1.Incorporating the concept of holism, or the idea that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts, in theory or in practice.
- Medicine/Medical. Identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, especially one considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and often involving nutritional measures: holistic medicine.
The word holistic is derived from the Greek word ‘holos’ meaning ‘whole’ and true to form, in holistic therapy, the body is treated as a whole rather than a sum of its parts. Instead of an immediate symptom being addressed, a therapist will endeavour to identify an underlying issue. This is done by considering all of our states of wellbeing; physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual.
Socrates said in the 4th century BC, “the part can never be well unless the whole is well”.
A holistic therapist will work to restore the natural balance and harmony of your body. There are many aspects of our lives today that can throw us off balance; stressful jobs, fast paced lives, the ever increasing levels of pollutants and chemicals we both inhale and ingest and poor diets. It seems to be all too often that we are driven to live with anxiety and depression because today’s society is not conditioned to nurture our spiritual and emotional needs.
Rather than turn to already stretched GPs for anti-depressants and other medication, many people are reverting back to eastern medicine to support their metaphysical being. Dating back to as far as 5,000 years ago in India and China, holistic healing was born from the idea that we should live in balance with nature and harness the natural energy that surrounds us. Choosing to use alternative therapies can help to calm negative emotions such as stress and worry while boosting your general sense of health and wellbeing; below are some of the alternative therapies that are offered at Total Health Clinics.
Dating back to 2000 years ago, acupuncture is a Chinese therapy that serves to balance the flow of energy through the body. The needles that are inserted remove the blockages in the body that is disrupting the energy flow and resulting in disruption in our wellbeing. This is the eastern approach to acupuncture.
The western adaptation is more directed at relieving physical symptoms of muscoskeletal pain during a physiotherapy session, by stimulating the central nervous system to treat pain.
A slightly misleading name, because during reiki, there is no physical contact between the patient and the practitioner. Originating from Tibetan Monks over 2000 years ago, it’s a healing technique whereby the therapist channels energy into the patient’s body by realigning the Chakras and the whole body is treated. As a result, feelings of relaxation, peace and serenity ensue. While the practice of reiki has deeply spiritual roots, there is no requirement for the patient to be spiritual to feel the natural healing benefits of reiki.
You may find that a therapist will spend longer at a particular chakra within the body; for instance the throat chakra which centres on communication. You may even acknowledge that this coincides with a specific event in your life at that time, or an emotion. For instance, there may be an important issue that you have recently encountered but you are not effectively communicate your thoughts or feelings to the relevant people? Many people find that the energy and blockages the therapists will feel validates decisions that they are trying to make, or helps them to overcome stagnant situations.
Reflexology is the method of massaging the feet, although it’s not uncommon for hands to also be massaged. A similar therapy dates back to ancient China and ancient Egypt, but has been widely used in the western world since the 1960s.
The theory behind reflexology is that there are areas mapped out on the feet that correspond with parts of the body, which falls into the ethos that the body is treated as a whole. It is believed that the left foot corresponds with the right side of the body and vice versa. Any areas within the body that are out of balance will be felt on the feet when they are being massaged and the area will feel tender. The degree of the tenderness will indicate to the practitioner the level of unbalance.
As with many forms of massage, the lymphatic system may be stimulated and you may find yourself tired or fatigued while the body rids itself of toxins.
When receiving a holistic treatment, your body is able to indicate the areas that need attention, whether that is in a physical, mental or emotional sense. While it is not necessary for you to visit a GP for a referral for a holistic treatment, holistic practitioners are unable to give a medical diagnosis. If there are still specific symptoms that are troubling you, it is advised that you visit your GP.