There are increasing numbers of people from all sections of society who are experiencing chronic ill health. Imbalances like digestive complaints, infertility, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, joint pain are all becoming common health issues. Chronic health imbalances are growing at an alarming rate and are also affecting the younger generations. This has led to a rise in the search for a more holistic and natural approach to health. What does this approach involve?
True holistic health care involves understanding what is going on in the body when it becomes imbalanced and taking positive steps to support the body to move towards a more balanced level of functioning.
The first step in this process involves understanding the language of the body at a deeper level by viewing symptoms as a form of communication from the body and not something which needs to be suppressed?
What are Your Symptoms Communicating?
Each symptom is a warning sign from the body that something is wrong. If fire and smoke alarms go off in a building it is probably a signal of an actual fire. We don’t just switch the alarms off and forget about investigating why the alarm was triggered. If there is a genuine fire then we must actively take steps to put it out.
The same connection needs to be made with symptoms from the body. For example, a headache may be eased by using a pain killer which, essentially switches off the alarm but the imbalance which caused the pain will not have been addressed. The pain may have been triggered by many factors like dehydration, stress, toxicity, blood pressure changes, a lack of sleep, constipation and so on. In chronic pain the symptom of pain is often just the tip of the ice berg with a much larger and hidden imbalance.
When we switch off symptoms in this way without dealing with the core imbalances the body usually responds by creating a new symptom which on the surface seem unconnected to the original symptom. The new symptom is often more serious than the original symptom. In this way the body is making a deeper level of communication with you to resolve the imbalance. For example, a child with eczema using steroid creams for a few years may find that the eczema clears but they develop increasing levels of mucous congestion from the lungs resulting in hay fever or asthma type conditions. According to naturopathic principles, the suppression of the skin as an outlet for toxicity triggered the movement of toxicity to the lungs for elimination.
Look at Health from Another Perspective
We need to look at our health from a wider perspective rather than just focusing on symptom elimination. Holistic health care involves understanding that symptoms and health issues do not just randomly happen in isolation. There will always be influencing factors which lead up to the symptom appearing.
For example, you may have noticed that you seem to be having symptoms like pain, increased swelling, cravings and irritability on a regular basis. It may be that these symptoms have been occurring around the full moon but you haven’t made this connection. In ancient times and up until the early 20th century doctors and dentists knew not to operate or extract teeth around the full moon as the body would bleed more. How can we explain this? Our bodies contain large amounts of water. Could it be possible that the pull of the moon which influences the tides also has the same pulling influence within the body? Around the full moon this pull would be the greatest resulting in increases of water pressure and mineral flow within certain parts of the body.
To get this deeper level of understanding we will therefore need to consider as many influences on your health as possible. The reason being is that we are not isolated beings. We influence each other and are in turn influenced by many factors including our thoughts and feelings. A holistic investigation is therefore required which involves piecing together your health story and identifying as many influencing factors.
Building Your Health Story
Get a pen & plenty of paper and give yourself a quiet space for a few hours to piece together your health story.
Step 1: Start by building a picture of your current state of health.
Scan your body systematically from head to toe & identify any areas of imbalance. Include any physical symptoms and/or emotional and mental health issues
Identify any factors which are influencing your current health:
- Are there any areas of stress within your life such as: work, relationships, lack of sleep, low motivation etc
- Is your current diet hard for your body to process? Is it lacking in essential nutrients. Is this diet contributing to a poor state of health?
- Is your body sensitive to certain stimuli like light, sound, chemicals, electrical equipment, WiFi etc
- Have you noticed any changes to health brought upon by seasonal and or lunar cycles?
- Have any recent treatments adversely affected health: supplements, medications, vaccinations, complementary therapies?
You now have a good picture of the current imbalances and possible influencing factors. The next step now involves looking into the past and making further connections. Patterns of imbalance should become clear as you look at how health has changed in a logical sequential order. In this way symptoms are not seen in isolation but connect to other symptoms.
Step 2: Now look at your past health issues from the point of birth up to the current point.
To build this part of your health story consider your mum’s health during pregnancy, your birth and feeding details, development stages.
- Find out about your diet from birth, concentrating on key development stages. Remember that each developmental stage requires specific nutrients to be in place in the diet.
- Were there any health issues during childhood, puberty and adulthood?
- Identify any family health patterns like arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism & depression presenting within your grandparents and parents. Any health issues/weaknesses they present may have been passed onto you as they are the source of the building blocks for your body from conception.
- Identify any levels of past sensitivity to stimuli like: light, sound, chemicals, electrical equipment, WiFi. Consider the influence of the seasons and lunar/solar cycles.
- Identify any areas of past stress: work, relationships, lack of sleep, low motivation etc.
- Consider the influence on your health of any past treatments, supplements, medications, vaccinations etc.
Aim to connect all of this information you have pieced together from the past and the present so that you can build a picture of how you have been influenced over time to create the current health picture. Only then can you understand the root causes and begin to address them in a holistic manner. You may need to seek help to interpret and make the connections from all the information you have gathered. Please contact me if you need any support with this process.
By systematically and logically building your health story it will help you to understand that you are an individual with a unique set of circumstances which has influenced your health. This process should give you major insights into the areas of imbalance with your health.
Restoring the Balance
The body has a natural mechanism to restore homeostatic balance whenever any process shifts out of balance. The key is to support this process by using the appropriate holistic techniques such as nutritional therapy and naturopathy. This topic is discussed in further detail in the article 'Restoring Balance to Health'
Summarising the steps to holistically connect to your health
- Shift focus from the outer label of a disease or disorder to resolving underlying imbalances
- Take steps to determine the root causes of any health imbalance rather than focusing on just symptom removal.
- Re-connect with the body to understand its inner communication to you - What are your symptoms communicating?
- Recognise that there are many factors which have influenced and are influencing your health. Symptoms do not just randomly appear - Build your holistic health story
- Always include nutritional health as imbalanced nutrition is a major contributory factor to many health conditions: weight issues, joint issues: arthritis, diabetes, skin issues: psoriasis/eczema, mental health issues: depression
- Support the body to regain homeostatic balance
If you would like to holistically resolve your health issues or you would like to learn more about this subject please contact me for further information.