Updated: Aug 10
Our previous blogs explored the foundations of holistic medicine and the process of developing a personalized holistic health plan.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach in holistic health; we must consider it a personalized journey that considers each individual’s unique influences on their overall health.
Hopefully, you are considering implementing a holistic mindset into your life. However, what does this specifically look like? What holistic practices exist, and which ones will work best for you?
This week’s blog will dive deeply into various holistic modalities and explore which ones may be most useful depending on your needs.
These practices include various techniques and therapies to promote healing and wellness, understanding that health combines numerous factors, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Nutrition and Physical Activity: The Foundations of Health
The Holistic Approach to Nutrition
Nutrition is a foundation aspect of holistic health. The food we consume provides the building blocks for the body’s cells, influences the function of our immune system, and affects our mood and energy levels.
Implementing a holistic approach to nutrition means thinking beyond calories and trendy diets. Understanding that each individual has unique influences, we must identify and cater to our personal nutritional needs.
Additionally, the holistic mindset emphasizes the importance of consuming a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods, identifying and addressing hunger/fullness cues, and genuinely enjoying the experience of eating.
Hormone regulation and detoxification are widely influenced by nutrition and physical activity. Consuming adequate amounts of protein, staying well-hydrated, maintaining an exercise routine, and including high-quality fats in your diet are several influences in maintaining a healthy equilibrium.
The Holistic Approach to Physical Activity
The benefits of regular physical activity are endless. Maintaining a steady routine of physical exercise boosts the overall function of the entire body, including:
Strengthened muscles and bones
Improvements to cardiovascular health
Enhanced mood & energy levels
Improved blood flow, increased delivery of nutrients/hormone within the body
Physical activity can manifest in many ways, not only about burning calories or adhering to specific trends.
Adopting the holistic approach to physical activity means adopting physical activity that feels good to our bodies, brings us happiness, and seamlessly fits into our lifestyle.
Holistic health also emphasizes the importance of rest and recovery. We must maintain a healthy balance and give our bodies ample time to rest, repair, and recharge after physical activity.
It’s vital to prevent over-exercise, which can lead to burnout and injury.
The Driver of Our Lives: Effective Stress Management
The Impact of Stress
Stress, unfortunately, is an expected part of life. However, chronic stress can considerably affect numerous aspects of our overall health.
Chronic stress can induce several issues, including:
Deteriorated sleep patterns
Chronic depression and anxiety
Heart Disease (Cardiomyopathy)
Chronic stress causes dysfunction in the hormonal system, impacting the mechanisms that return hormone levels to normal. Therefore, cortisol levels remain elevated, influencing appetite and craving for sugary and high-fat foods.
This is why the common term “stress eating” exists and why unhealthy junk food is often attributed to this. In managing our stress effectively, we can learn to control our impulse eating habits better.
Holistic Modalities for Stress Management
Stress management methods utilizing a holistic mindset include a wide range of practices; aiming to reduce chronic stress levels and promote overall well-being:
Meditation and deep breathing exercises are widely used as holistic stress management strategies.
These mindful practices are used as grounding techniques to calm the mind, lower anxiety, and influence feelings of peace and relaxation.
Many stress relief methods involve a combination of physical and psychological exercise. Yoga and Tai Chi are highly effective in lowering stress levels.
These practices utilize both physical movements with mental exercises such as deep breathing and meditation, providing benefits such as:
Improved physical strength and flexibility
Increased sense of relaxation and happiness
Enhanced mental clarity
Engaging in creative outlets such as music, art, photography, or writing is proven as an effective stress-management tool.
These activities provide a means of self-expression and help distract the mind from stressful or harmful thoughts.
Holistic health emphasizes the benefit of healthy social connections and communities.
Spending time with loved ones & friends, engaging in positive community activities, and seeking support (informally or from a professional practitioner) can help reduce stress.
Depending on your specific needs, certain supplements, herbs, probiotics, and diets are
used in holistic health as “secondary” modalities to manage stress.
In other words, the nutritional elements of specific products are believed to promote calming effects, reduce stress & anxiety, and support overall mental health. When complementary to other modalities, adequate nutrition is essential to overall well-being.
