Being somewhat of a current trend, you’ve probably heard the term Holistic Health, along with a vague explanation of what it means.

But what does it actually mean? Why is it such a big deal? Is this just some sort of trendy, hippie yogi thing?

A Simple Definition:

The simple description is that individuals are “greater than and different from the sum of their parts.” Meaning you can’t heal someone or lead a healthy life by only focusing on one part of them (i.e. individual parts of the body, the mind, emotions, or spirituality).

But Holistic Health is more of a philosophy, or a way of living, than it is a definition. So here’s a more comprehensive understanding of this way of life, broken down into three categories.

3 Categories of Holistic Health:

 1. It Considers the Whole Person

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” ~ Buddha

Western Medicine tends to focus on the body part or the site of the symptoms. They’ll prescribe medication to subside the symptoms of heart disease or anxiety.
 
Holistic Medicine considers the body, mind, emotions and spirit to be completely intertwined and takes all of these into account when looking for the underlying causes of a condition.
 
For heart disease, they might teach the individual techniques for managing stress, eating a well-rounded diet, finding a physical activity they enjoy, and looking at how turmoil in their spiritual standing might be raising their stress levels. For anxiety, they might look at their sleep schedule, reduce their daily consumption of chemicals and toxins, introduce them to healthier thinking patterns, and talk them through better understanding how their emotions affect their mental/physical health.
 
Instead of treating the symptoms, Holistic Medicine will look into finding and correcting the cause.

Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is about jobs and employment, education, the environment, and all of those things that go into making us healthy.

~Joycelyn Elders

2. It is Focused on Natural Healing

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~Buddha

Holistic Medicine focuses on less-invasive, natural remedies for healing and keeping the body on a healthy track. Instead of using drugs or surgery, they’ll use remedies or lifestyle tweaks to support the body in healing itself.
 
Some of the main focuses of a holistic lifestyle is diet, exercise, environmental measures, attitude and behavior modifications, relationship and spiritual counseling, and bioenergy enhancement.
 
When any of these elements are off course, it can slow down or prevent the body’s ability to heal itself. For example, our bodies can be put in a constant state of stress from a number of things: an underlying worry the individual hasn’t dealt with, a struggling relationship, misunderstanding their own emotions, a diet not meeting their body’s nutritional needs, or absorbing an excessive amount of chemicals from daily household and hygienic products. 
 
In this state of stress, your body is constantly putting energy toward fighting what it thinks this stressor is and recovering from the detrimental/toxic affects stress can have. It is not using this energy to fight the cold you have, to support your immune system, to make you alert and energized throughout the day, to work through thoughts and emotions in a patient/healthy way, to digest food properly, or to rest well. All these things are affected by the stressors. 
 
By addressing the stressors directly, you give your body the support and relief it needs in healing itself, which can have a positive affect on all aspects of your health and your life.

The doctor of the future will give no medicines, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes and prevention of disease.

~Thomas Edison


3. It is Patient-Empowering

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

Because Holistic Health is so intuitive, it empowers the patient to take control of their own health. Tending to their mind, body, emotions, and spirit on a daily basis allows an individual to better understand their own body and begin to learn what works for them. They may come to a point where they can completely manage their depression on their own using natural remedies and healthy lifestyle choices. They may realize they can cure back pain or joint pain if they exercise regularly, eat well, reduce stress and mind what posture or movements aggravate them.
 
The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) put’s it this way:
“[Holistic medicine] teaches patients to take responsibility for their own health, and in so doing is: cost-effective in treating both acute and chronic illness; therapeutic in preventing and treating chronic disease; essential in creating optimal health.”
  
This ongoing tending to and understanding of self is the best way for individuals to realize and reverse health risks in their own body before they become chronic illnesses, setting them up for optimal health!

I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.

~Meryl Streep

Want to Learn More?

Here are some easy first steps to a holistically healthy lifestyle!

Meatless Monday

Benefits of making this one small change one day a week will:

  1. improve our community’s health,
  2. decrease our environmental impact,
  3. and spare animals from factory farms.

Click below to take the pledge and learn how easy it is to personally have these big impacts on the world!

Well-Rounded Living

Learn new habits to round out your physical, mental and emotional health and show yourself some TLC. 

Head to my blog for fun ways to exercise your creativity, new tricks for using essential oils, and delicious, plant-based recipes. Yum!

Daily Inspiration

Follow on Instagram to receive handcrafted delights that instantly brighten your day, encourage you in your journey, and keep you on a healthy track to success.

I am a constant learner, a natural encourager, and recently became a flight attendant! 

I’m excited to share my new learnings, the various veg dishes I find, and all this earth’s beauty I capture on my new adventures.