Holistic Health

We hear a lot about holistic health, but what exactly is it? Wikipedia is always a good place to start:

"Holistic health is a concept in medical practice upholding that all aspects of people's needs, psychological, physical and social, should be taken into account and seen as a whole. As defined above, the holistic view on treatment is widely accepted in medicine. A different definition, claiming that disease is a result of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental imbalance, is used in alternative medicine."

While traditional medicine can approach disease holistically, an advocate of holistic health will generally look beyond Western medicine in approach. People who approach healing in a holistic way will try to work with not just the body but the mind and soul, and try to solve health issues with more natural approaches than with drugs or surgery.

The Western medicine method is generally to approach the body in parts rather than looking at the whole. Let's say someone comes into a traditional doctor's office complaining of acid reflux. The doctor may prescribe some pills and send the patient on their way. A holistic approach would be to look at the person's diet, stress levels, and energy, making adjustments to lifestyle a priority.

Holistic health encompasses a whole person approach that includes diet and nutrition, stress relief, exercise, spirituality and energy.

Related to holistic health is “natural health,” which focuses on natural cures, but the two are not quite the same.

Natural Health vs. Holistic Health

What is "natural health?" Here's a formal definition of natural health from The Natural Health Perspective website:

"Natural health is an eclectic self-care system of natural therapies that builds and restores health and wellness by working with the natural recuperative powers of the human body"

In this view of natural health, only natural causes and cures are considered. This strict interpretation means that using any sort of energy healing is not a form of “natural health.” They write:

"Natural health, thus, excludes all belief systems that say disease is a result of anything other than natural causes. If health, wellness, illness, and healing is held to be caused by something that cannot be physically measured or detected then it is not about natural health. This would accordingly exclude faith and psychic healing, supernatural forms of alternative medicine, and some Eastern philosophies."

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More to come! Meanwhile, check out some recipes.