed on them by others, whether at work, at school, or at home, leads to more stress. There is little time left to feed their own soul or inner connection.
There are simple things we can all do to create more harmony and reduce stress while enjoying a more satisfying life. For example, self-awareness is important. How often are you taking stock of your thoughts, actions, and habits? Regular self-injury will point out areas in our social circles that are leading to unnecessary stress.
By making the switch to a more conscious way of living, you head down the path of self-care. This, in turn, improves your social life and relationships.
Summing it Up
Holistic health comes from holistic therapy. Whether you are suffering from an unnecessary amount of stress or just want to make a few simple changes in your health, a holistic approach produces the best results. Nurturing our mind, body and spirit also produces a happier lifestyle.
If you want to make a change, remember that you don’t have to do it all at once. Small steps up a mountain still get you to the peak.
While you’re considering which holistic therapy option is best for you, consider a few posts I’ve written that may inspire your holistic therapy journey: