Seeking to maintain or restore good health? Think harmony–not tune-up or repair.
Illness is dissonance. The holistic practitioner does more than focus on wrong notes. He/she undertakes a detailed examination of the body’s many systems to discover where and how they have stopped working properly together.
Patients are sometimes surprised by the questions a holistic practitioner asks and the nature of the examination.
Perhaps you’re troubled by constipation. Why is the practitioner looking at your feet or your hand? Why are they checking pulses on both wrists, rather than just one? Why do they ask about your emotional temperament or what position you sleep in? What relevance is your blood type?
Traditional and complementary therapies centre on getting the body to work like an orchestra to make beautiful music. Like sections of the orchestra, each body system can perform separately–but all the time fully aware of the fundamental role every other part plays. Restoring good health requires our body’s orchestra of organs, tissue, muscles and bones to be at their best individually but also collectively.
Mind-Body-Spirit is the mantra of Holism, comparable to musical chords made up of top, middle and lower notes. Regardless of the sequence of notes they are equally important. What happens when we play an incorrect note? Instead of music we get incoherent, disjointed ‘noise’ i.e. disharmony between mind-body-spirit.
A symptom like constipation is the consequence of such disharmony. Understandably, most people will think immediately of a problem in the digestive system. However, it may only be acting up as a result of a domino effect from another system or organ. Constipation can result from a poor diet; intolerance to certain foods; side effects from antacids containing calcium or aluminium.
More significantly it can also be due to low thyroid activity or neurological problems. So will taking a laxative solve the problem? The answer is no.
We need to address the root problem which offers a much better and longer-term solution. Using this approach holistic practitioners assess beyond just the digestive system to look for clues that can tell them where the root problem lies.
Practitioners may look at your feet or hands for changes in the skin but also to examine acupuncture or acupressure points. Comparing both wrist pulses for their rhythm is an essential Chinese diagnostic tool. Changes in behavior, sleep patterns or sleeping in certain positions can allude to certain diagnostic patterns in homeopathy, Chinese and ayurvedic medicine.
Practitioners adopting Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s approach (author of Eat Right For Your Type) will use your blood type to determine how it chemically reacts to certain foods.
Health restoration is like tuning a musical instrument, and must encompass a look at not just the body itself, but also what you put into it, and the environment it lives in. Most of our problems have been acquired over decades of gradual exposure to various health hazards.
- Start with the fundamentals of a healthy life style, diet and exercise.
- Get the right amount of sleep. On average7– 91 hrs for adults, more for children.
- Cut out or minimize intake of processed foods.
- Keep hydrated (preferably with filtered water).
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Routinely supplement with good quality multivitamins and minerals and omega- 3, 6.
- We increasingly live indoors which reduces our body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D. Thirty minutes daily (less for fair skinned people) of good midday sunshine on bare skin in e.g. shorts and tank top. In the UK it is almost impossible to get this amount particularly in the autumn and winter months thus creating a need for additional supplementation.
- As much as possible eliminate toxic environmental stresses. Xenobiotic chemicals found in our food and water, pesticides, plastic packaging, metal jewellery, shower gels, cosmetics, prescription medication etc. act as anti-nutrients and increase our nutritional requirements e.g. nickel increases the need for zinc and fluoride increases the need for iodine.
If you currently have health concerns, and your GP has not found a resolution to them, you may need additional advice on supplementation or holistic treatments. Consider going to a holistic practitioner, or for more complex problems, a holistic physician.