Holistic Healthcare: Self-Care for ALL of You
With holistic healthcare becoming more accepted and visible today than ever, we understand how helpful it can be to clarify what it is and what it is not. Put simply, holistic healthcare isn’t replacement for conventional medical care; it is centered on the idea that as a whole person, we aren’t made up of multiple unrelated parts. Rather, all parts of our selves are related and dependent upon one another. Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts all depend on each other for our overall well-being. When we are able to address, balance and integrate our parts, we increase our ability to create wellness.
Although there are many wellness practices now under the holistic healthcare umbrella that can give you a sense of these connections, here are a few to give you a sense of how self-care of all your “parts” can help your whole self.
• Focus on nutrition. Most of us understand that nutrition can significantly impact our physical state, but our mental state can also be dramatically affected by what we ingest. Science suggests that sound nutritional self-care can be quite effective in alleviating mental health issues. In addition, we’re discovering that there are mental health issues that are actually a result of nutritional imbalances and poor diets. Changing to a nutrient dense diet and incorporating nutritional supplements (under the care of a trusted physician) has the potential to improve many mood disorders.
• Keep a positive attitude and outlook. While we can’t ignore the fact that life can be hard and sometimes dark, each of us can improve our lives by focusing on our blessings and the sunny side of life. Having a positive outlook can give us the ability to better handle challenges, and cope with stressful situations. A positive attitude can lead to lower rates of stress, depression and dis-ease.
• Consider alternative medicines. Treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care and the use of essential oils are all gaining recognition as legitimate treatments for conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression. While we don’t want our patients to ignore the importance of traditional medical care, we also encourage our patients to consider all possibilities.
• Engage in activities focused on relaxation, breathing, and visualization. Practicing meditation techniques that quiet the mind can help regulate emotions, mood and stress. Massage isn’t just about relieving physical symptoms; its benefits extend to the mental and spiritual level as well. Yoga certainly offers physical benefits, but it can also help with reducing stress and anxiety too.
• Move your body joyfully. Regular exercise and time to play can have a profound effect on your emotional wellness and you don’t have to be an exercise fanatic to experience its positive impact. While sustained movement is always beneficial to your health, even a leisurely walk outside with a friend can boost your overall mood, help you sleep better, and relieve stress.
When we make a point of recognizing and caring for all parts of ourselves, holistically, we are able to build strong, healthy relationships, handle life’s challenging and stressful situations in effective ways, and gain a greater level of genuine happiness.
Holistic healthcare is all about total self-care and giving ourselves the opportunity to give each part of ourselves meaningful attention, so that we can recognize these benefits and more.