People are living longer than ever before, with modern-day medicine constantly providing innovative and life-saving advancements. However, many of us are dealing with high levels of stress and fatigue, along with health issues that may be influenced by a range of factors. This includes nutritional deficits, environmental pollution and social pressures.
Health can be measured in multiple ways and is often broken down into a variety of numbers and diagnoses. But this doesn’t always provide the best picture of what a truly healthy body and mind looks like. Before looking at specific health issues, it’s beneficial to look at your health within a holistic healthcare framework.
Why is Holistic Healthcare Important?
Many of us are living with chronic pain, chronic disease and undiagnosable symptoms that are difficult to treat through the modern healthcare system. Holistic healthcare involves looking at the countless contributing factors and ‘systems’ that may influence our health beyond individual physical symptoms. When it’s not obvious what’s wrong, or if other treatments haven’t worked, a holistic approach can offer the best pathway to good health.
A holistic healthcare approach involves looking at 5 key areas – physical, emotional, social, spiritual and mental health. Holistic healthcare treats each of those areas as interdependent. In other words, if there’s something wrong in one area, it can impact the others. By taking steps to support each of these areas, you are better placed to achieve good overall health.
Our physical health is the easiest to track and measure as our body will give us signs that something is wrong through pain, inflammation and other symptoms. Supporting your physical health some key practices that make a huge difference on your overall health and well-being:
- Sleep for 8 hours each night
- Exercise/move your body for 30 minutes each day
- Limit processed foods and hydrogenated oils
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Eat a nutrient dense diet that is high in plant-based foods and animal products
- Maintain a balanced blood sugar by eating meals and snacks that contain fat, carbohydrates and protein every 3 to 4 hours.
Feelings of agitation, frustration, moodiness, low self-esteem and difficulty relaxing are all related to emotional health. There are a number of ways you can support your emotional health:
- Seek out therapy when needed
- Practice mindfulness and stress reduction habits
- Keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings.
There’s a strong correlation between physical health and emotional wellbeing, yet the latter often isn’t given enough attention. For example, it’s well-documented that stress can manifest physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches and chronic back pain.
Research indicates that having deep connections with friends, family and community impacts your overall health and well-being. Ways that you can support your social health:
- Make time for in-person connection
- Set boundaries with people in your life that may increase stress
- Get involved in your local community through sports, volunteering or any other social activities.
Remember that while technology has allowed us to feel connected more often, virtual connection does not provide us with the same benefits of in-person connection. Part of protecting your social health means not being afraid to walk away from relationships that are toxic and could negatively affect your mental health.
Each person has a different experience of illness and path to recovery influenced by their age, sex, culture, heritage, faith, sexual and gender identity, life experience and beliefs. Supporting your spiritual health and wellbeing depends on who you are. It can range from taking the time to practice your faith (if you are religious) to meditating or spending time in nature. It’s about nurturing and supporting your authentic self.
Mental health includes aspects of emotional health while also incorporating cognition and how our brain functions. Ways that you can support your cognitive health:
- Keep your mind active through problem solving practices and learning
- Consume nutrient dense foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids
- Avoid excessive drinking, smoking and recreational drugs
- Maintain gut health with bone broth, prebiotic and probiotic rich foods because there is evidence that brain health is connected to a healthy gut.
Looking for Holistic Health Advice?
At Releaf Clinics, our doctors can provide tailored holistic health advice to help you improve your overall health and wellbeing. As a dedicated clinic and dispensary group, we can simplify the consultation process and make it easier for you to access the medicine you need.
Our telehealth consults allow you to access services with Releaf Clinics’ doctors via phone and video chat. Contact us today to chat about how we can help improve your health.