The Power of the Mind
The Mind-Body Connection
Mind-body therapies consist of modalities recognizing the powerful connection between our minds and bodies. In understanding our thoughts and emotions influence our physical health (and vice versa), holistic modalities can promote powerful combination techniques to control various health factors.
Mind-body therapies are used to manage a variety of health conditions, from chronic pain, digestive tract disorders, or chronic mental health disorders such as anxiety & depression:
By increasing our sense of mindfulness and awareness of physical and emotional sensations, we can subconsciously escape negative cycles and habits and influence healing.
Somatic therapies help people process and release “stored traumatic memories” by emphasizing the physical sensations attributed to these traumas.
Eventually, patients learn to gradually reduce the sensations arising from trauma, learning to accept and tolerate these sensations, which is especially effective for those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Subconscious & Cognitive Healing
The subconscious carries an essential role in our healing process. This part of the mind operates below conscious awareness, storing memories, beliefs and experiences which shape our perceptions and reactions.
Negative thought patterns can rot in the subconscious and lead to chronic stress, anxiety and depression. However, the subconscious mind can be reprogrammed to support our healing journey through a positive mindset.
Subconscious techniques are often facilitated through a process known as the Five Rs:
Realize, or become aware that negative thoughts are a standard part of your everyday consciousness.
Learn to identify the signs of negative thinking and recognize when these thoughts are arising.
Refuse to let negative thoughts take control of you— instead of engaging with these thoughts,
Instead of engaging with negative thoughts, replace them with positive, grounding, reaffirming thoughts.
Reprogram the unconscious mind through rest, releasing your mind of harmful thoughts.
Nervous System Regulation
The nervous system is an interconnected, complex network coordinating the body’s functions. This includes controlling movement, regulating balance, to coordinating digestion and our body’s immune response.
Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)
The PNS is responsible for the “rest and digest” response, which calms the body down after a potential danger or stressor has passed. This system maintains equilibrium in the body, promoting recovery and healing.
The Stress Response
The nervous system is crucial in regulating the body’s response to stress.
When encountering a stressful situation, our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) initiates a series of hormonal and physiological responses, influencing the “fight, flight, or freeze” response, preparing our body to react quickly to potential threats.
As we’ve learned, chronic activation of this stress response can negatively impact our health.
Therefore, recognizing & understanding our reactions to stress and promoting activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System is essential to maintaining and regulating a healthy nervous system.
Holistic Health at the Microscopic Level
The study of bioenergetics is a fascinating field which studies the flow of energy in living organisms, mainly at the cellular level. This subject is a fundamental aspect of biology, helping to understand cells’ essential functions and energy use.
As cellular energy is predominantly produced by the “powerhouse” of the cell, the Mitochondria, bioenergetic health is often referred to as mitochondrial health.
In the context of holistic health and wellness, bioenergetic/mitochondrial health can be improved by several factors.
As discussed, maintaining a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential for our overall health. In particular, keeping hydrated and consuming nutrients such as B vitamins are particularly beneficial for bioenergetic health.
Regular physical activity influences the growth of new mitochondria, increasing overall cellular function and energy production. Maintaining a quality sleep regimen and effective stress management techniques,
As always, ensure any lifestyle changes are compatible with your specific needs and align with your personalized holistic plan.
Bringing Holistic Practices into Your Life
With all these different practices, modalities, and dietary influences to consider, it can seem overwhelming to find a starting point.
This is where the Holistic Healing Tribe comes in. Our 5-month Holistic Healing Integration Course is designed to consider your specific needs, help you develop a personalized plan, and walk you through the journey towards the lifetime of benefits provided by holistic healing.
Don’t hesitate to view the course overview and secure your spot today! [affiliate link]
Suppose you’re not quite ready to embark on this transformative journey. Discover the power of holistic health at your fingertips:
Our Holistic Healing Tribe app is now available for download.
Explore a wealth of resources, connect with our supportive community, and attend our free workshops to learn how a holistic lifestyle can benefit your life.