Many people have taken a positive step in choosing holistic living and using alternative therapies for their health and wellness. In line with the concept of holism, if a person practices alternative therapies, that person is much more likely to be treated as a whole rather than focusing on just one area or concern.
It is becoming increasingly recognized that one of the limitations of traditional Western medicine is its tendency to only focus on treating the specific and apparent symptoms of any condition (often only temporary pain alleviation).
This is vastly different from the holistic approach of considering the total mind and body complex as well as the environment. Holism and alternative therapies appreciate that the true cause of symptoms, including pain, may be far removed from where the symptoms are expressed. All aspects of the person are taken into consideration, not just the (perceived) affected part.
Therefore, bringing the two together provides natural and more enduring healing to the person as a whole, that is, in mind, body, and spirit.
What is Holistic Living?
Living a holistic lifestyle means living without physical, mental, or spiritual barriers. You keep all elements strong and healthy, not just one part. Taking care of all holistic elements may be challenging, but once you learn to master the basic principles, you are on the path to achieving total wellness.
This ‘wellness’ is not only limited to physical health. As it also includes emotional and mental well-being, being holistically healthy means greater happiness and personal fulfillment.
The first step is to see how you can improve your life as a whole, that is, everything around you, not just the physical ‘you’. The goal is to achieve overall wellness, where everything is functioning optimally.
To look deeper, Holism, in philosophy, is the concept that parts of a whole are interconnected and cannot exist without each other. Moreover, the whole itself is greater than the sum of its parts. These different parts or elements include the physical, mental, spiritual, social, and environmental aspects of your life, which make up the whole you.
Having a holistic lifestyle means recognizing that these different parts of your life are linked and cannot be separated. What happens in your personal life may affect how you perform at work, interact with your social circle, or see your environment.
Another example is when a person is ‘mentally’ stressed. Their stress may trigger other ‘physical’ illnesses and diseases. This is because a person’s emotional health has a significant and often underappreciated impact on their physical health.
Alternative therapies are treatments outside of conventional medicine and just like holism, these natural therapies consider the whole person in all aspects, such as physical, mental, emotional, environmental etc.
If a patient suffering from migraines approached a holistic doctor, the doctor would not immediately prescribe the patient with headache painkillers as many traditional doctors would do. Instead, the doctor would take into account other aspects of the patient’s life, such as work, family, and nutrition.
Part of the treatment may include drug intervention, but will be limited to that, as the entirety of the treatment may involve lifestyle changes or other related actions.
Complementing the Two
A holistic lifestyle can be complemented by alternative therapies and holistic medicine among other things such as holistic nutrition. Health self-management is the primary key motivator for choosing to live a holistic lifestyle because why wouldn’t you want to feel happy, healthy, and energized every day?