Holistic wellness tends to bring up a range of connotations for those who are not familiar with it: witch-like herbal concoctions, a day at the spay, spiritual quackery, but most of all… the kind of medicine that was practiced ‘back in the day when people didn’t know any better’. And yet, we see a strong resurgence of holistic wellness and healing methods today. Is this an indication that our society is going backwards or could there be a different significance?
Let’s start by looking at how holistic wellness or medicine differs from the western health and wellness model. The word ‘Holistic’ stems from the Greek word ‘holos’ which means ‘whole’. Holistic wellness considers an individual as a whole, taking into account not only an individuals’ physical health, but also their mental and spiritual well-being. The western scientific method, on the other hand, has fostered a tendency to categorize and separate different aspects of life and our humanity into different boxes and as a result, professional health and wellness practitioners have increasingly attempted to address each aspect of an individual as though it exists in isolation of the others. In contrast, holistic methods see it impossible to ‘treat’ or ‘address’ an issue on one level without also taking into account what is taking place on other levels.
Let’s be clear: we are not here to debate, disprove or disregard the importance of modern medicine in our lives today. Modern medicine has made huge strides in recent centuries, it has saved lives, it has extended lives, it has and continues to play a major role in our level of well-being. However, a trend has emerged wherein more and more syndromes and symptoms – both mental and physical – fail to be alleviated or cured by modern medicine alone. Not surprisingly then, we are seeing a renewed interest in holistic methods and what they have to offer.
A question one can ask is as follows: Is this renewed curiosity and interest purely based on the problems people want fixed in their personal lives? Or does it also coincide with a deeper calling that is emerging, a yearning towards a different way of living and a different way of being?
Within each individual every part is interconnected with the whole. If you are exhausted on a mental level, you will start experiencing physical symptoms. If you are living with chronic pain, you can go through a spiritual crisis. No one part exists in isolation, everything is interconnected. This principle applies to one individual, but also applies to the larger whole we all form a part of. Consider the world as a whole, we form a part of it. Now more than ever are we starting to realize that humanity and the way we have organized our society does not exist in isolation from the natural world. We can see the consequences; we can see the effects of our actions and how it flows out into the whole. In return, a compromised Earth leads to poorer environments that make it harder for animals and humans alike to thrive.
We have lost sight of the whole, and we are becoming painfully aware of it.
Perhaps then, what looks like a desperate attempt to find something that ‘works for me’ and has caused somewhat of a renaissance for holistic wellness, also stems from a deeper knowing that we need to change the way we look at problems, the way we look at ourselves and the way we look at life. Or rather – that we need to stop altering the way we look at things, that we need to stop putting on glasses of categorization, classification, segregation and separation, and tune in again to our innate (yet, dormant) abilities to see things for what they are, in all their interconnectedness and context. Perhaps the realization is bubbling up that we need to allow ourselves to see how one issue connects to another, how we connect to others in the larger fabric of life on Earth, to be able to act within the understanding and consideration that is needed to bring forth real solutions and lasting change.
Of course, this is but speculation. Time will tell whether the return of holistic methods is a sign of a genuine ‘awakening’ or but the newest fad for those who want to portray themselves as ‘woke’. Here at Space of Grace, we are rooting for the former and happily do our part in not only supporting clients with holistic methods to manifest the change they wish to see in their personal lives, but also in supporting the greater principle and consideration of whole(some)ness at a time where we need it most. We live in an age of consequence and we cannot turn back the time, we are reaping what we and those who have come before us have sown. There honestly is no time for blame, towards self or others, there is only that space where we are able to reflect on what is, what has been and what we can do from here on out to create a better tomorrow, for ourselves, for each other, and for those to come.
Find out more about Space of Grace and what our team has to offer at www.spaceofgrace.net. We hope to see you soon!