Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Staying Healthy Through Holistic Wellness

Although health care is a major industry in most developed countries, overall health in these countries has worsened rather than improved because of the increase in those with a degenerative disorder. Most developed countries are facing epidemics of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity, and the developing countries are beginning to follow this trend. It is clear that, except in case of traumatic injury and some infections, the health care system does little to keep people healthy.

The answer to staying healthy is not to rely on others to keep you fit and well, but in making a commitment to do so yourself. Wellness is not just about physical health but is multidimensional, promoting wellbeing through attention to all areas of life. The truth is that your thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes, relationships with self and others, and your lifestyle choices will have more impact on your health and happiness than any health practitioner or the health care system can.

Embracing holistic wellness through holistic living is the proactive solution to staying healthy by avoiding degenerative disorder and the effects of aging. The alternative to reliance on doctors and drugs, holistic wellness increases resiliency to anxiety, stress and illness, and builds self-esteem.

Holistic Wellness leads to Holistic Healing.
If you already have a disease or health condition then a commitment to holistic wellness can help you heal. The words health, healthy, healing and holy are all derived from the same Germanic word meaning wholeness. To be whole is to be healthy. To be healed is to become whole. Consequently, to be healed is not necessarily the same as being cured of a condition, although it can mean being cured.

People become whole by developing all parts of themselves. Through a focus on becoming and staying healthy in all the dimensions of life - mind, body, spirit, emotions, environment, vocation, and social/relationship - holistic wellness leads to holistic healing. Because wholism means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, it is possible to be whole and healthy even with a degenerative disorder or other health condition.

Becoming whole transcends suffering. Suffering arises when a person no longer feels whole and has difficulty finding meaning in their life. Victor Frankel, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, wrote “Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way at the moment it finds a meaning.” Finding meaning in all of life, even the parts that appear to be negative, explains why people can experience great losses, have a degenerative disorder causing chronic physical pain, or live in extreme poverty and not suffer.

Those who are not suffering in any area of their life experience wellbeing – a feeling of contentment and that all is well with their life no matter what the external circumstances. Following a path of holistic wellness and holistic healing calls for fortitude at first, but the prize of wellbeing will make it more than worthwhile.

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