What Is Holistic Healing?
Holistic health is one of those topics that is so all-encompassing that it could seem too vague to understand. It has had a history of being seen as too “woo-woo,” typically practiced by hippies, self-proclaimed “witches” and health “gurus.” In the past it has had a bad rap of being inconsistent, lacking scientific data to back up its impact and has had parts of it (like herbalism) demonized. But, what is holistic health really?
What is holistic health?
Holistic health is an integration of those currently conventional Western health practices with both Eastern and Western folk medicine and historical tradition to the land of origin. When it came to treating my eczema at its absolute worst - which was back in 2004 as a sophomore in college - I found that my serendipitous minor in holistic health at the time was a lifesaver.
Balancing the mind, spirit, body, and more
When I learned about holistic health at San Francisco State University, it was the first time I was introduced to the concepts of balance. To see the mind, emotions, and spiritual or philosophical aspects of how one lives their life as viable components in living a healthy lifestyle and preventing disease. It was the first time that I learned that living a healthy and successful life included things other than money, like happiness, peace, balance, and feeling fulfilled with one’s vocation or career.
Through holistic health, I learned that stress impacted the entire mind and body systems. That stress was not a sign of weakness or emotional incompetence.
It taught me the importance of eating quality, organic food and to consider the entire process of how I nourished myself from the way in which crops and livestock were grown, raised, harvested, manufactured, and delivered to my local grocery stores. And even more so, the way in which I prepared my meals and how I felt when I ate them. Little things mattered, like not multitasking and making sure to be in a calm state chewing my food completely and enjoying it so that my body can properly digest and absorb as much nutrition from the food as possible.
Meditation and breathwork
Holistic health also introduced meditation and breathwork to my life which are now key and daily components of how I handle stress, including the stress of feeling itchy. Being able to choose to get to a calm place mentally, see the bigger picture and use my breath with purpose. To relax and let go have empowered me so much in my healing journey and work as an eczema educator and advocate.
Different medical and health professionals
If it wasn't for holistic health, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I would not have learned about how much power I have over my health and life. I would not have realized that there are other ways to be healthy or that there were other kinds of medical and health professionals that I could go to like acupuncturists, naturopaths and herbalists to help me with my skin and my anxiety over it.
My journey with holistic health
It has been an amazing ongoing life lesson on how to live a healthy lifestyle. And how in doing so, it helps us to heal from the majority of things that we typically go to hospitals and Western medical doctors for. It is taking back our health and leaving the life-and-death situations to specialized professionals who are trained for that, but not necessarily everyday lifestyle healthy habits or prevention that we can do for ourselves.
Have you tried holistic health for eczema or other symptoms? If so, what was your experience like?
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?