Traveling around the country, reading various health articles and visiting some of the growingly popular food markets, you will find a common word regularly appearing; that word is “whole.” In Encarta Dictionary, “whole” is defined as (1.) entire; (2.) undivided. Speaking of Whole Health implies a reference to the health of the whole individual. Whole Health is a homeopathic concept that is just beginning to gain acceptance by some familiar with the Western world’s traditional medical care system. Whole health refers to the practice of caring for the whole person. The concept ties in closely with the recent article entitled, “What Colds, Heart Disease and Cancer have in Common,” posted by the Pittsburgh Healthcare Report on August 9, 2012.
The traditional medical care system has become increasingly specialized and fragmented such that the wholeness of the individual has been lost. To be treated as a whole person, the five aspects of health must be brought into balance —physical, emotional/social, nutritional, environmental and spiritual; yet, everyday individuals are diagnosed with chronic diseases and illnesses and treated with medicines without consideration of the cause of these diseases. Thus for preventative and sustainable health it is helpful to first consider the benefits of adopting a whole health lifestyle!
Whole Health is defined by the five aspects of health; thus, when treating an individual a practitioner should not separately treat a particular symptom and expect a person to feel well. To be treated as a whole person, the five aspects of health must be brought into balance, for every day individuals are diagnosed with chronic disease and illnesses, many having symptoms and physical consequences that may be more effectively addressed through lifestyle modifications and whole health’s holistic teachings.
A Whole Health Educator has a consciousness grounded in service to others, enabling him or her to embrace “The Square of Common Good—justice, compassion, respect, and integrity,” with respect to each individual, which is an over-arching theme of Whole Health training. This enables the Whole Health Educator to work comprehensively with an individual.
Whole Health Educators recognize that the world is very complex and that each of our unique experiences in life impacts our state of health. On a daily basis, we encounter psychological and psychosocial stresses to varying degrees that are typically a central part of everyday life. As a result, Whole Health Educators learn that an individual’s stress-response system is an innate, natural survival system. However, unlike other animals, the human response is not only triggered by a life-or-death situation, such as when crocodiles hunt their prey, but also often by psychological reasons. The natural human survival system was not designed to combat, the disturbing thoughts and recurring memories—often including worries about children, the economy, a job, the environment, international events and other occurrences. Concerns such as these result in worries not experienced by other animals.
This chronic stress that humans face in their day-to-day lives can turn our stress response from a safety mechanism to a real problem for our physical and mental well-being. As human intelligence and reasoning has progressed the human physical response to it has not kept pace. This difference may be detrimental to human health. It is important that individuals learn to manage their everyday stresses by building their immune system, addressing inflammation, balancing their hormones, calming the nervous system and eliminating stressors—each to the fullest extent possible. Whole Health Educators can work with individuals as a vital component in maximizing efforts towards improving their unique state of whole health.
For more information, visit www.michellesfielding.com.