Holistic care is often defined as a form of ancient healing approach in treatments that looks at the whole person: body, mind, and spirit and their interconnection. This kind of healing approach often involves multiple complimentary medicines and alternative healthcare practices that can overlap with modern-day western medicine. The methods are meticulously planned in precision to go beyond the singular treatment of symptoms to support more than just the body. The health of the whole person and how he or she interacts with his or her environment is considered during the treatment. Its goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where over all body systems are functioning to the best levels possible in relation to each other. With holistic health people accept responsibility for their own level of well-being, and everyday choices are used to take charge of one’s own health in relation to their surroundings. Complementary therapies along with scientifically proven methods are also used in holistic care.
Ancient healing traditions, dating as far back as 5,000 years ago in India and China were based on the principle of living a healthy way of life in harmony with nature. Two of the most well documented ancient holistic health traditions are Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. Socrates (4th century BC) warned against treating only one part of the body and said “for the part can never be well unless the whole is well, a foundation principle of holistic care.
Scientific medical advances temporarily sidelined holistic approaches in favor of modern medicine during 20th century. People demanded ways to get quick results which proved ineffective and also harmful in some cases on the long run. In addition, many chronic conditions do not respond to scientific medical treatments. Modern medicine couldn’t fix some of the diseases directly related to unhealthy lifestyle choices. As the world wakes to the benefits of nature friendly treatments and way of living, the holistic approach to health and healing is coming back to the centre stage. The holistic and healthy lifestyle is regaining popularity each year, as its principles offer practical options to meet the growing desire for enjoying a high level of vitality, pure energy and well-being in tune with nature.
Holistic approach in treating ailments is an ancient medical tradition of India. Ayurveda traces its origins to a text written by Sushruta, the “father of Surgery,” in the 6th century B.C. The traditional healing practices incorporate beliefs in the five great elements of the universe, the seven primary constituent elements of the body, and the three “doshas,” or biological energies, that each represent. Using a system of eight treatment disciplines, holistic health practitioners guide their patients to balance and moderation. When all of these complimentary elements come together for holistic healing, a person is much more likely to experience wellness on a deeper level that allows for a more joyful and truly healthy way of living.
Sustaining healthy life would mean balanced inter-play of all the elements of nature like air, water, land, plants and animals. An individual through his being which is made up of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas is constantly interacting directly or indirectly with everything in the surrounding environment. A problem in one area of a person’s body impacts all of the other parts and activities of that person and disturbs the harmony of her/his surroundings. Elaborating further, when an individual is anxious about some external factor his or her nervousness may result in an internal physical reaction such as a headache or a stomach ache. Also when people suppress anger at something or someone over a long period of time, they often develop a serious illness, such as migraine headaches, emphysema, or even arthritis which effects daily functioning of that person. This is where holistic care offers nature friendly solutions and differs from the modern medicine as a holistic approach to healing goes beyond just eliminating symptoms.
The root cause of any ailment physical or mental lies at the cellular level of a being hence the treatment should be aimed at the same level to achieve positive sustainable results. The symptoms of any medical condition are nothing but the signals indicating to the actual area of the problem which needs immediate attention. In holistic approach the symptom is used as a guide to look below the surface for the root cause and then treating precisely the areas which needs attention.
We live in a time of imbalance, polluted environment and unavoidable adulterated food consumption habits. We are facing epidemic rates of obesity and chronic diseases related to life style habits. Almost everyone in our fast-paced society struggles to manage daily stress, and many are afflicted with chronic depression and anxiety leading to major illness over a period of time.
The seemingly harmless daily choices people make are the channels of matter they consume both physically and mentally. A person’s mental attitudes are built from what they choose to see, hear and dwell on. The majority of illnesses and premature death can be traced back to the lifestyle choices people make knowingly or unknowingly. There are also other well-known causes connected with drugs, alcohol, nicotine etc., and less recognized are the effects of daily consumption of wrong quantities of sugar, caffeine, and harboring negative mental attitudes like anger, stress etc,. Combined with deficiencies in exercise, nutritious foods, and self-esteem, these gradually accumulate harmful effects. With time they diminish the quality of the “environment” within that human being, and can set the stage for illness to take hold. The principles of holistic treatment states that health is more than just not being sick it is about improving levels of well-being slowly but steadily. Holistic health is an ongoing process as it works on preventing ailments through overall healthy living including diet, sleep, exercise and daily routine.
The holistic health principles can also be applied when disease and chronic conditions occur, where the healthcare professionals work in partnership with their patients. They work through treatments complimenting with medicines that support the body’s natural healing system and consider the whole person and the whole situation.
Yoga and detoxification by ayurveda and naturopathy are offered to normal persons to move towards higher abilities at physical (beauty, fitness, immune stamina, eye sight), mental (better concentration, IQ, memory, emotional stability), social (healthy interpersonal relationship), emotional (mastery over anger, fear, anxiety and depression) and spiritual levels (inner joy with right knowledge and confidence).