Being holistic in health care means attending to the physical symptom and taking the time to work with any underlying and related emotional issues.
When Oprah Winfrey learned that students boarding at the South African school she built were being sexually abused by the some of the staff she employed, she responded by ridding the school of the abusers. At the same time, she attended to the emotional health of the students who had suffered from the abuse.
Oprah flew to South Africa herself to comfort the girls, she brought in counselors so that they could talk to someone about their ordeal, she attempted to provide future safety by giving each one her personal cell phone number allowing any student to phone her should they be traumatized in any way again.
While working towards ridding the school of the symptom – the abusers – Oprah also attended to the trauma beneath the symptom.
A holistic approach to our health is one where we attend to the whole system.
From a physical level this involves treating our bodies as the temples they deserve to be:
- Becoming conscious of nutritional intake and feeding ourselves foods that contribute to our health rather than work against it.
- Exercising to encourage the body to move and remain agile.
- Sufficient sleep and rest for restoration and re-vitalization.
- Becoming health-educated and being a participant in our physical health needs, rather than putting ourselves solely in the hands of someone else to take care of them.
Becoming a Participant in Your Health-Care
We are fortunate to live in an age where information is literally at our fingertips. If the doctor gives a diagnosis, we can easily read up on it in a book, or look up the facts and meanings of the symptom or disease on the internet. Being a participant in your physical health-care is taking the time to research the drugs you are given, or asking the pharmacist for a print out of the drug’s side effects.
For some, it is seeking the services of a practitioner, such as a nutritionist, naturopath, or herbalist, who is able to impart advice as to whether natural nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and other supplements can also support recovery alongside medical treatment, or recovery after medical treatment.
Rather than walk into the office of such a provider and just assume that they have the skill and experience to assist you, check them out:
- Interview them
- Ask questions pertaining to their experience on treating your health concern
- Learn about their training
- Of the approach they would use in your treatment
- Ask what they would do if they were stymied, or were not having the success they hoped in treating your issue: Would they refer you? Would they seek advice themselves? Would they let you know they are running into problems rather than keep you on as a patient to earn money?
Becoming involved in your physical healing sometimes means making choices for yourself rather than being totally dependent on someone else making, what can often be, life changing decisions for you:
- Become educated and informed.
- Assess the advice you are given and discuss the roads you are considering going down in your treatment with the relevant professionals.
This is being a participant in your physical health care, rather than a dependent.
Participants walk alongside the person they depend upon, constantly assessing, asking questions, and being curious about the directions in which they are heading.
There may be times when we may have very little energy, or we may be incapacitated and therefore have no choice but to be dependent on others. In those situations, look forward toward the time when your health and energy will hopefully allow you to become an informed participant.
Become a Participant in Your Health-Care!
For further reading on this topic go to Do Unexpressed Emotions Contribute to Illness and Pain?
Would you class yourself as dependent on your health provider or a participant?
Are you in charge of your health?
If you class yourself as a dependent, is there some history attached to that role for you? For example, did your parents or caregivers model dependency on health care professionals? Is your relationship with health-care professionals influenced by your history with authority – are you uncomfortable with people in positions of authority?
Is there value for you becoming a participant in your health-care?
How would that change your approach to your health?
Leave a comment and let us know.
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