Our bodies are a complicated system of physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. When something goes wrong with our body, most people will likely turn to the help of traditional medicine. However, traditional medicine focuses on the study of physical aspects of health. Holistic health, on the other hand, studies the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life. Holistic health, then, believes that all aspects of life are interconnected and equally important. Treatment in holistic health focuses on this belief, usually leading to the use of holistic therapy. In addition, holistic health philosophies may also work in traditional medical practice as a way to view patient care broadly.
Holistic therapy is a generic term for any treatment that is intended to treat the individual as a whole (mind, body and spirit). This term is also often used as a catch-phrase for complementary or alternative medicine. Whatever you care to call it, there is a growing trend toward supplementing traditional medicine with other methods of healing. These articles were chosen to help you reap the potential benefits of holistic therapy, while avoiding the pitfalls.
Understanding holistic health requires starting at the beginning of its history. Before the many different types of holistic therapy were developed, it took a while for it to be integrated in the mainstream health care system.
Maintaining “good health” is more important than taking extra care of a particular part of the body. Achieving this wellness can be compared to the goal of reaching Nirvana in Buddhism, as reaching the ultimate goal is not easy, and most people fall in between the ultimate goal and the opposite end.
Holistic approaches and Gestalt therapy fit together perfectly. Gestalt therapy, like holistic therapy sees each individual to be unique. This form of therapy is not viewed as a cure-all, but offers an individual the tools to encounter any situation and deal with it successfully.
Holistic and alternative therapies are becoming increasingly popular these days. This is due to the nature of modern day living, with the extra stresses, strains and demands put upon us. Mental and emotional stress can have a physical impact on the body, often resulting in aches and pains, headaches and other symptoms. If left, these symptoms can end up resulting in a more serious type of illness.
Holistic therapies work to heal symptoms on all levels - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Yes you can just treat the physical symptom, but if the underlying cause of the problem is ignored it is unlikely that the symptoms will disappear or get any better.
Everyone can benefit from holistic therapies, from the stressed to the ill to the elderly. Even people who would consider themselves perfectly balanced can still benefit as holistic therapy treatment can help keep them in tip top condition. The actual range of illness's and disorders that can be treated holistically, by balancing the body, mind, spirit and emotions so treating the body as whole which in turn helps the body to relax. When the client receives a holistic treatment for a parlicular ailment, it also helps other conditions improve, having boosted the immune system, which is one of the achievements of holistic medicine.
Holistic therapies have become increasingly important in these busy times, as to stay healthy and happy it is vital to regularly take a little time out for yourself to truly let go, relax, and let yourself recharge.
This form of therapy blends eastern and western philosophies. The capacity to love oneself and to view the various parts of the self as spiritually integrated and in harmony with the universe at large is restored.
ROLE OF HOLISTIC HEALER
The holistic healer recognizes that our discomforts or pains are merely symptoms of an imbalance. The imbalance could be a physical issue, the result of abusing the physical body through an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, or too little sleep. Or, the imbalance may be the result of mental, emotional, or spiritual needs not being met. No aspect (mind, body, spirit, or emotions) of a person is overlooked when an holistic treatment is sought. The holistic healer looks at the "whole person" in order to make his or her complete evaluation and uses all information gathered before suggested treatments to the client are offered.
Holistic approach vests importance on:
In holistic medicine, spontaneous disease is regarded as a general or overall imbalance in the individual's vital energy flow, which may be corrected using natural healing methods and by prescribing the optimum conditions in which the body's own self-healing process can take place
the first objective of a holistic practitioner is to find out as much as possible about the patient's background - not just their medical history, but also their lifestyle, diet, mental outlook, ambitions, creative drive and so on. Disease - and vulnerability to infection etc. - is seen as a consequence of some deeper or more general imbalance.
