The Concept of Holism – A New Approach to Healthcare
Guest Post by Autumn Bear
An Alternative Point of View
I have recently been taking an herbal course and we were discussing plants, as they are in their basic form, and the instructor made a point to say that the healing properties of an herb depends upon its own home, the sun exposure, the climate with it’s seasonal variances, the microbial milieu that it lives in, and the pests that may help it to flourish or die. I thought, yeah ok, that makes perfect sense. Then he goes on to talk about the concepts of holism. He mentions that holism is when everything is connected and there are no breaks in the system. This, too, makes perfect sense to me as this is the concept by which Chinese medicine is based upon, and our whole channel system is dependent on the linking and interlinking of the body’s physiology, thoughts, beliefs, and environment. However, it occurs to me that we rarely think of ourselves in the same way that we think of the things that grow around us. Somehow, as we have developed these amazing minds of ours, we seem to feel that we are immune to our environment, how we grow, and what kind of an effect our surroundings truly have on us.
It made me say, hmmmmmm. What if we thought of ourselves as plants or flowers? Bear with me, I know this is a little woo woo in thought, but seriously, what if we thought of ourselves this way? Would you expect a budding poppy flower to thrive on Cheetos?
Would you ever water your plants with soda? If you put your plant in your office where you sit all day long every day, would it survive even if you gave it good clean water? Would we expect our roses to bloom in winter?
Even the most inexperienced of gardeners would tell you that these ideas would be preposterous, so then why do we feel like we can live in ways that contradict the very idea of allowing us to grow as the happy plants we want to be? I can assure you, that I too am guilty of feeding my “self plant” some not so great items and there are times when I don’t give my plant it’s proper rest, but I never really thought about what that would look like if I were trying to grow myself from scratch.
We all get caught up in our lives and we put ourselves last on the list of importance. We equally live each and every day without really thinking about how this Monday is going to add up to 650,000 Mondays from now.
From the outside, watching a plant grow we all know that it is very affected by it’s environment. It must have sunshine, good amounts of water, and stay free of pests (disease). So if we were going to grow ourselves from a seedling what are the basic components we would need to have a flourishing plant?
As a human plant we need nutrition, movement, herbs, sleep, exposure to fresh air, sunshine and breath. How many of these do you get on a DAILY basis? What is stopping you from making the choices to feed and nourish your “self plant”?
This is normally the part of my writing where I would give you profound and worldly advice on how to grow a better plant, how to live a better life etc… but instead I think you should take a simple moment to reflect on how you are living your life, if you are satisfied with your health and your ability to stay healthy over time, and what you might do differently. Perhaps this is just a moment to connect with your plant self and ask yourself what you think you need to have a happier and more fulfilled life. We all know that disease is not fulfilling, that is not rocket science. We all struggle with how to stay afloat in our daily lives, but this is just a friendly reminder that the life you live is the life of your choosing. If your plant needs more sunshine, more fresh air, more water, and better soil, perhaps this is the day to give it all the nourishment it needs and feel satisfied that you have made a choice to be a better plant for today.