Holistic health does not focus on specific body parts but instead as an approach to life as a whole. It is an ancient health approach with the emphasis on the connection between spirit, body and mind. Holism principles have been around before traditional Chinese medicine or Ayurvedic eastern healing traditions.
The theory is applicable to interrelated parts, spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. For optimum health, every part of you must work together cohesively.
Practising holistic health means that you treat your entire body as a single unit. Holistic practitioners will tell you that a whole is far greater than the sum of parts. To build your health on holistic health fundamentals you can:
- Feel better
- Much faster recovery after injury
- Prevent diseases
- Reverse the effects of aging
- Stay younger for longer
You can use a holistic approach within a couple of foundational elements. These are lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and medicine.
You need a specific mindset to live a holistic lifestyle. It will become second nature to seek healthy activities. Therefore, will you actively participate in movement, recreation and sports and your nutrition will be based on fresh produce and making nutritious food choices. It might require effort on your part to achieve a natural way of thinking. Fortunately, it is something that is habit-forming. It is the same as going on a diet, instead of going on a specific diet, a word all of us dislike, but as soon as you think of it as a lifestyle choice, it is simplified.
Exercise provides our bodies with the needed therapy, therefore, should we take a holistic approach in exercise too. It is very easy to get hooked on a specific exercise type, like weight-lifting, swimming or yoga. However, our bodies require all the components to remain healthy. We need to practice stretching, strength-training and cardiovascular conditioning. When you do all three, you are taking the holistic approach to exercise since you nourish your whole body with the different benefits of each exercise type.
Holistic nutrition is very much based on mindful eating. Every time you eat something, choose wholesome foods that will provide nourishment to your whole body. It means that you shouldn’t concentrate on single food groups, but a variety. You want to minimize unhealthy food consumption, but wholesome foods. Wherever and whenever possible you should avoid eating the same food groups repeatedly, for example, you love green beans and oranges, so only concentrate on these. Eat vegetables and fruits that are in season. Whenever you feel run down or ill, your entire body gets affected. Use foods and herbs that will nourish all the systems in your body and take the holistic approach for quick recovery.
Easy strategies for holistic eating
Holistic nutrition will not bet you bogged down with scale readouts, macros, calories or depression when you don’t hit your goal. You don’t need to worry about the nutrition panel and categorize can’t and can. A holistic approach to nutrition is embracing intuitive eating and shutting out math and unhelpful noise. The holistic approach is about respecting your body, sustainable nourishment and honouring yourself.
What is mindful eating?
- You become mindful that food is fuel and not filler
- It liberates you from food controlling you
- Without policing food, it helps you to revise habits which you wish to change
- It helps you to recognise the cues your body give you regarding being full and hungry
- It respects sizes and shapes and more specifically your own body
- It promotes food as pleasureful, not guilty eating
- It rejects the culture of diet
- It helps you to recognise exercise as part of holistic movement instead of a calorie-burning tool
How to master mindful mealtimes
- When possible, prepare or cook your own food
- Pay attention to the texture, taste and smell of your food
- Eat away from your office, cubicle or desk during work hours
- Turn off Hulu, Netflix or even the TV for that matter
- Don’t scroll online or social media as it is an unnecessary distraction
- Analyse what you eat by really tasting flavours and why you think they go well together
Holistic therapy allows your body to heal faster. A natural health provider evaluates your entire body system when symptoms of illness arise.
Holistic health practices include:
- Ayurvedic medicine
- Essential oils
- Herbal remedies
- Massage therapy
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Therapeutic touch
- Nutrition therapy
- Mind, body, spirit healing
Keep in mind that you need to put all of this together, not for perfection, but for better habits and ultimately better health. To live a holistic lifestyle, it is much more than only eating, but an entire mind-body practice. This holistic approach that you can start with baby-steps will extend to every part of your life. It will help you to feel in touch and connected to your body.