What is Holistic Healing?
What is Health?
What does it mean to be in "good health"? Websters Dictionary defines "health" as "the state of being free from illness or disease." But isn't health more than simply the absence of "dis-ease"? When we think of being in a state of good health, there is an implication that those processes which sustain life are functioning at an optimum level.
There are three basic types of health: physical, mental and spiritual. Often we see these as isolated from each other and seek treatment as if they are indeed separate and independent. We see medical doctors for physical health, psychiatrists and sometimes counselors for mental health and we often seek out ministers and / or healers for our spiritual health. When we look at health through the holistic lens however, we see that these three aspects of health are not really separate, they are integrated and integral to the whole of the individual. When one aspect of health is in a state of imbalance, the whole is affected. When the organ suffering dis-ease has been cut away from the body, can we consider ourselves cured if the conditions which are at the root of the dis-ease remain constant? We can take a pill to relieve feelings of depression, however if we remain in circumstances which perpetuate that depression we cannot truly heal.
Holism as a Philosophy
What is Holism?
Holism is the philosophy that the parts of a whole are deeply interconnected and as such, those parts cannot exist independently or be understood without reference to the whole, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The Holistic Approach to Health
Holism takes a systems approach to healing; Holism as a philosophy can be applied to many disciplines. When applied to health and wellness, holism take the view of treating the whole person. This includes all aspects of living, such as work environment, our physical state, and our relationships, not only with others, but also relationship to self. The body, mind and spirit function as a system with each part in relationship and flow with the other. In holistic healing we nurture all aspects of living - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual with the ultimate goal being to achieve wholeness through harmony and balance.
Human beings are extremely complicated, our emotions, thoughts, and spiritual needs all have an effect on our physical well being, and visa versa. Physical illness doesn't begin in the physical body, it begins in our attitudes, our life situation, and our mental and spiritual outlook, then eventually filters through all of those layers to finally manifest as physical symptoms. We have all known for years that anger is related blood pressure, should we be surprised that overwork and an attitude of martyrdom is related to breast cancer? Or that stifling your voice or being unable to speak your mind or your needs is related to thyroid issues? With health and wellness, all aspects of the human experience must be taken into consideration, because to be whole is holy.