Holistic health is it real

by Karla Walter
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There is an endless list of diets and an endless list of people trying them. We can read about it in magazines, books, online, social media, anywhere people can get a message across. The themes change from weight loss to beautiful skin, thin thighs, long flowing hair, strong nails, improve your eyesight and on and on the list goes. 

There are also the schools of thought plus many books and articles that all you need to do is take supplements, or protein powder, a new pill for this or that. The varying schools of thought range from almost entirely synthetic supplement foods based on daily allowances for various vitamins and other nutrients, verified in a science laboratory, to the increasingly popular whole foods school, based on traditional patterns and verified by hundreds to thousands of years of practice and observation. So many of these schools have valuable information and ideas to share, which leaves the health-conscious consumer navigating and weaving through the claims and counterclaims, theories and facts, to arrive at a dietary system that suits their individual physical needs and personal philosophy.

Holism

The holistic view is not a new one, but has existed since the dawn of mankind’s history, and is still the prevailing philosophy of all societies. However, I see what we call the Western world caught between holistic and laboratory. A fundamental premise is that of personal responsibility for self, based on self-awareness, accepting that as we are the cause of our illness, we are also the author of our own health.  For that, we need information, both theoretical and practical, and it comes from many unexpected sources. Holistic thinking, by its nature, draws on all aspects of the scientific and medical spectrum.

We see how our outlook of the holistic view of the body is different from a more modern medicine approach. The holistic approach may take into consideration both internal and external factors. These may be food, drink, exercise, emotions, stress, home, work, etc., rather than singling out a specific organ or two that are in a state of ill health and perhaps not involving the rest of the organs or external influences. Therefore, holistic approach sees the organic function.  Thanks to the precise and powerful aids of perception developed as a consequence of scientific development, physicists are finding out what the great mystics have always insisted upon, namely that the universe is more than the sum of its parts, and that the reality is a complex web of relationships, where the observer is never totally separate, but involved simply by the act of observation.  All traditional and holistic medicines place a strong emphasis on the largest “system” being in balance, the harmony between body, mind and spirit, as the basis of enduring health.  Perhaps the summary below will help:

balancing-calmHolistic overview

*        Each person is generally aware and has a sense of whether they are in a good state of health or not. The sense that something is wrong is usually correct.

*        Malfunctions of the organism can stem from physical, psychological or spiritual events. Finding the underlying cause and correcting it, allows the body to make certain changes; the immune system takes over from there. The physical and non-physical are equally real.

*        A healthy organism will tend to correct its own minor imbalances, if allowed to do so; medical treatment may often interfere with that self-healing ability.

*        Symptoms are a message from the body about its condition and its function. The same condition may give rise to symptoms of different kinds; conversely, different conditions may cause similar symptoms. Symptoms are the way the body communicates with us. Our problem is, we don’t pay attention or we don’t know how to listen to the symptom.

*        Healing of major diseases may occur because the immune system is sufficiently strong, perhaps supported by a change in diet or by psychological or spiritual renewal.

*        Food can be a direct cause of the proper or improper functioning of the organism.

*        Quality, quantity, stored energy, taste, colour, aroma and texture of food all have psychological and physiological effects on the organism.

*        The organism reacts to and interacts with its natural environment; climate, season, altitude, and weather all affect it.

Our health is a work in progress and one that can bring great joy and excitement as you learn more about who you are and what your body is telling you.

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and avoid becoming afraid of “bad” foods. There are people who enjoy a strict regime, for others it only results in excessive bingeing. If you are prone to bingeing, loosen up your allowances slightly until you feel comfortable, a little self-discipline notwithstanding! The most important thing of all, when eating your own food, or food cooked for you, is to be thankful, grateful for the efforts of the planet and people to provide you with nourishment. Chew well and you have immediately improved the quality of the food and your health.

Modern medical philosophy or holistic wellbeing

* There are medications that are needed and are responsible for people leading amazing lives.
My question is on medication that is prescribed when it may not be necessary. I’m not anti medication,
I’m against the ease and abuse of it.

Karla Walter Nutritionist www.5seasonsliving.com

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