What is Holistic Healing?
By LeAnne, Co-Founder of Arogya Pure Self
Medical practices can be lumped into two categories: holistic medicine and allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine starts with a diagnosis of disease and then looks for a treatment. In the west, we primarily look to treat the symptoms of an illness with a particular cure, such as a pill or tincture, or other medical intervention. Herbs and “natural” cures can be used in allopathic medicine. If you are ingesting something to alleviate a symptom, you are practicing allopathic, or western based medicine. And, in many cases, an allopathic approach works great. Sometimes the quick alleviation of headache with an aspirin is exactly what we need in the moment.
Yet most of us know that we are more than a diagnosis and there is often more to healing than the right medicine. We all know that instead of an aspirin to treat the headache, it might be better to prevent the headache in the first place. This is where holistic medicine comes in.
Holistic medicine is an approach to healing that focuses on utilizing natural or place-based products, non-invasive techniques and existing systems within the body and within the natural environment that then interact to support and sustain wellness. Spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing support a healthy body and a healthy body is vital to our mind and spirit; there is a connected system at work. Herbs and herbal remedies are frequently used in holistic medicine, but not all holistic systems are the same. As one embarks on a healing journey for themselves and/or their pets, it can be helpful to be aware of our own personal needs and goals, as well as our own philosophy on healing.
Here are a few healing systems that utilize herbs within a holistic system:
Ayurvedic Medicine: An ancient approach from India, Ayurveda medicine focuses on your particular body type and corresponding dispositions to health and disease. Your constitution is identified and you work to balance the mind, body and spirit through a variety of herbs, diet and meditation. Mt.Sinai Medical Center states that there are over 20 modalities used in Ayurveda (https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/treatment/ayurveda). Some of them include:
- Herbal medicine
- Massage with herbal oil
- Cleaning the body/detoxes
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Chinese medicine is similar in many ways to Ayurveda. Disease is often seen as a result of imbalances in the body and mind. Your life energy, or “qi” is dependent on the balance of your yin and yang energies. Herbs are often used to maintain and support proper energy flow and organ function. According to Mt. Sinai (https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/treatment/traditional-chinese-medicine), there are several modalities that can be used:
- Herbal medicine
- Acupuncture and acupressure
- Moxibustion, burning an herb near the skin
- Tui Na Massage
- Tai Chi and Qi Gong (movement with meditation)
Western Herbalism: Western herbalist employ a wide variety of tools and techniques and philosophies. In general, western herbalism often incorporates both scientific and anecdotal accounts of herbal remedies starting with the biological being. Simultaneously, western herbalists take in the totality of the individual, recognizing the complex interplay of energy, spirituality and one’s emotional state on healing.
Holistic healing often takes time and there is rarely an exact “dose” or approach, yet holistic healers know there is power in the strengthening of our immune systems, our bodies to prevent a physical manifestation of illness. Herbal supports can do that for us (and also our pets)! If you are here, you are probably a lot like us! You know that our health is multi-dimensional and natural supplements are available to assist us in reaching our own whole-health goals, and to strengthen your pure self – Arogya Living!
Here are some resources for diving deeper into holistic healing:
Holistic Therapy: Treating Body, Mind, and Spirit for Whole Person Healing: https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/holistic-therapy#what-is-it
This blog has a great overview of the types of treatments frequently used in traditional ayurveda: https://ayurvedichospital.com/en-blog/25-highly-effective-ayurvedic-therapies-for-health-and-longevity