Holistic medicine is the set of disciplines and techniques that use a holistic approach to healing. In this article we talk about the holistic view of health and propose a list of disciplines that fall under alternative medicine and, more generally, natural medicine.
The holistic approach
The holistic approach involves a unifying vision of health that encompasses all parts of the human being: body, mind and spirit.
Holism, whose etymology comes from the Greek olos (all, total), considers the human being as the whole of all its parts: physical, mental/emotional and spiritual apparatus.
The body, the mind and the Spirit are not really separated, but they penetrate and influence each other. In fact, if a “part” undergoes an alteration, the other “parts” are also affected. In fact, illness (even if it manifests itself on the physical plane) has its origin in the inner sphere (mental or emotional).
Although most people still believe that the disease is caused by external factors, it is actually caused by internal imbalances (energetic, emotional or psychological) that contribute to the appearance of a problem in the physical body.
For this reason, the approach of holistic medicine is not aimed at curing the symptom, but rather at identifying the real cause that generated the problem.
In this vision, every disease is seen as a message (manifested in the body) that must be understood and listened to, certainly not repressed.
Unfortunately, still today, I see many people using drugs and medicines with a lot of superficiality: you take an Aulin for headache or Tachipyrin for two lines of fever, without being aware of what you are doing. Instead of understanding why this problem is occurring, we are just trying to eliminate it, and as quickly as possible.
On the contrary, holistic medicine, taking its cue from ancient oriental medicine and natural medicine, tries to understand the reason for the discomfort and to work on it or, even better, to implement a preventive lifestyle.
Health, healing and disease
In this vision, healing therefore consists in restoring balance and harmony to the “systems” that have generated the disease.
A fundamental aspect of holistic medicine is the ability of the body to heal itself, which is stimulated to restore health in a natural way and consistent with life.
This awareness presupposes the existence of an intelligence that underlies life itself, capable of triggering a mechanism of self-healing (just think of the ability of self-regeneration of cells, tissues, organs, etc.).
Another important aspect that holistic medicine cannot ignore is the responsibility of the individual in the process of illness and healing.
In fact, the importance that the mind (and emotional states) plays in these processes and how thoughts (and emotions) can contribute to creating or accelerating disease, as well as allowing or speeding up healing, is now demonstrated.
Recent studies on epigenetics, for example, have shown that thoughts and beliefs can modify the structure of our DNA. (If you want to deepen look at the studies of Bruce Lipton)
Another important aspect to emphasize in the vision of holistic medicine concerns prevention (understood as a healthy lifestyle) which is fundamental to maintain a state of health. The attitude of each of us should therefore be responsible and aimed at preventing disease, an attitude that allows us to make conscious choices for our health, both physically, mentally and spiritually.
Some practical tips, useful for your health can be: eat healthy food (food with good energy quality), feed on positive and conscious thoughts, follow the “feeling” of your soul without creating internal conflicts, try to know deeply yourself and your unconscious.
Already following these directions we could promote the well-being and health of our body/mind/spirit system.
List of holistic disciplines
Natural therapies, energy disciplines, but also some spiritual practices, can be part of what is commonly called “holistic medicine” (or alternative medicine), which today is becoming increasingly accessible and widespread, even in the West.
While in the East this natural approach has always been the basis of medicine (just think of traditional Chinese medicine or Ayurveda) in the West the approach has so far been the prerogative of allopathic medicine, but things are changing quickly.
All these practices have the general aim of bringing harmony back into the body, mind and spiritual sphere, each with its own specific approach. Some techniques are more oriented to work on the physical plane, others on the emotional one and others on the energetic and spiritual one.