Mind and Body
In holistic medicine, body and mind are regarded as one integral function, rather than separate mechanisms, and there is an emphasis on mental and emotional states and the effect these have on health and well-being. Another feature of holistic is the emphasis it places on preventative systems
Types of Holistic Healing Therapies and Treatments:
The types of holistic therapies available are extensive. Among them are:
Some distinguishing holistic therapies focus either on the body, the mind, or the spirit.
1. Body holistic therapies – these treatments are examples of holistic health for the body. They may also help the mind and the spirit. They include:
Acupuncture: originating in China, acupuncture involves inserting the tips of needles into specific points of the skin. It is used to treat a variety of disorders through the stimulation of nerve impulses.
Chiropractors: chiropractors treat health problems dealing with the body’s muscles, nerves, or skeleton (usually the spine). They usually adjust the spine, correcting misalignments that may affect the brain and nervous system.
2. Mind holistic therapies – this type of holistic therapy affects behaviour, emotions, and other issues of the mind
Psychotherapy – psychotherapy is the biggest application of mental holistic health therapy. It involves developing an interpersonal relationship with a psychotherapist and usually involves the sharing of experiences and feelings for the benefit of mental health.
Meditation – meditation is a deep focus or reflection that can relax the body while the mind enjoys the most simple form of awareness, opening the door for mental or spiritual clarity.
3. Spirits – this type of holistic therapy helps the patient understand his or her purpose and journey in life
Psychics: psychics are people who claim to have heightened intuition. Seeing a psychic may help you answer questions that you would not be able to answer otherwise.
Astrological counseling: practitioners of astrological counseling use astrology for a basis knowledge. The information obtained may help understand general life issues and receive warning for future danger.
The following is a brief summary of the most widely available and most popular holistic therapies:
MASSAGE THERAPY is one of the oldest and first styles of holistic therapy known today. There are two types of healers, the professional physicians and folk healers. The folk healers lived in the lower class and healed the people of each village who could not afford the expensive physician.
ACUPRESSURE involves the application of finger pressure to Chi energy points.
HERBAL MEDICINE is the use of the curative properties of plants in the treatment of disease; it is the oldest healing system that we know of. Herbal medicine was popular in ancient Egypt, as well as in China and ancient Greece. Many herbalists believe that for every disease there is a herbal cure.
HOMOEOPATHY is a healing system based on the principle that "like cures like". It is believed that small doses of lethal substances could be used to stimulate the body's self-healing responses. Modern homoeopathy has evolved from this discovery. The basic approach is to identify a substance which produces identical symptoms in a healthy person to those of the patient. it believed that the smaller the dosage of the toxin given, the more effectively it was absorbed into the system. The standard homoeopathic method is to dilute the active substance with spirit - 1 part active substance to 99 parts spirit.
NATUROPATHY is based on the principle that the body's own self-healing powers can only be properly effective upon the removal of negative, artificial and unnatural conditions - including bad eating habits, destructive thoughts, irregular sleep, lack of fresh air and sunlight, and so on. Treatment may include a variety of techniques, for example massage and herbal treatment, and individual exercise and diet programmes.
OSTEOPATHY involves the manipulation of the joints and muscles to relieve tension and congestion around nerve roots. Osteopathy is especially concerned with the condition of the spine (the technique's originator, Andrew T. Still, asserted that many seemingly unrelated conditions could be traced back to spinal damage). Osteopathy is not restricted to physical manipulation but incorporates several other forms of healing.
REFLEXOLOGY - Therapy based on the concept that different areas or "zones" of the feet relate to various parts of the body, and that correctly applied pressure or massage of these zones can produce a remedial effect in the corresponding area of the body afflicted.
AROMATHERAPY - The use of essential oils in combination with therapeutic massage techniques.
BACH FLOWERS - A system of herbal medicine used mainly in the treatment of mood and emotional disorders.
BIOCHEMICS - Therapeutic system based on the premise that many forms of illness are linked to an excess or depletion of one or more of the body's organic salts.
IRIDOLOGY - Diagnostic technique based on the premise that the physical diseases are specifically reflected in the iris of the eye, and that patterns on the iris can be interpreted to diagnose disease.
