What Is Holistic Health?

Over the last few years, holistic health has grown steadily in popularity. Recently a more natural approach to health has been taking over from the traditional ideas of what medicine should involve. With all the buzz around natural and holistic health, do you know the basics? What does holistic health mean to you? If you find that you are not as educated on the subject as you would like to be, read on! We will discuss the basics of holistic health so that you can be one of those people who are "in the know"!

What is holistic health?

“Holistic health is not itself a method of treatment, but is an approach to how treatment should be applied. Holistic concepts of health and fitness view achieving and maintaining good health as requiring more than just taking care of the various singular components that make up the physical body, additionally incorporating aspects such as emotional and spiritual well-being. The goal is a wellness that encompasses the entire person, rather than just the lack of physical pain or disease.? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holistic_health)

So, unlike traditional western medicine, holistic health considers the body as a whole, rather than just a mass of parts. It takes on board the idea that illness or sickness can affect more than just one part of the body even if the symptoms only present in that one part. Most notably, holistic health includes the idea that the mind, body and spirit are all connected and need to be considered as a whole. This means that if you have emotional pain it might transfer to your physical body – and in this case your emotional self needs to be treated as well as your physical self. This is quite a different tact to what has been seen as the serious form of modern medicine, in which mind, body and spirit are generally not connected.

Mind, Body, Spirit

Recently there has been a surge of awareness about the connection between these parts of yourself. Books and movies such as "The Secret" and "You Can Heal Your Life" have tackled the idea that your mind and what you think and feel can contribute to your health. Poor health can be caused by negativity or negative thoughts which transfer from the mind to the body causing physical symptoms. Those who believe in holistic health understand this, and advocate treatment that will treat ALL areas involved, not just the body! In a similar way, holistic health advocates know that the mind can be just as good at healing as it is at causing the problems in the first place. Because all of the parts of you are interconnected, it is important to take care of all of these parts.

What you can do to improve your health

Taking these points into account, there will be more to keeping you in good health than just hitting the gym a few times a week and giving up chocolate cake! Your physical health is of course very important, and you should watch your diet and make sure you exercise regularly. This will ensure that your body is in peak condition and that you will not be likely to have illnesses caused purely from physical unfitness. However, you will need to pay attention to other areas of your life too. Your emotional health is very important to keeping yourself in good health. There are a lot of factors that can affect your emotional health such as stress, anger and depression. If you find that you are struggling with negative characteristics such as these, it is a good idea to seek help from a professional. If you are constantly feeling angry towards others, it is not likely that you will feel your best or be in good health. And if you let these negative feelings progress too much you might find that you start developing physical symptoms such as head aches. You might want to take up a sport or try yoga or tai chi, as these things can help you to release your negative emotions and help you on the way to being emotionally healthy and happy. Similarly, your spiritual health is vital to ensuring you are well all around. Spiritual health can be harder to define, as it differs from person to person. But one of the best things that you can do to improve your spirituality is to spend time helping others. You can do this in a variety of ways, from volunteer work to visiting an elderly neighbor – anything selfless that you do just to brighten or improve someone’s day will improve how you feel as a person and make your spirit soar!

Holistic health is not just a "flash-in-the-pan" idea that will fade out in a few months. It is a strong idea that has been around for centuries, even though it became somewhat lost in the industrial and technological ages. The idea that the mind, body and spirit are connected is an ancient one, and something that bears a lot of consideration. If you want to be truly healthy it is a good idea to cover all of these bases and ensure that all three parts of yourself are taken care of.