Holistic Health Movement
Welcome to the Holistic Health Movement, which has five pillars (Kopelman, 1981).
1. Maintaining a positive orientation to health and well-being is essential.
2. Claiming personal responsibility for our state of health matters.
3. Health education is of the utmost importance.
4. Preserving sovereignty over societal and environmental health influences is critical
5. Choosing natural interventions and treatments enhances life.
One of my heroes said that the word doctor means teacher. Doctor stems from the Latin word docere, meaning to teach. (Nuland, 2012). Holistic healthcare practitioners are teachers of wellness. A doctor serves to transform a person’s body, mind, and spirit. The Holistic Health Movement might have begun in 1926, when Jan C. Smuts created the term holistic from the word holos, meaning that the sum of a human being is greater than the sum of its parts (Gross, 1980). Unfortunately, some people in healthcare believe medicine must be scientifically objective to be valid and valuable, requiring compartmentalized diagnosis and treatment. Holistic medicine approaches disease differently, diagnosing and treating the whole person. Nuland contends that medicine is not merely science; it is an art that utilizes science. Holistic health care practitioners rely on science but practice art, using the wonders of the natural world to inform treatment. Nature is healthy when there is balance in the ecosystem, and humans are no different. Holistic health is all about finding balance.
The goal of holistic health is not to mask symptoms with drugs. Masking symptoms destroys the purpose of the symptom, which is to guide the person towards better choices like eating good food, exercising well, and thinking positively. Symptoms are messages, and the body never lies. (Brogan, n.d.). For instance, pain is a messenger. If the messenger is killed, an opportunity for healing is missed. Symptoms are an opportunity for transformation, not a curse. Learn to love your symptom and trust that they will guide you to a better life if you listen and respond.
Invest in your wellness every day. Holistic health is not just the absence of disease but rather the presence of a fortified resistance to illness (Gross, 1980). Prevention of disease is imperative. Holistic Health Movement advocates inspire others to learn how to live a lifestyle of personal satisfaction and health preservation (Pelletier,1977). The Holistic Health Movement empowers others to thrive by improving their daily habits, leading them towards a vital life.
What makes holistic health different from many other forms of medicine? I am aware that I have a headache right now. Shall I take a Tylenol? No. If I cover up the symptom, what have I learned? The headache is a guide here to redirect me towards better health. I should trust the message, listen, and respond. Hence, it is time for me to get up from the computer, go for a walk, and do some yoga. We must practice what we preach, leading by example, modeling good behavior, and healthy thinking (Domenech, 2014). Twenty minutes have passed. I took a walk in the neighborhood and stretched my body. The headache is gone. Thank you, headache, for leading me towards a healthier body holistically.
Brogan, K. (n.d.). Vital Mind Reset. Retrieved from https://www.kellybroganmd.com/
Domenech Rodríguez, M. M., Erickson Cornish, J. A., Thomas, J. T., Forrest, L., Anderson, A., & Bow, J. N. (2014). Ethics education in professional psychology: A survey of American Psychological Association accredited programs. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 8(4), 241–247.
Gross, S. J. (1980). The Holistic Health Movement. Personnel & Guidance Journal, 59(2), 96.
Kopelman, L., & Moskop, J. (1981). The holistic health movement: a survey and critique. The Journal of medicine and philosophy, 6(2), 209–235.
Nuland, S. B. (2012). Recapturing the Art of Medicine. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal, 8(4), 47–49.
Pelletier, K. R., (1977), Mind as a healer, mind as slayer. New York: Dell.