What is Holistic?
One of the most common questions we get is, “What does holistic mean”? The short answer is that holistic is a philosophy where the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. For example, if disassembled a watch and put all the pieces in a bag, is it still a watch? No, you no longer have an interdependent working system. For the watch to function, each part depends on proper function of all the other parts. That is what holism is; the interdependence of each part for the proper function of the whole.
And now for the long answer:
While at its core, the philosophy of holistic is whole-ism. Holistic is so much more. Let me explain. The first principle to understand that in a system, any system, changing or manipulating any one part, will change the entire system. Therefore, if we consider the human body to be a system, it becomes illogical to use the current Newtonian-reductionist model that today’s healthcare model. The philosophy of western medicine is to supplement or subvert natural body processes in order to control a symptom.
If we go back to our watch example, the hands on the face have stopped working. If we were to address this problem using the current “healthcare” model, we would attempt to relieve the symptom of the hands not turning by put a secondary device in the watch (a pharmaceutical drug, in our example) to artificially turn the hands.
A holistic approach would be to understand that each part is not independent but rather interdependent. A thorough understanding of how a watch functions would first be needed, followed by an assessment of each part functioning within the system, regardless of how far removed that part was from the problem (hands of the watch not turning). Restore proper function, and the symptom goes away.
Holistic healthcare is based on the belief that your body was designed to function optimally within its environment. This is why if you move to a location of higher elevation, your body adapts to the lower oxygen levels by increasing your bloods ability to carry oxygen. The allopathic model would call this a symptom and try to provide a drug to subvert the body’s natural ability to adapt to its environment with a drug that prevents hemoglobin formation. The Holistic model recognizes and honors the innate intelligence of the body to adapt to its environment for maximal chance of survival. This is a basic law of life that nobody disputes, yet is rarely considered or honored. When we understand and respect this basic law of life, symptoms are now seen as a consequence of your body’s adaptation to its environment. Therapy then becomes not about controlling symptoms but about removing the unhealthy environment, whether it is physical, chemical or mental/emotional toxicity. Restore a healthy environment and your body will express health. There can be no other way.