According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, holistic can mean “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body”.
With that in mind, when someone refers to a holistic lifestyle, the main idea is that you’re looking at the whole, not just one part, and how all of these parts work together to maintain balance. Typically a holistic approach focuses on body, mind, soul and environment in a natural & organic way. You can check out my 7 holistic principles for well-being here.
So if one part of your body is unwell, you’re not just looking at that one part to fix because your body works in harmony with all parts, so you may have to adjust several or many parts to get to the root cause.
For example, if someone has high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe you some medication to fix the blood pressure, but what about what’s causing the elevated blood pressure? The medicine is covering up the symptom, but not the true root of the problem. Your body may be stressed from work or family life, maybe you have poor nutrition, lack of movement and/or sleep, etc., so in this sense you’re looking at the body as a whole and what’s out of balance in order to bring it back to harmony. This may mean tweaking many lifestyle factors in order to fix the problem at hand.
Another example might be ear infections. Typically an ear infection is treated with antibiotics, but if they keep coming back, you’d want to look at what might be causing the ear infections. Maybe there’s a food allergy involved that’s causing inflammation and not allowing for proper drainage, or it could be the structure of the ear. Maybe adjusting the diet and treating with natural remedies in the meantime might be helpful. Every person is unique, but the point is that rather than just treating the symptom over and over, you might want to look at the body as a whole to find out what it is trying to tell you.
Overall, if you can make small tweaks to improve your sleep, nutrition/water intake, daily movement, spiritual well-being, connection with the earth & sun, strengthen your relationships and fill your environment with non-toxic personal/home care products, you will be on your way to a renewed & holistic life.