A brief overview of holistic health

A brief overview of holistic health

Throughout your life, you may have heard the word holistic or the phrase holistic health. In recent years, this term and widespread lifestyle has gained immense traction within extremely popular publications. But what exactly is it and how is it used? 


These questions are asked often, most times with no real answers. With the growing importance of health, diet, and overall lifestyle in 2019, it is increasingly important to understand all of the possible ways in which you can manage your health. 


Holistic is one method many people use to approach all of those aspects. Hopefully with the knowledge of what holistic health is, you can then make an educated decision on how to manage your own lifestyle. 


The Basic Definition


According to The Ivy College of Australia, holistic health is a general approach to life. Instead of limiting your health analysis to only one part of the body, holistic health focuses on the whole being. 


It checks to see how one connects with the environment around them. A level of understanding between your mind, body, and spirit, as well as how they interact, is an important element of this lifestyle. 


More specifically, people can apply this way of life to their physical health and ailments. The term holistic healing was coined for this approach. 


The University of Minnesota defines this practice as a form of alternative medicine. It essentially consists of methods outside of pharmaceutical and surgical treatments. Using things like complementary therapy, holistic practices, natural healthcare, and combinatory medicine. Examples of these actions are massages, acupuncture, and meditation.


Historical Roots


The holistic way of life has been around for a very long time, dating all the way back to Hippocrates and the 4th Century. 


Known as the father of medicine, Hippocrates helped pioneer the ideal way of living at the time. He focused on the natural ways of approaching diseases, and was passionate about the importance of the connections the patient must with their health, mind, and environment. 


This way of thinking has drastically impacted the medical world we live in now and is the core driver of the holistic way of living.


Integrating Holistic Health Into Your Life


Holistic health can be an extremely beneficial addition to your daily life. The importance of mind and body directly correlate with new health trends we see in 2019. 


Though dubbed as trends, these movements, like the wellness movement, gained popularity for a reason and there are no signs of them going away. They became popular for a reason. 


People are catching on to the benefits of their active participation in holistic care. 


Ways in which you can integrate this lifestyle is through balance. Where health is now, holistic healing may not be enough to carry all aspects of your health according to The University of Minnesota. For instance, it may not be enough to cure “conventional cancer” but it can definitely help. 


Using a complementary method, meaning the use of both holistic and conventional medicine, may be most beneficial and realistic. 


Specific forms of holistic medicine (according to The University of Minnesota) include but are not limited to: 

  • Chinese medicine or Ayurveda

  • Relaxation classes

  • Cancer support groups

  • Herbal medicines or aromatherapy

  • Massage therapy or chiropractic care

  • Meditation

  • Healing touch and reiki 


The combination of the two forms of healthcare is purely safe and effective. 


In addition to holistic healthcare, the idea of a holistic lifestyle is a positive addition to any individual's life.


Becoming in touch with your mind, body, spirit, and environment could only help you. Hippocrates’ main philosophy was a “healthy mind in a healthy body.” Without strength on the inside, it is hard to prevail on the outside. 


Mental strength and deep connections with who you are as a person provide an irreplaceable element of strength, dedication, and defense. 


Try and practicing these connections by meditating, journaling, or even doing basic and daily forms of self reflection. 


To learn more about integration of this lifestyle, check out The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and this article from Mind Body Green.


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