The word 'holistic' is often used in the health and wellness oriented industry, and frequently, very loosely, but what is a true holistic treatment?
As the word indicates, holistic encompasses an approach–for a diagnostic or for a treatment–that embraces the entirety of the being. It begs the question: What, in addition to the physical body, exists in and surrounding the patient that must be taken into consideration in order to fully embrace the whole being to make any practice truly holistic?
The first level of increased awareness, going beyond the physical, is fairly obvious and includes the mental and psychological aspects. What people think about themselves and others, combined with their emotional state, are relevant factors affecting any treatment, be it in a spa, a doctor’s office, or on a hospital bed.
At the second level of awareness of what is perceived as a part of the whole being is the notion of vital energy common to all energy medicines. This is sadly absent in so many wellness or medical practices. The fundamental idea that the physical body we see is but the tip of the iceberg is often ignored or considered too esoteric. Yet there is something else that is invisible but essential, namely, that the body is not only vital matter but also vital energy. Further, it is the vital energy that makes the matter vital.
To see a human being in a way that envelopes these two levels is already quite an accomplishment, yet it is incomplete, particularly when it comes to serious diseases with consequences devastating enough that the very spirit of the patient is also under attack. Critical to any possible healing are the core beliefs of the patient in view of the experience he or she is living. This is obviously a subject that concerns not only medical people but patients and would-be patients although this topic remains a very delicate one.
The third level has to do with the spiritual dimension of the one being treated. Some of us might be totally unaware of this aspect, or we might be simply putting it aside, maybe for examination at a later date. Another possibility is we might simply be genuinely oblivious to this part of our constitution.
From an ultimate point of view, the spiritual state of consciousness of the patient is not only relevant but might be a critical factor in dealing with serious ailments. Clearly, rare are the practitioners who will embrace this view or be willing and comfortable enough to incorporate the patient's spiritual state of consciousness into the equation when faced with a deeply serious health issue which on the surface appears to be simply material or physical.
But how is all of this relevant to our wellness and beauty focus? It actually directly relates back to PHYTO5’s motto: “Beauty is wellness made visible!”
In our previous blog, “Wei Chi and the Three Levels of Defense,” we saw that wellness and beauty concerns are outside the picture at the third and fourth levels of defense, but they are reasonable ones for the first two levels even when both Wei Chi and chi are under attack. It is when Wei Chi is strong and an effective defender of our health that our wellness and beauty objectives are most effectively achieved.
Maintaining a strong immunity with an active Wei Chi is of primary importance. In “Wei Chi and the Five Emotions,” we saw the role of emotions and the matter of emotional intelligence as the arena we can most directly influence to maintain a strong immune system. Further, even if we do a lot of other things right, such as focus on a proper diet, get adequate exercise, practice breathing exercises, and get plenty of sleep, it will be in vain if our E. Q. (Emotional Quotient) is low.
In our next blog/newsletter of the Wei Chi series entitled, “Wei Chi and the Beauty of Emotions,” we will address the significant matter of how we deal with our emotions which is a determining factor in achieving wellness. Stay tuned!
We are inspired by many authors when writing on the vital energy subject, but in particular, by:
- Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with the Seasons. Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 2003. Print.
- Beinfield, Harriet, and Efrem Korngold. Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine. New York: Ballantine, 1992. Print.
- Elias, Jason, and Katherine Ketcham. The Five Elements of Self-healing: Using Chinese Medicine for Maximum Immunity, Wellness, and Health. New York: Harmony, 1998. Print.
- Gerber, Richard. Vibrational Medicine: New Choices for Healing Ourselves. Santa Fe, NM: Bear, 1996. Print.
- The abundant writings of Deepak Chopra, M.D.