We have learnt so much from traditional forms of medicine, whether this is their use of natural therapies or their holistic approach to the prevention and treatment of disease. Here are a few gems that we use in conventional and holistic practice today.
Listen to your body
Most traditional medicine approaches encourage you to “listen with your whole body”. To become more present and in tune with the different signals your body gives you. For example, instead of just taking medication for a headache, it encourages you to address the origin of the headache. By considering your water consumption, lighting, what you’ve been eating, how you’ve been sleeping and your stress levels. If you’re prone to recurrent infections, it will look at foods and herbs that help modulate the immune system rather than focusing on the infection as in isolated incidence.
Treat the whole person
Eastern medicine treats people as a whole: it also focuses on family, diet and life stressors. Instead of looking at the body symptomatically it considers how an ache or pain in one part may be caused by a completely different area. Holistic medicine practitioners believe that the whole person is made up of interdependent parts and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts can be affected. In this way, if people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their overall health.
Preventing or managing stress is essential to every illness or disease
Preventative health refers to the implementation of certain lifestyle and health practices to promote living in health and avoiding disease. Traditional medicine considers the role of stress in every illness, disease or discomfort. It encourages everyone to look at meditation strategies, mindfulness and yoga practice as a way of combating daily stress and thus benefiting from their protective effect.
Energy is our life force and we must address why it’s lacking
Traditional medicine considers the numerous reasons why you may not be feeling energised. Natural life force energy is something that flows through all living things. It sustains and nourishes our bodies and it can be used to support and increase the body’s natural self-healing ability. Lack of energy can be caused from very simple things such as drinking too much coffee or not sleeping properly, through to adrenal or chronic fatigue. Traditional medicine believes that feeling energised is absolutely essential to optimal health and seeks to always improve energy if it is poor.
Your thoughts and perceptions are critical to your health
Your thoughts and feelings play an incredibly important yet often overlooked role in your health. When approaching an ailment, traditional medicine also probes for answers from your thoughts and perceptions. For example it has been scientifically proven that when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment and love you will see more possibilities in your life and therefore cope better when faced with illness or disease. As well as considering the biochemistry at the heart of the issue it will also give you strategies to cope with your perception of the issue and provide hope for your journey to wellness.
Strive for consistency, rather than perfection
Make consistent choices that contribute to your overall health and well-being. It is what you do every day that impacts on your health, rather than what you occasionally do. Guilty feelings about food and lifestyle choices are no good for your health. Focus on nourishing your body, moving regularly, getting adequate rest, addressing and finding strategies to cope with the stress in your life, learning new ideas or skills and looking after your emotional health are all part of a balanced, consistent or holistic approach to wellness.