Dear Friends - Welcome to my first day of Blogging - I know you will find much enrichment in these blog postings entitled, Tune In, Tune Out. In these challenging times, it has become more important than ever to be able to turn off STRESS and go within to a place of stillness and quiet. Each time I blog, I will be gifting you with a health related article starting with the first one which is titled, Holistic Awareness. Each article is written with the express intention of raising your health consciousness to a greater height.....
By Sarena S. Morello, M.S.
#1 in a series
This series of articles will focus on Holistic Awareness. The term, “Holistic” is derived from the word “Holism” which is defined in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary as “that which emphasizes the organic or functional relations between parts and wholes.” It can be applied to such diverse fields as Holistic Education, Holistic Business, Holistic Health, etc. We will focus primarily on Holistic Health where it means looking at the whole person – body, Mind and Spirit. This “looking” is a very dynamic and creative process incorporating evaluative, diagnostic and healing techniques from many disciplines, modalities and cultures.
Holistic Health is a state of well being in which an individual’s body, mind, emotions, and spirit are in tune with the natural, cosmic and social environment. A major characteristic of Holistic Health is the view that disease and pain are not seen as “The Enemy.” They are our teachers and if we understand how to read and interpret their messages, our lives will undergo profound changes and we will grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. When we view disease and pain as The Enemy caught from “out there” rather than created internally, we do not have to take responsibility for the condition or its correction. We just need to go to war to blot out, mask over or band-aid the condition rather than treating and correcting the causes. What we each do with our personal microcosmic bodies is very much a reflection of what the world leaders are doing with the macrocosmic body – the Planet Earth. To affect earthly changes, it is essential to begin with one’s own person.
As most of you are aware, our health care system today has become so specialized that it is difficult and sometimes impossible for you and the medical practitioner to see the whole picture of who you are and what it is that’s going on with you. As Kenneth Pelletier has said, “Today there is a profound alteration taking place involving the nature of human consciousness. Advances in the material sciences and technology have failed to bring the panacea they promised. At hand now is the task of integrating technological sophistication with humanistic values and an improved quality of life. Creating an effective holistic approach to health care is central to this process.”
For the most part, in this culture at this time, we see a medical physician for our body – our physiological selves; a psychology-trained person for our mental selves; and a rabbi or priest for our spiritual selves. Most often these three people do not know each other or confer with each other. As well, it is generally true that those three persons will, in most cases, have been trained in Western techniques or approaches exclusively.
Holistic Medicine is a system of heath care which emphasizes personal responsibility (Ability to respond)and fosters a cooperative relationship among all those involved leading toward optimal attunement of body, mind, and spirit. According to Leslie Kasloff, “In training and in practice, the western medical model is basically a science of pathology geared to determine scientifically valid principles for diagnosing and treating illness, injury and disease. Medicine has made remarkable achievements in controlling disease. Our desire that medicine also provide us with health has led to the uncovering of its inadequacies and limitations.” In contrast to the medical model, the holistic perspective deals with the dynamics of health in addition to the treatment of disease. In holistic practice, pathology is seen as a manifestation of stress, weakness or imbalance and the goal is to fortify the system as a whole, increasing its efficiency for dealing with crises and interacting with the environment. Holistic practices complement medicine. Their appropriate use will help to insure the desired result of complete medical treatment.
Most illnesses today are chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine and tension headaches, etc. rather than infectious diseases as had been the case when our current health care system was established. The nature of our health problems has changed but the system has remained basically the same with its emphasis on drugs and surgery and lack of patient responsibility. “The creation of a lifestyle conducive to health maintenance and personal fulfillment is beyond the limited scope of pathology correction thru orthodox medicine which, although a major part, is still just one part of the total process of rediscovering and maintaining our health,” says Kenneth Pelletier.
The health care center of the future will be designed to provide ways in which a person can achieve and maintain a total state of wellness.. In my next article, we will discuss the concept of wellness and what it means to each of us. As this series of articles develops, you will learn ways to deal with your health and well being from a holistic perspective. It is my hope that it will become a sharing process, and I, therefore, invite questions and comments.