Is there one true definition of Holistic Health? The term Holistic Health or Holistic Healing comes from the word whole, meaning complete. There is no one universal definition for Holistic Health, but there seems to be a common thread that runs through all of the definitions of Holistic Health that I have researched. That is, to look at the self from a whole (holistic) perspective and to understand the mind, body and spirit connection and the importance of balancing all aspects of one’s life.
One definition of Holistic Health that I found interesting was that it is a non-medical philosophy of well-being that considers the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life as closely interconnected and balanced. The quote by Gestalt “the whole is more than the sum of its parts” in my opinion sums (no pun intended) it up perfectly.
The concept of a holistic approach to health care is not new. The idea of trying to create a new definition of Holistic Health is really kind of ironic. This is not a new model. Hippocrates, both a philosopher and a practitioner, “tried to close the gaps between the understanding of disease and its treatment. He was quite essentially holistic when he insisted that it is natural for the human body to heal itself, and that this process can generally take place even without intervention from a doctor.”
The interesting thing is that there are many factors outside of the obvious physical needs of our body that play a significant role in undermining our quality of life. For example- poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, crime, divorce, lack of education and stress all have the potential to impact our physical health.
By the same token, the term Holistic Health Care takes all these factors into consideration. It is a more universal approach to regular health care. It includes all of the unlimited resources available to each of us. It is defined as viewing one’s self from a whole perspective and focusing our health care needs on the mind, body and spiritconnection. It also includes accepting personal responsibility, health education, using preventive care and all modalities of care available such as surgery, western medicine, chemotherapy, nutrition, rehabilitation, hypnosis, acupuncture, psychotherapy, bodywork, energy work, and spiritual healing to mention a few.
One major theme of Holistic Health is that we are ultimately responsibility for our own health and our Holistic Health Care. It is only when we take personal responsibility that we can truly begin to be healed. Each one of us is so unique that no one treatment, medication or technique is going to work for us all. Our beliefs, values and attitudes affect our health and must be a part of the cure.
Since ultimately we can not be completely healthy until we achieve balance in our life, with others and in our environment, then perhaps the true definition of Holistic Health is achieving BALANCE.
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