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What Is Holistic Health?

What Is Holistic Health?


Holistic health is a term used to describe a whole person in terms of caring for the mind, body, and spirit.  If you have visited a physician lately, you might have noticed that the doctor or nurse practitioner asks about symptoms and overall general physical health.  You might be given an examination and maybe get a referral for a few tests.  At the end of your appointment, the doctor or nurse practitioner might prescribe you a medication to help with symptom management.


In holistic health, this typical doctor’s visit looks considerably different.  First, holistic health looks at the whole person including mind, body, and spirit and how these interact with the environment.  Second, there is less focus on illness and disease with holistic health.  Finally, the focus of holistic health is functioning well at every level.


Holistic health generally emphasizes diet, exercise, attitude, behavior, and spirituality in order to heal the mind, body, and spirit.  Holistic health does not replace traditional medical care or surgery when needed.  It is more of a way to heal the body and keep it healthy through lifestyle changes.  Many individuals who engage in holistic health practices feel empowered through caring for themselves and their well-being outside of traditional medicine.


Some individuals refer to holistic health as complementary to traditional healthcare practices.  Some will engage in chiropractic care, acupuncture, homeopathy, meditation, or massage.  If you have never practiced  holistic health, it might be a good idea to start slow.  You might want to try a massage or meditation at first to see how it works and how you feel afterwards.  If you notice improvements in your overall well-being, try adding more practices such as acupuncture or chiropractic care.


The one downside to holistic health practices is that most health insurance companies will not pay for these types of treatment.  Most individuals who wish to engage in holistic health practices typically pay for the services out of pocket.


There are free alternatives to going to a holistic health practitioner and these include self-meditation, a natural diet, and exercise.  Meditation can be done in your home and all it takes is a quiet place, free from distractions and deep breathing exercises.  A natural diet can be incorporated into anyone’s health plan by selecting fruits and vegetables over potato chips and other high-carb snacks.  Individuals can also benefit simply by taking a 15-20 minute walk outside.  Getting fresh air and exercise can do wonders for the mind, body, and spirit.


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