3 Components of Holistic Health: Body, Mind, Spirit
The western approach to medicine dissects the body into parts and treats symptoms with experimental drugs that are synthesized from dissected plant life. For example, the active ingredient in Aspirin is the chemical mixture acetyl salicylic acid which was derived from the chemical salicin which is naturally found in white willow bark. Back in the day this bark was peeled directly from the tree to help people with pain from headaches, arthritis, back pain, and more. Holistic (Wholisitic) medicine treats the full spectrum of the human being -Body, Mind, and Spirit- through wholistic means.
The body is more intricate than the world’s largest clock. Like any clock, if one piece stops working, another piece won’t work properly, thus the entire clock becomes incapable of its basic function. Likewise, prescribing a treatment for one part of the body without taking the whole into account will cause adverse side effects in another part of the body and will not treat the root cause. Built up waste from excess aspirin, for example, can lead to stomach ulcers or cancer in the digestive tract.
Sickness in the body comes from the body’s inability to get rid of waste. These wastes can include everything from undigested foods, drug toxins, air & water pollution, and harboring negative thoughts and experiences. These wastes throw the body into a diseased state or commonly called a state of dis-ease. Waste elimination can be achieved by living a wholistic lifestyle. Everyday physical wellness can be achieved with a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and drinking teas, tisanes, and herbal tonics. These things combined enhance all bodily functions.
Ever heard the phrase ‘a mind is a terrible thing to waste’? Some people hear this quote and think only about education but it corresponds just as well with mental health issues plaguing all communities. Stress, anxiety, and lingering effects of lifetime traumas have debilitating effects on the mind and produce a chain reaction to the body and spirit. They manifest in negatively numerous ways throughout the body as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and back pain.
Western Medicine will treat these symptoms with pain medication, sleep medication, muscle relaxants, or whatever concoction they deem necessary without finding the root cause or suggesting a treatment that can actually cure the full spectrum of symptoms. More importantly, western medicine won’t cure anything. They will only suppress symptoms, cause new dis-ease, and continue supplying patients to their business model. Everyday mental health treatments include meditation, counseling, various art therapies, yoga and other full body activity, and a diet high in fruits, vegetables, water, and herbs. A combination of these things in a varying weekly routine is a pivotal start to a holistic health journey. Start slow and increase these activities as you move through your holistic health journey!
Spiritual wellness refers to our ability to connect with ourselves and other living beings. Spiritual wellness is the ability keep a calm mind during life’s most trying moments. More complex and abstract than the other components, the spirit relates to metaphysics and things that can’t be understood with the eyes alone; even under the strongest telescope. The spirit is our real life force. It can exist outside of our bodies and survives without food. But without physical wellness and mental wellness, the spirit is incapable of reaching its full strength and potential. Practicing yoga and meditation has tremendous effects on the spirit but the body and mind must be in full working capacity to experience full benefits.
A holistic approach to medicine involves a wholistic approach to life through simultaneously treating all three components: mind, body, and spirit. I don’t expect for this article to transform anyone overnight, but as you take this journey with me, I will provide tips on things we can do to treat ourselves well every day. We at Southern Bohème love tea drinking! It activates bodily functions, relaxes the mind, and stimulates the spirit. You can’t ask for anything more from a beverage; especially when floral diversity yields endless combinations of teas, tisanes, and tonics that please your pallet and promote wholistic wellness! Please stay tuned, for our next blog posts will include specific information on tea's wholistic benefits!