Holistic healing began thousands of years ago before scientists were even considered scientists, and definitely before any ideas of modern-day medicine were conjured. The first remnants of holistic healing appeared in ancient Chinese medicine, dating back to 5,000 years ago. Back then, people thought that the human body contained the ability to heal itself, given the right natural elements and persuasion.
What is holistic healing? Holistic healing is the practice of treating a person – entirely. This means that when a person falls ill in the mind, both the physical body and spirit are considered, and vice versa. Practitioners believe that by doing so, one can fully access the root of the issue and take care of it, rather than examine individual symptoms or pains.
Although both traditional and modern medicine are always both factors at play, alternative methods are more in favor of holistic medicine. Acupuncture, herbal eats (herbology), essential oils, and meditation are authentic practices of ancient Chinese medicine that evolved into holistic healing practices and then once again to modern-day trends, according to WebMD.
These are the four beliefs of holistic healing doctors (as provided by WebMD):
- All people have innate healing powers.
2. The patient is a person, not a disease.
3. Healing takes a team approach involving the patient and doctor, and addresses all aspects of a person’s life using a variety of healthcare practices.
4. Treatment involves understanding and fixing the cause of the condition, not just alleviating the symptoms.
Holistic medicine: Different ways to heal
When someone visits a holistic clinic, the doctor will most likely introduce suggestions to a patient’s lifestyle to promote better choices and overall enhance the patient’s well-being. This can include diet, exercise, psychotherapy, and relationship or spiritual counseling. Likewise, if a person is experiencing severe nausea visits a holistic doctor, the doctor analyzes every potential factor related to the pain. The history of one’s health, current diet and sleep habits, stress and personal factors and even their spiritual practices are considered. Pharmaceutical drugs may be prescribed to aid symptoms, but these doctors believe the real healing lies within adjustments.
A variety of treatment techniques have been curated for patients to be able to take responsibility for their health. Depending on the practitioner’s training, these will vary, but the goal is putting the patient’s life back into their own hands.
Overall, holistic healing asks every practitioner to interconnect mind, body, spirit and their surroundings together in order to achieve a perceived balance of awareness and being. This directly involves identifies the emotions, pains and stressors of a person, which isn’t easy. Honestly, it kind of asks a lot out of a person with little to no extensive health-related education, but it’s definitely not impossible to overcome.
For example, if someone (who practices holistic healing themselves) has a headache, instead of popping an ibuprofen, they go sit outside if the weather is pleasant, or take a hot bath if it’s not. While self-medicating is not against the rules, in this instance, it could have been a lack of vitamins or one’s body temperature that was off-put, and since holistic healing strongly recognizes the heavy impact of the environment on the body, other remedies are considered. Another scenario is if a person is feeling anxious, they can interact with certain stones (think amethyst, jade, quartz, etc.) before laying them upon their chakra points.
At this point, if you’re thinking “What?” or “How the hell am I supposed to keep up with those sort of things?” don’t worry. Learning these techniques definitely take time, practice and effort, but holistic healing is boundless because it stimulates yourself as a unit, and when someone takes the time to think about what their body is REALLY asking for, that has to be a good thing. To put it simply: it’s all about achieving balance.
Alternative methods for beginners
Holistic healing can include common things too, such as practicing yoga, laying in sunshine and gardening. Yoga increases blood flow, the sunshine gives you essential, natural vitamins, and gardening produces herbs for you to eat, make medicine with or for D.I.Y. house items.
Maybe it seems hippie, but holistic healing works for people and has been for over 5,000 years. So, here are some beginner holistic healing practices for those interested in learning more about holistic healing.
Gardening requires the five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Not only does gardening serve as a natural way to provide connections within oneself and the environment, but it is also known for revealing healing qualities within the actual physical labor. The labor releases endorphins and serotonin, while your senses buzz activate your entire limbic system (the part of the brain co-piloting emotions, motivation, learning and memory).
If you don’t have a garden, good news! The Atlanta Community Food Bank needs volunteers for their Community Gardens Project. Volunteers participate in the cultivation and preservation of over 100 inner city garden plots.
If you didn’t know this before, these garden plots actually feed people – actual families and communities. Since fast food industries and companies like Monsanto emerged and took over, it has gotten easier to forget where real food comes from: this beautiful earth.
Holistic healing practices are ingrained with ideals like consuming with sustainability and replenishing the places you take from (like the body and the earth). Gardening provides food. Food provides life. So, not only are you helping balance your own health, but you’re also giving back to the community.
- Use essential oils in the bath by adding three to eight drops to the tub, depending on the oil. Add it just before you get in and soak for at least 10 minutes.
- Also, oils are suited as inhalants to treat congestion (try eucalyptus) or stress (try peppermint or sandalwood). Put four drops in a bowl of hot, almost boiling water. Breathe in the steam for several minutes.
- The easiest and quickest method may be rubbing a dab of oil behind your ear or on your temples. For specific oil types and remedies, visit a holistic shop.
Crystal healing aids those who wish to connect with certain energies and require specific properties to help bring out whatever is searched for.
- Quartz crystal: activates and aligns the energy centers in your body: clarity, light and healing.
- Rose quartz: stone of love that helps open the heart and connect to an energy of love.
- Amethyst: cleanses the aura and attracts new positive energy into your life.
- Citrine: stone of abundance, happiness, opportunity and light.
- Turquoise: healing stone to strengthen the entire body.
Carnelian: enhances creativity, joy and pleasure, as well as self-expression.