Yoga on the beach, detox smoothies, long hikes and hours of daily meditation… when you think of the word “holistic,” what comes to mind? Holistic has become a buzzword for all things related to health and wellness, but we shouldn’t discount it for its popularity!
If you dig beneath all the buzz, you’ll see that the definition of the word holistic is quite simple. It refers to the idea that any observable parts of something can only be fully understood when we look at the whole picture, because they are interwoven. If we make a change to one part, it affects the whole.
What would therapy look like if we saw people holistically?
Holistic psychotherapy uses a combination of traditional methods of psychotherapy in addition to holistic therapies. Instead of relying on an outside authority, a holistic perspective to therapy can empower individuals by encouraging them to look inward for solutions. Looking inward includes honouring our thoughts, and especially our feelings.
Holistic approaches also encourage us to see our health as a “whole,” instead of isolating the mind and the body. This is especially important when thinking about mental health treatment! Whereas many traditional therapies treat symptoms, holistic approaches aim to get to the root of the problem, which involves examining the external and internal environment of an individual.
Best of all, holistic therapy views people as continual works in progress. This means that no one is damaged or broken; we are all adapting to life in the way we know how, and we are ever-learning and changing.
Does holistic therapy work?
At this point, science has unequivocally demonstrated that, since there is constant interaction between the mind and the body, the health of one directly affects the health of the other. Many cultures have used holistic approaches to health for centuries, and with good reason-- it works. This is why even seemingly simple activities like listening to a guided meditation, creating art, or taking a walk can help us calm the mind!