Holistic therapy and anxiety: Holistic therapy is a great alternative way to treat certain disorders which can cause mental and physical discomfort. Holistic therapy and anxiety therapy can even go hand in hand because there are many holistic therapy treatments which can help relieve the symptoms of anxiety, making anxiety therapy quite useful when holistic therapy methods are used during treatment. For instance, removing certain anxiety triggering foods and medications out of your daily diet can greatly help a person suffering from anxiety. When holistic therapy is applied to anxiety therapy, it gives the therapist and the patient the tools needed to uncover the root of the anxiety, and learn how to resolve the symptoms and discomfort based of treating the root of the problem so the patient can learn through anxiety therapy what triggers there anxiety.
Breast cancer: Holistic therapies, including relaxation, meditation, acupuncture, and more, that have been shown to help manage the side effects and pain associated with breast cancer and breast cancer treatments.
Holistic Therapies are used extensively With Pain Management in the following ways:
*Massage is an excellent form of healing to reduce and relieve pain.Reflexology, Acupressure, Acupuncture and Chiropractic treatments are also very beneficial in pain management.
* Crystal Healing Stones are very beneficial in clearing blockages of energy. They promote the cleansing and releasing of blockages within the body. Chakra balancing using different colored crystal stones placed over the chakra or around the body assist in aligning the body with healing energy. Crystal healing also allows the Aura to be healed and cleared. It is believed that physical illness commences in the Aura and works it's way into the body.
*Hands on Healing Treatment Book a session with and energy healer. Reiki and pranic healing are an excellent way to heal the body.
*Healing Herbs are also excellent to assist with ongoing chronic pain. Herbs are natural healing plants that heal the body and can be applied to the body in oils, digested naturally or as supplements or taken as herbal tea infusion.
*Breathing and Meditation is also another powerful way to assist with acute pain management. The slow gentle process of meditation has proven to assist with pain by gently guiding the body to relax and let go of all tension and stress. A guided meditation on how to breathe and visualize the pain floating away and leaving the body has proven very beneficial to many people.
Benefits of Holistic Therapy
1. These types of therapies can be used to heal medical problems but also are a very powerful form of preventative medicine as well, using only natural ingredients and healing methods, with no toxic effects on the body.
2. They are excellent for stress relief which is believed to be one of the major causes of disease and illness world wide today.
3. They are also excellent in controlling pain relief for many people on a daily basis i.e. Reiki, pranic healing or any form of hands on healing.
4. Generally these therapies are inexpensive especially compared with traditional medical treatments and consultations.
5. Holistic therapies heal a person on all levels including physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually which traditional medicine often overlooks when treating a patient.
Naturally at times you will need to consult your doctor for treatment although when incorporating healing therapies into your lifestyle many people have found this to be greatly reduced.
Mostly holistic therapy systems are patient centered and are less invasive. The practitioners of holistic therapy often look for the symptoms that are related to distant causes, such as toxicity, digestion, or mental and emotional health.When any one of these can be discovered then the practitioner can recommend a method of alternative holistic medicine.Most often these medications are used to prevent illness, reduce stress, prevent or reduce side effects of conventional treatments and symptoms, and control or cure disease. These medicines may not work as fast as the treatments that we have today, but they work. Holistically and naturally these treatments work. These types of treatments can be better for most of you.
“Does a holistic problem definition ignore the problem? No! A holistic psychotherapist is not a Polyanna pretending that everything is good when it is not. A holistic psychotherapist puts the good and bad into a realistic perspective. The lack of balance in the psychology world today is actually unrealistic because it's definitions of functioning are based on dysfunction.” Dr. Deb.
Author Brief Bio: Ruby Agarwal is a psychology graduate, pursuing her MBA in Human Resource Management. She is also doing her Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Guidance. She practices Pranic Healing and is working with a few NGO’s, highly creative, loves travelling, reading and a guitar player.