So… what is meant by the term holistic? Derived from the word “whole” it emphasizes the importance of the whole rather than individual parts. In the case of holistic healing, it encompasses your physical body, emotions, mind, and spirit. And in the best of cases, your lifestyle.
In recent years we’ve been hearing more about the mind-body connection and in fact there are many mind-body programs in hospitals and clinics that are very successful. Although I love these mind-body programs, I believe they are avoiding one important element: that of the spirit. The spirit is the activating life force energy within and around each living being. To neglect or ignore this is like trying to put something broken back together without the parts. It’s like trying to repair something with scotch tape rather than with the nuts and bolts it came with.
Although we’re gaining comfort with the idea of a mind-body approach, we seem, as a western civilized society, to be resistant to healing from the level of spirit. We’re even resistant to addressing the emotions as to how they might relate to our ailments, whether physical pain and dis-ease, mental illness, or the varieties of discontent associated with our relationships or lack thereof, our jobs or financial state, and even that feeling of emptiness that comes when you’ve achieved everything you thought would make you happy and fulfilled yet you still feel something is missing.
The missing piece from a holistic approach is the spirit, often ignored in our society, in fact looked upon with suspicion in many cases. It’s not understood clearly and it’s certainly not given value. Perhaps it is too tied in with religious concepts? But it’s time to address the spirit and emotions along with the mind and body, to see each one of you as the whole being that you are.
In my next post, I’ll discuss one important way to begin focusing on the whole, rather than on seemingly separate parts.