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What does a Holistic Approach to Life and your overall health really mean?
A Holistic Lifestyle is an approach to a persons health that considers the whole person and how they interact with their overall environment. It emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning in an optimal and synergetic way. With a Holistic Lifestyle people accept responsibility for their own level of well-being and take charge of their own health.
Holistic health relates to much more than just the physical body. It addresses five key elements that must be in balanced and maximized to their fullest potential to achieve the highest level of individual happiness.
The five key elements to a complete holistic healthy lifestyle focus on a persons:
Intellectual well being.
These 5 key elements in combination “Holistically” are what enable a person to truly live each day to the fullest.
Frequently what I have found is that if any one of these five key elements are out of balance or compromised, most likely other elements will be effected as well.
Holistic Health was Developed some 5,000 years ago in India and China. At that time it was not referred to as Holistic Health but was simply based on living a healthy lifestyle in harmony with nature. The term holism was introduced in the mid 1920’s as a way of viewing living things as “entities greater than and different from the sum of their parts.”
Currently science and medicine have created a shift in our view of health. Health is now thought to be a commodity that can be purchased with prescription drugs. We are taught that masking the symptom is the norm versus curing the root cause of the problem. Doctors frequently prescribe pharmaceutical medicines to address issues with blood pressure, anxiety, depression, diabetes and ADHD – to name a few – all without addressing a persons diet, exercise or lifestyle.
We live in a society where people have come to believe that they can make poor diet and lifestyle choices, and todays science and medicine will come to the rescue.
Sadness over a loss, anger that is suppressed over long periods of time, anxiety about an upcoming event, these are real issues that occur every day for many individuals. These feelings if not addressed can manifest themselves as physical symptoms. Taking a pill is not always the correct “cure” to the issue when possibly addressing the root cause would prove to be of a longer term benefit to a persons well being. As an example – a record high number of Americans – 40% – which is over 100 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Without significant changes, as many as 30% of people with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Diabetes ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. but has been shown that a large percentage of diabetes can be reduced and in many cases, eliminated simply through a change in diet.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention further reports that the key factors influencing an individual’s state of health are as follows:
Quality of medical care 10%.
Heredity and Genetics 18%
Everyday lifestyle choices 53%.
The impact of poor diet, negative attitudes, lack of exercise, low self esteem, poor quality of life, are all far more important elements to a persons health than any other cause. Working toward the five key elements of a healthy lifestyle can improve your overall level of well-being.
Recently there has been some trends toward healthcare professionals using a more holistic approach in working with their patients. This involves treatments that support the body’s natural healing system, proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes that take into consideration all key elements of a persons well being. This holistic approach to healing addresses the elimination of the problem not just the masking of the symptoms.
In my next topic I will go into some methods to achieve a more holistic lifestyle and discuss the 7 dimensions of wellness
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