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What Is Holistic Healing? About, Benefits & Approach

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A Holistic Approach to Health and Wellbeing

Finding the balance between body, mind, and spirit to achieve true wellness!

Good health is so much more than just the absence of disease.  Modern medicine takes the approach of treating the symptoms of a disease to achieve wellness.  Holistic healing, on the other hand, looks to care for the whole person, not just the physical symptoms of disease or injury.  The term “holism” (from the Greek “holo,” meaning “whole”) refers to the theory that all parts of a whole are intimately interconnected, and true understanding comes when you see how all the parts work together.

What is Holistic Healing?

Holistic healing is an alternative approach to managing health that looks to achieve complete balance among the four different aspects of wellness — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components all contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.  When one of these components is out of balance it impacts every component, and your overall health suffers…

  • Physical:  Cleanse and nourish your body. The body needs proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise to thrive.  When you feel emotionally depressed, it interrupts your sleep, takes away your appetite, and saps your energy.
  • Mental:  Quiet and focus you mind. The brain feeds off stimulation, curiosity, and creative expression.  If your body is in physical pain, it’s difficult for the brain to focus, to remember, and to create.
  • Emotional:  Your ideal psychological state embraces calm.  If your mind is struggling to cope with brain fog, it can trigger anxiety, confusion, and emotional mood swings.
  • Spiritual:  Renew and awaken your spirit. Our spirit seeks meaningful connection with God, with people, and with nature.  If we don’t get outside to exercise regularly, the lack physical activity leaves our spirit feeling disconnected from nature and the divine.

Holistic healing takes a multi-pronged approach to healing and wellness.  A holistic health practitioner will ask the patient about their health as well as their lifestyle, their work, and their family life.  Holistic solutions to a health challenge won’t ever just be medication.  They will incorporate alternative therapies that help heal the body naturally like diet changes, acupuncture, doing yoga, or trying guided meditation.  Medication is certainly an option to help address pain, but a holistic healthcare provider will also recommend evidence-based alternative therapies and natural solutions to bring all the components of wellness back into balance.

Holistic vs. Western Medicine

Western medicine goes back millennia, from the prehistoric use of plants and herbs to heal wounds to today’s highly sophisticated medications.  Over that long history, the practice of medicine shifted from the prescientific holistic approaches to the current science-based understanding of pathology.

In the early days of medicine, illness was explained in spiritual terms because gods were believed to affect mortals directly.  If you were sick, then you must have “angered the gods” in some way.  In 400 BCE, Hippocrates, often lauded as the father of Western medicine, proposed a new understanding of medical innovation in which natural explanations of illness were embraced.  Hippocratic physicians were unable to study anatomy and physiology directly because dissection of human cadavers was forbidden on religious grounds.  Instead, they relied on logic and philosophy to explain disease.  In the 1500s physicians began studying via animal dissection, and the scientific understanding of medicine took off.

Western medicine uses a research- and organ systems-based approach to diagnose and treat specific medical conditions.  It prioritizes the use of drugs, radiation, and surgery to solve disease and injury.  While it has yielded centuries of medical progress, Western medicine is pain-focused instead of patient-focused.  Holistic healing looks at the patient as a whole being, striving for wellness by achieving balance of the body, mind, and spirit.  A holistic approach takes into consideration a wide variety of clinically proven therapies like pharmaceuticals and surgery, and also includes relevant alternative therapies to heal the body naturally, incorporating concepts like improved nutrition, lifestyle interventions, mental health initiatives, social connection, and environmental health into the diagnostic mix.  Holistic health solutions can include traditional natural therapies like herbs, supplements, homeopathic medicine, and acupuncture, or more modern natural therapies like neural retraining or biofeedback.  While the holistic route is considered more “slow healing” than Western medicine, many believe the holistic healing approach is the best path for long-lasting health and wellness.

The Benefits of Holistic Medicine

Choosing a holistic approach to your healing and healthcare can make an enormous difference in your life.  The benefits of this integrative approach to health and wellness are undeniable.  Holistic healing…

  • TREATS the whole you, not just your symptoms:  Holistic healing treats the person not the disease.  With holistic healing, true wellness is about finding balance in body, mind, spirit, and emotions.
  • FOCUSES on prevention:  Holistic healing establishes a foundation for wellness based on healthy lifestyle choices — good nutrition, restorative sleep, regular exercise, and positive social support.  It’s easy to maintain good health when you make long-term choices that support good health.
  • WORKS to untangle and resolve complex ailments by finding their root cause:  Holistic healing views the patient as a single entity with multiple symptoms that are intertwined.  By taking this more nuanced approach to medical care, holistic health care providers are often more successful in solving chronic “mystery” conditions that defy Western medical diagnosis.
  • PROMOTES more complete overall health and wellness:  Holistic healing is always striving to balance body, mind, spirit, and emotions.  That big picture view of the patient leads to a big picture goal of the most complete health and wellness outcomes possible.  
  • PRIORITIZES educating and motivating the patient:  Holistic healing requires the doctor and patient to work together as a team.  The doctor takes the time to learn all about the patient and their lifestyle, and in turn the doctor shares their love and enthusiasm for holistic healing with their patient.  The more the patient learns, the more ownership they will take for their own health.
  • HONORS the mind-body connection:  Holistic healing has always understood that your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively impact your health.  By placing just as much emphasis on an optimistic attitude as a healthy diet, holistic healing honors the balance necessary for a true wellness.
  • HELPS develop healthy coping skills:  Holistic healing puts the responsibility on the patient to be an active participant in their own wellness journey, not just expect a magic pill to solve all their health challenges.  Sometimes that wellness journey requires the patient to cope with setbacks.  Healthy coping skills like meditation, gratitude, and prayer are all excellent ways to navigate the wellness journey and keep working toward overall balance.
  • CAN be more cost-effective than Western medical alternatives:  The Western medicine focus on prescriptions and surgeries can be exceedingly expensive.  The holistic healing approach of using alternative therapies like chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and more are often far less expensive and yet equally as effective than conventional treatments.

Heal Your Body & Mind with a Holistic Approach to Wellness

Holistic health looks to care for the whole person, not just the physical symptoms of disease or injury, by achieving complete balance among the four different aspects of wellness — the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components that all contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.  By fostering this dynamic balance, holistic healing is driven to untangle complex intertwined symptoms to find the root cause of health challenges in a way that Western medicine rarely can replicate.  OHI has always embraced a holistic approach to wellness, and our body-mind-spirit curriculum is a testament to the power of natural healing.  Our detoxing foods, our thoughtful curriculum, and our wealth of natural alternative therapies has brought new levels of wellness to so many in our faith-based community.  Take charge of your wellness journey by partnering with a holistic health provider.  When they combine natural alternative therapies with proven Western medicine approaches to come up with comprehensive whole-patient centered solutions, you can live a healthier, more fulfilling life.  Your health is your wealth, and those that take a holistic approach to their overall health are truly rich indeed!

Start your holistic healing journey today. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 to learn more about our holistic approach to health and wellness.  It will change your life for good!