Holistic Health – For Optimal Well-Being Pay Attention to Mind, Body and Spirit
I suppose at first it may be strange to see a blog post about holistic health on a counselor website. Mental health is a big part of taking a holistic approach to a person’s overall health, though, and I am a strong advocate of this with my clients. No matter what issues bring a person to my office, I almost always find myself spouting off about self-care – which usually starts with “get enough sleep each night, eat healthy, and exercise” even though those are all related to physical health, not mental health!
Mental and physical health are so interrelated though, this is why I’ve asked Jessica Lee Reader of Vitalized Body here in Littleton, Colorado to write a guest post for our blog. Jessica works with people individually and in groups to provide education and guidance in nutrition, weight loss and other health related services. We both hope you enjoy her thoughts on holistic health and why this is such an important approach to taking care of ourselves for a long, enjoyable life.
Cathy Wilson, Director of LifePaths Counseling
Our primary health goal should be to achieve optimal well-being both mentally and physically. Ideally, every system should be functioning at it’s very best possible. However, in our modern society we have exposure to many factors that can hinder our health. We may find ourselves getting tangled in a web of multiple symptoms and conditions that affects our daily lives. We are living in a fast paced world and want quick answers to fix a long-term problem. A quick fix however, may provide the end result of a Band-Aid effect, where it does not address the underlying issue. When seeking solutions to support our body and gain balance, we often tend to underestimate the importance of a holistic approach. Holistic health is a form of healing that considers the person as a whole and emphasizes the connection of mind, body, spirit, and emotions.
A holistic approach acknowledges that if a person has one imbalance in their life it can negatively impact their entire overall health. Treatment involves supporting the root cause of the condition and not just alleviating the symptoms. This balanced approach to health considers how the individual interacts with his or her environment, rather than a conventional approach that focuses on specific parts of the body. Lifestyle choices are used to take charge of one’s own health and gain proper balance in life. Principles of holistic health include the belief that all people have innate healing powers, and the individual as a person and not just a disease.
A holistic practitioner may use a variety of alternative therapies to support an individual. They look at all the potential factors that may be causing the symptoms such as health problems, diet, sleep, stress, and personal issues. The therapeutic plan may involve education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. This may include nutrition, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and more. Healing may take a team approach that addresses all aspects of life and uses a variety of healthcare practices. A balanced approach may include complementary therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, and others.
If you are tired of the “quick-fix” then it is time to take charge and begin a balanced, holistic approach to accomplish optimal health and feel your best. Let’s work together towards your goal of enhanced mental and physical well-being.
Certified Master Nutrition Therapist, Jessica Lee Reader