In a culture strongly focused on instant gratification, navigating holistic medicine takes shifting into a different mindset. If you have thought about exploring the many systems and modalities of holistic medicine, here are a few insights highlighting some of the general inner workings to make the process easier and a bit more transparent:
1) There’s no pill-popping miracle. Holistic medicine can work many wonders in the face of chronic illness but there are relatively few modalities, if any, that will completely and instantaneously erase your suffering or concerns. It took time for you to get sick and, likewise, it will take time for you to heal. The beauty of many holistic modalities is that in taking into account the wholeness of you as a unique individual, they are utilized to seek out the root cause of your concerns and address them. Ultimately, they may bring you to experience a heightened quality of life that you may have forgotten was even possible- but this takes time and patience with the process.
2) You are in control. In your path to health you are still the driver with your practitioner as your co-pilot, offering potential routes geared to your individual concerns and needs. Your path has to feel accessible to you and only you alone can commit to following through and making consistent decisions that enrich your health.
3) There are many faces of health. What is healthy for the next person is not necessarily what is healthy for you. As a unique individual your body will have its own fine-tuned scale of what creates balance in your body-mind. Likewise, what causes an ailment (e.g.: headache) for you may be altogether different from the person who walked in to the office before you or walks in after you. Given that the cause of a specific ailment may be different from one person to the next, the method to address it is also likely to vary.
4) Your body is your mind is your body is your mind… From a holistic vantage point, the two are inextricably linked. What you do to one (e.g.: how you navigate emotions, how you think about yourself, how you treat your body) affects the other. For instance, in many holistic schools anger and resentment are seen as damaging to the liver as is over-consumption of alcohol. See the two as one and you will be more ready to make leaps and bounds in your exploration of holistic health.
5) Health is a lifestyle. Health isn’t something you do just once and then *flash!* everything is better! It is a commitment to valuing yourself. Your practitioner or doctor can lead you step by step until you’re ready to stand on your own, empowered with your knowledge about what personally creates health and happiness for you in your life. Fifty percent of any holistic therapy is the therapy itself. The other fifty percent is what you do on your own time taking into account what you have learned. To make health sustainable, make caring about and for yourself a priority. Make it a lifestyle.