“Holistic Health, What is it?”
Most of you are familiar with the term Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). You may think that holistic health falls into those categories. It is that – plus so much more. One of the approaches that you might take to holistic health philosophy is through using energy medicine.
The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine defines Energy Medicine as that which “includes all energetic and informational interactions resulting from self-regulation or brought about through other energy linkages to mind and body.” Energy medicine is one of the windows through which we can view ourselves holistically.
Holistic health is an approach to you health that uses all types of approaches – mind, body, soul, spirit, and emotions.
One of the metaphors that may help you to understand what a holistic approach to health is that of a room that has many doors and windows. In the middle of the room is the center and the whole of who you are. To get to the center, you can come through any number of windows or doors and none of the windows or doors is more valuable or important than the others. It’s often helpful to have a regular routine of varying your entrances to and exits from your center.
You can also have regular practices that you do everyday and still add in some practices that work on what you are dealing with occasionally or as needed.
One of these doors might be labeled, “conventional medicine”. Another door might be labeled CAM. A window might be labeled art therapy. Another entrance might be labeled spirituality. And another might be labeled emotions.
I hope you’re getting the understanding that anything you do influences the whole of you. And this includes your approaches for addressing your health issues. In a holistic health approach, a common philosophy is that everything influences everything else. So finding a holistic approach means addressing all of who you are – mind, body, soul, spirit, emotions, immune system, thoughts, and the energetic aspects of self.
To state this more technically, there is a new field of science is emerging called ‘psychoneuroimmunology’ or PNI. This means that what happens at the psychological level occurs simultaneously throughout the body and immune system and the reverse is also true. What happens in every cell of the body translates into thoughts, emotions, neurotransmitters, electricity, and differing brain waves.
Candace Pert, a pioneer of this field, states that “Your mind is in every cell of your body.” Learning about holistic health and how to manage your health ‘well’ can be a positive turning point in how you approach managing your health and wellness.
For instance, simply doing meditation on a daily or regular basis can reverse the damage that stress does to your body. Stress and trauma are cumulative, and they have the nasty habit of accumulating in your physical body. You probably know exactly where you store your stress – especially if you have a chronic pain or illness. Just as you wouldn’t go days or weeks without showering to clean your physical body, you shouldn’t go days or weeks without clearing the stress and trauma out.
Meditation is a great way to clear out accumulated stress. On the surface, you don’t seem to be doing anything more than sitting quietly. In reality, you are addressing most of the aspects of yourself in a peaceful and gentle manner that is the very opposite of the stress response. Quieting your mind gives your mind-body the time and space it needs to process and deal with what has been going on in your day and in your life.
I have designed a whole series of 7 CD’s or downloadable audio files that help you meditate or quiet your mind more successfully. You can see which topic addresses your situation or buy the entire series for a special price offered here. It is a very effective and specifically designed meditation and guided imagery program. This program uses many of the complementary therapies discussed in this article. Each audio has some important health information and an exercise that helps you use the information in ways that support your health. You will want to check it out here: www.liveyourpresentmoment.com/meditation
Some of the therapies that have evolved into holistic health approaches are known as CAM therapies. These may seem quite different than the solutions and information that you receive in your doctor’s office. It can be very confusing because a holistic approach is different in the sense that the focus of a holistic approach isn’t symptom management or finding a cure.
Rather, the focus is on discovering a cause and, in the process of creating a healing environment, activating each person’s ‘inner healer.’ You have the opportunity to learn to empower yourself and then play the central role in your unique healing process. Healthy living and illness prevention are positive side effects of a holistic health approach.
Some CAM practices are acupuncture, energy practitioners, massage therapists, bio energetic practitioners, neurofeedback training, intuitive healers, healing touch, and Reiki practitioners, just to name a few. I offer remote healings through my website, www.liveyourpresentmoment.com/remotehealings.
Some other you have taken a more indirect approach (like the window instead of the door) and work with mandalas, journaling, music therapy, labyrinth walking, just to name a few. Under the guidance of an expert practitioner, these alternative approaches can work in unison with the intention to create optimal health for positive results.
When you become an active participant in your holistic health management and are truly committed to it, you give yourself an opportunity to experience fully what is going on at the level of the physical body in a whole new way, with new and constantly evolving meanings. This doesn’t mean an either/or when it comes to deciding upon your healthcare providers.
Using both conventional and energy medicine means having a complete array from which you can choose. It is important to find a level of comfort to understand when a doctor is needed or when energy medicine is needed (or both) to reestablish your physical and emotional balance.
BY: Stephanie Stanfield, PhD
Live Your Present Moment
2001 Blake Ave. 2-A
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601