If you’re struggling with your health and wellbeing, you’re not alone.
Many of us need to seek help at one point or another, and there’s nothing wrong with doing so. However, sometimes you need to look outside the mainstream medical system to get the support you need – whilst pills are necessary in some cases, for other issues long-term change is needed.
This is where the holistic approach can help. Holistic care focuses on treating the mind, body and the spirit, rather than just the physical ailment. Similar to counselling, it aims to uncover the root cause of mental and physical health issues to reduce the chance of illness happening again in the future. In this post, we explore some of the common issues that a holistic wellness practitioner can help you with.
In our busy modern world, stress is a common issue for many of us, as we try to balance work, home responsibilities and social lives. We may feel pressure to always be available, especially with the rise of working from home. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and out of control, and this in turn can lead to anxiety and irritability. From a physical perspective, stress can also lead to panic attacks, digestive issues, fatigue and sleep issues, which only serve to fuel the mental health aspect.
Holistic therapy can help by getting you to understand what is causing you to feel stressed, and then working on solutions to take back control and resolve this. Often, it’s not immediately clear to us why we feel this way, so taking the time to focus on your feelings and break down your day-to-day routine can help you understand what is truly going on. Once you understand what is causing the issue, you can prioritise making changes to your routine and getting support to allow you to switch off and protect your ‘you’ time.
Whilst many people think that anxiety is just worrying, in severe cases, it can include debilitating intrusive thoughts and similar physical symptoms to stress. It occurs when the brain thinks we’re under threat – so whilst it’s perhaps understandable during stressful or uncertain periods of your life, it can feel overwhelming if you feel anxious a lot of the time.
As well as talking about what you’re feeling, holistic therapies like yoga and meditation can help you get out of your head and into your body, focusing on calming the body’s stress response and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Research has shown that it’s also beneficial for improving mood, sharpening memory and, in some cases, helping as part of a recovery programme for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Poor relationship with food
Some people have a difficult relationship with food, whether that’s feeling compelled to eat too much or too little. This can be detrimental to their physical health, but it can also have a mental strain, especially when the eating habits stem from stress, anxiety or lack of self-esteem. Many common diets are far too restrictive, resulting in individuals getting stuck in a harmful cycle of self-hatred and cultivating feelings of failure.
In contrast, the holistic approach focuses on creating a mindful connection with food, no longer seeing items as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but rather everything being part of a balanced life. It also breaks down the feelings behind eating habits, helping individuals gain greater understanding so they can take control of their lives.
If you’re someone who struggles with a long-term health condition that gives you chronic pain, it’s understandable that you may feel helpless. It can be overwhelming, and in some cases, cause low mood or even depression. These feelings are natural – it’s a big change to accept a chronic condition, and you may even feel an element of grief for the life you’ve left behind.
Holistic approaches can both help you manage the level of pain you experience, and give you a space to work through any anger, sadness or frustration you feel. Whilst it’s unlikely to remove the pain entirely, it will give you some techniques to help manage it and potentially reduce the intensity of your symptoms.
An alternative approach
Whilst at first you may be dubious about the benefits of the holistic approach, emerging research suggests that there is some benefit, particularly for anxiety and stress. As with any health treatment, make sure you seek out a qualified, trustworthy practitioner to guide you through your wellness journey.