Aside from being a science lover, I’m also a lover of creativity, prose, and the power of language. So, in Socratic-fashion, I’d like to set the parameters for this discussion before making my point by defining a few words. These words “holistic,” “nutrition,” and “nourish(ment)” get thrown around a lot because they sound good and make us feel fuzzy. However, I use and live by them quite intentionally and in a much deeper way.
Merriam-Webster (n.d.) defines “holistic” as “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.” It defines “nutrition” as “the act or process of nourishing or being nourished” wherein “nourish” is “to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc.; to cause (something) to develop or grow stronger.”
Mmm… language. Let these definitions sink in for a moment and feel them rather than think them.
Modern society’s approach to health (and to all things, really) is quite compartmentalized. There’s a doctor, bureaucratic office, app, pill, etc. for just about everything. We’ve become all about reduction-ism and subcategories; symptoms and parts. Yet, last I checked, my body, my mind, my Spirit, the Earth I walk upon, and the sky above me are inseparable.
So why, pray tell, have we taken this staunchly-followed approach to our health?
Why have we shunned and diminished the value of holistic modalities and put them into the category of “alternative” and therefore “less than?”
Why are so many people more willing to take a pill than meditate, exercise, or take herbs?
And why, for crying out loud, are we sticking to this approach when for so many, it ain’t doing a damn thing?
Let’s Reclaim Our Totality
The body is our entry point and the focus of much of our obsession because it’s tangible and therefore, we think it should be easily “fixed” or manipulated at our will.
However, there’s a crucially missing factor here – your body and its state for the most part is a reflection of your inner, not-so-tangible realms. Physical dis-ease is a manifestation of dis-ease on the emotional, mental, and spiritual body levels. How can any real healthcare system or healing plan provide benefits to its recipients without taking that into consideration? How can recipients of its care learn to take radical self-responsibility and become their own healers without being wholly guided?
Emotional, mental, and spiritual blocks hurt the physical body and prevent us from fully embodying our lives. In more simplistic terms, that old baggage you carry around with you, that old story, the hurts you still hold onto, the resentments you’ve failed to let go of, the cyclical replaying of a scenario you wished you would’ve gone differently, the body-hating – ALL these things change your physiology daily and not for the better.
The Subtle Creates the Gross
These subconscious tapes are stuck on repeat. They then drive your emotions, which fuel your behaviors and choices, which may not be the ideal ones and are the reason you may find yourself stuck and repeating the same patterns in your life.
Physically, these tapes create a stress response in your system and this seriously hinders the body’s ability to carry out its own healing and cleansing duties that it needs to do daily. For example, these “free radicals” we hear about are very real and can cause cellular mutations, which is why we need “antioxidants” to neutralize them.
Your body creates its own free radicals by simply running natural biochemical pathways to produce energy. This would happen naturally even if you lived in a Utopian bubble-wrapped world free of stress or toxins. So, couple that fact with our polluted environment and the emotional and mental stories we’re running as a result of these subconscious tapes, which may show up as you not eating whole, antioxidant-rich foods, plus the stress response taking place, which requires even more antioxidants to counter… and you can see why many of us are headed for trouble.
Your Energy, Freedom + Choice
However, we have something so powerful at our disposable that I am inviting you tap into. The power of choice and freewill. Get curious about body metaphors and embodiment practices; the chakra system and how it relates to your endocrine glands and surrounding organs to help you clarify what your body is telling you. Or, work it backwards and get curious about what tapes are constantly being played and begin to notice how they impact you.
Don’t miss the rest of my series on Holistic Healing for even more insight and inspiration, including a look at the work I’m most passionate about, as well as familiarize yourself with Feminine Shame, the roots of chronic disease, addiction, and more.
This is how you can take radical self-responsibility for your life, your journey, your healing, and your health and embrace holism. Every single part of you is connected. Every single thing that you have ever experienced in your life is stored in you. Are you going to let your life live you or are you going to live your life?
We cannot numb out any longer and rely on pills and masking symptoms. I challenge you to begin to take some time getting quiet with yourself to notice the beliefs and stories on repeat within you and the subtle (or more obvious and dramatic) impacts they have on your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.
More Holistic Living + Healing:
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