What is Holistic Healing?

While it might come as a surprise to many, the term "holistic healing" is actually a bit redundant. Why? Because the origin of the word "healing" from Old German in itself actually means to make whole. Unfortunately, the word healing nowadays often brings to mind complex and sometimes uncomfortable medical procedures, and the use of pharmacological agents that come with a host of side effects. Real healing, or at least in the sense that the word was meant to represent, is the quest for optimal health and wellness that considers the whole person -- body, mind, spirit, and emotions. The body may be composed of many different parts, but these parts really never really function independently of one another. A problem in one part may manifest itself in a totally different area of the body. On that level, conventional medicine has created a disconnect. It considers something wrong with the stomach just a stomach problem that a gastroenterologist would handle. Something wrong with a knee, a knee problem to be shuttled off to an orthopaedist. In fact, the stomach problem could be a complex emotional issue, and the bum knee could be an ankle or hip problem.

Why would we choose holistic healing as opposed to allopathic treatment? On the surface, allopathic treatment seems quick and effective. Perhaps antacids for the stomach, maybe pain killers for the knee, and the problem is solved, right? Well, not exactly. Besides the fact that most allopathic treatment has side effects, symptoms can be supressed for only so long. Pain and discomfort are the body's cry for help. If the oil light on our car dashboard flashed red, and we cover it over with tape, the problem hasn't gone away. We've only hidden it until all hell breaks loose. So it is with healing. Treat the symptoms while ignoring the bigger problem, and it's bound to come back to bite us sooner or later. Restoring balance on all levels, aligning the inside and the outside, and harmonizing the body and mind, are what will bring us true health. Perhaps no one put it better or more simply than Plato, who said: "The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”


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