What the Heck is Holistic Health Anyway?

Holistic health can sound like one of those trending new fads that come around every year. In reality, holistic health has a long history to back it up. Although you might not realize it, you may already be engaged in some holistic health practices every day. This approach to wellness takes into account that our health depends on a wide range of factors. Your emotional health, mental health, physical health, social health, and nutritional health are all equally important and play a role in your overall well-being.

It Isn’t All Anti-Science

There are many myths surrounding holistic health because many of its core concepts are based on folk remedies that have been passed down through many generations. Modern medicine prefers using laboratory-tested medicine to treat illness and restore health. However, there are some aspects of wellness better suited to a lifestyle-based approach. For example, “curing” a bad diet full of processed food can be done by eating holistic whole, fresh food. Making certain lifestyle changes is one holistic way of tackling health problems. This works to support, rather than undermine, medical care.

Using an Integrated Approach

Holistic health is an integrated approach to health that takes into account that there are health practices and natural remedies that existed before modern medicine. For example, traditional approaches to health from China, India and the various countries of Europe existed for thousands of years prior to modern medicine. These take into account that a person’s health is connected to the natural world. Holistic approaches integrate the positive aspects of these approaches with the benefits of modern medicine. For example, exercises like yoga can lower your blood pressure, release endorphins in your body and regulate your breathing, supporting other medical treatments.

What’s with All the Oils?

Essential oils are some of the most popular tools used in holistic health to relieve stress and anxiety. Some of the most commonly used holistic oils include lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint. These oils can be found from shampoos to soaps and candles. Although essential oils like hemp oil previously had a bad reputation due to their relationship with the marijuana plant, many people are learning more about the benefits of these products. Hemp oil, different from CBD oil, is extracted from different parts and types of hemp. CBD oil has also been shown to have a number of positive effects in relieving pain and reducing stress, far beyond the pleasant scents provided by many essential oil products.

Get off Your Chair

Holistic health includes your physical wellness as part of your overall health. Physical wellness can include getting enough sleep, stepping out into the sun to get some fresh air and taking care of proper hygiene. If you normally sit in your chair for long stretches of time, try to take a walk outdoors, go on a hike or head to the beach. Having good physical health can easily translate into other aspects of your well-being, and you might see an improvement over your emotional and social health as well.

Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is damaging to your well-being and self-esteem. We spend a surprising amount of time talking down to ourselves and telling ourselves that we can’t do something. Your negative thoughts can easily manifest physically. For example, your heart rate can go up, your blood pressure can increase, you can start to sweat noticeably and your muscles can become tenser. This is an area in which holistic approaches to mindfulness and self-care can help to improve your well-being.

You may not engage in all of the approaches to holistic health at the same time, but its principles, such as physical health, nutritional health and emotional health working together in harmony, are already practiced by many people. By combining traditional healing practices with modern medicine, people can improve their overall wellness and explore new ideas.

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