What do you think when you hear ‘holistic health’? Just a few years ago, this term would have been completely foreign to me. What I may not have realized is that I was already practicing holistic health to an extent without even realizing it. The simple intention of going to yoga to de-stress as part of my routine was a way of looking at my health holistically- I just didn’t know it!
If we completely unpack this term, here is what we get:
Holistic- the interconnectedness of the parts of an entity, for our purposes: ourselves
Health- the condition or state of something, for our purposes: a measure of our well-being
So, basically Holistic Health acknowledges that our wellness is based on the interconnectedness of our whole selves, including the mind, body and spirit.
That’s super vague, so how does this actually make a difference in how we look at our health?
This comes into play in a few different ways. First, we can think about our health holistically in that our different physical systems are interconnected. This is a huge shift in perspective because it causes us to consider that different issues or symptoms we are having may be stemmed from the same or a related root cause.
It also means looking holistically at our physical and mental health and seeing the interconnectedness of our mind, body and spirit. When my digestion was at its worse, I was also the most stressed and anxious I had ever been in my life. Initially I didn’t recognize that they were connected, but now realize that the stress was probably making my already sensitive digestion even worse!
A major defining factor of holistic health for me is also that it includes different kinds of health practices. It isn't the same as the idea of “alternative medicine” because we aren’t ruling out Western medicine and only looking at alternatives. We are instead looking at merging different approaches to find the balance of what works for our unique bodies. I found this to be especially true when working on my fertility. I was open to the suggestions made by my OBGYN, while also incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture.
What I love about holistic health is that it empowers us to get to the root cause of our health issues and feel the best we’ve ever felt by exploring and incorporating all different types of wellness practices.