From Illness to Wellness - Holistic vs. Allopathic
Throughout history, cultures have adopted a variety of explanations and philosophies in the continuing quest for health. Illness has been attributed in turn to bugs, divine retribution and even evil spirits. The contemporary model (allopathy) is built largely on the contagion theory of disease and the suppression of symptoms and, therefore, promotes medicines and counter measures that fight harmful agents and their effects. This “opposite” model of therapy, whilst appearing logical, is very narrow. It precludes other mechanisms, such as the “like for like” cures principle used in homeopathy. Here, a minute quantity of the very agent that causes the symptom also causes the immune system to handle it. A concept accepted readily when it comes to administering vaccines, but rather more reluctantly when linked to anything new-age.
The holistic approach takes the broadest possible view of illness and disease, identifying multiple causes (both internal and external) and offering multi-dimensional “healing,” as opposed to specific “cures.” It is as concerned with one’s propensity towards disease as it is with its transmission. Why does one person catch colds or infections more easily than another, or at different times? Can we render ourselves more hardy and disease-resistant before medical intervention is necessary and even make ourselves more resilient when illness does occur?
The holistic view says, yes. For 80% of our modern health complaints, i.e. lifestyle, stress, and behavioural disorders – natural, holistic self-care methods are a viable alternative to drug-dependence, side effects and expensive, hi-tech intervention. The fundamental premise is that you and your body already know how to be well, given the proper support.
Taking into account one’s body, mind, emotions and spiritual force, holistic health combines the best of modern scientific diagnosis and monitoring techniques with both ancient and innovative health promotion methods. These include natural diet and herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, exercise, relaxation, psycho-spiritual counselling, meditation, breathing exercises and other self-regulatory practices. It addresses not only symptoms, but the entire person and his or her current life predicament, including family, job and religious life. It emphasises prevention, health maintenance, high-level wellness and longevity. It views the client as an “active participant” in the healing process, rather than simply being a “passive recipient” of health care.
Once seen as new-age, ecological and trans-cultural, the holistic approach, now backed up with scientific evidence, is regarded, most seriously, as the real health paradigm for the 21st century.
“Listen to your body, open your heart, make the most of your mind and free your spirit”