What exactly is wellness and how is it defined? What may be considered healthy to one person, could be completely different from another. Modern-day media portrays wellness as a simplified combination of proper nutrition and a healthy diet. But true wellness is so much more than these two things.
The word holistic means that the different parts of one thing are all intimately interconnected to form a whole. In terms of holistic wellness, this means that a person is treated as a whole. To learn more about holistic wellness and its benefits to your health, just keep on reading…
What is Holistic Medicine?
According to the primary principle of holistic medicine, optimum health can be achieved by finding balance in your life. This ancient form of medical practice focuses on all parts of a person. This includes the condition of their body, spirit, and mind. The primary goal of holistic wellness is to ensure all of these individual elements of a person are in perfect balance.
If one part of a person is affected by disease or stress, all the other parts are affected too. So in short, if you have an imbalance somewhere in your life, this will affect your overall health.
But how does this relate to actually a healing disease, pain, or diminishing stress?
A holistic practitioner generally has a medical background. This means that while they may use conventional medicine to treat you, they also use alternative therapies to heal you as a whole.
The overall premise of holistic wellness is to treat a patient as a person, and not just a disease. There is no point in treating the symptoms of a person, without finding the root cause of the problem. Holistic wellness aims to do this by tapping into all elements of a person’s well-being.
Holistic Wellness Treatments
A holistic practitioner may be qualified in any number of medical backgrounds. Their primary goal is to use a variety of treatments to help their patients take control of their well-being. Depending on your ailment and a practitioner’s background, common holistic treatments include:
Alternative therapies include chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, and acupuncture
The prescription of Western medication or surgical procedures
Education on nutrition and exercise in the form of personal training
Psychotherapy, relationship counseling, personal counseling
Herbal and natural medicines such as the use of medical marijuana
Yoga and or meditation
Reiki- the practice of energy work
Holistic providers range from medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, homeopathic doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and osteopathic professionals. No matter their specialty, they all focus on holistic healing which assesses all aspects of the human experience.
5 Key Health Benefits of Holistic Healing
Since the overall goal of holistic wellness is to achieve optimum balance in all areas of your life, the health benefits are second-to-none. These benefits extend far beyond physical wellness and include:
1. Improved Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing
Your emotional health is closely interconnected with your physical health. The way in which your body processes emotional stress, is the same way it processes physical stress. Too much stress can ultimately result in physical symptoms of illness.
Holistic therapy such as personal counseling and the practice of meditation and mindfulness can have a positive impact on your emotional wellbeing. The same goes for spiritual well-being – and this is not necessarily related to religion. It simply speaks to your soul and what kind of connection you have with the deepest and most fundamental part of your being.
Holistic therapies often focus on spending time outdoors, in nature, meditating, or practicing your faith if you are religious.
2. Improved Social Wellbeing
All humans thrive on real human connection and interaction. In today’s technological world these deep connections with friends, family, and community are being diminished.
A large part of holistic treatment focuses on your social wellbeing and the connections you have with those around you. Holistic practitioners teach and encourage their patients to work on social relationships and in-person connections. This also helps to reduce social anxiety and stress in unknown environments.
3. Improved Mental Wellbeing
The state of your mental health overlaps with both your emotional and physical health. Your mental health directly controls your cognitive abilities which affect how your brain functions. It also plays a huge role in how you process emotions and stress.
Holistic practitioners encourage their patients to prioritize their mental health every day. This can be achieved through mindfulness and actively seeking out educational opportunities. Regular exercise and improved gut health are also key to a clearly functioning mind.
4. Improved Physical Wellbeing
Your physical health is what most people probably think of when it comes to your overall well-being. But as mentioned, there’s so much more to it. It’s obvious that your physical being is a representation of your physical health. This is due to the signs and symptoms of illness or stress.
Holistic wellness encourages optimal physical health through regular exercise, prioritizing sleep, a healthy, and a well-balanced diet. Practitioners also encourage the intake of natural, unprocessed foods as well as natural, alternative medicines where possible. Some of these may include natural herbal remedies or medical marijuana over prescription drugs.
5. Disease Prevention
Holistic wellbeing is focused on healing a person as a whole, rather than just a set of symptoms. This means that the long-term prevention of disease is also a major health benefit.
Holistic treatment reduces the need for repeated, expensive treatments. This is because it avoids symptomatic treatment and focuses on the root cause of a disease. Holistic health practitioners are also more likely to promote preventative procedures such as immunizations, pap smears, regular cholesterol testing, and breast exams.
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