What Holistic Looks Like and What It Isn't!
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You've heard me say that holistic herbalism is a mind, body and spirit approach but today I want to delve deeper and reveal what that really looks like.
Firstly, let me say that it's not using herbs in place of pharmaceuticals, and it's not even using herbs for physical reasons as well as emotion reasons.
So now you are probably confused but let me explain, and I'm going to use examples to show what I mean. So typically, when you are sick, you go to the doctor, you tell them your symptoms, they run tests to see if any of your numbers are off (it's very numerical, calculated), they diagnose you with something and then they follow protocol by prescribing you the medicine that is for your diagnosis.
When someone works with me, I too gather information, but it's not based solely on numbers. I look at them maybe their skin feels me something, where they carry their weight, and I listen to them. I listen and ask a lot of questions to understand a brief past and present snapshot of their health and needs. One doesn't realize that constipation, diarrhea, are "symptoms too". We don't just look at the big issues, we look at everything and that's just one way in which we get a more rounded perspective.
Secondly instead of looking at the symptom, I think in terms of the organs and systems affected. The body has a rhythm. The digestive system has one route of passage in and out of the body. The blood flows the same route throughout the body. If there is a blockage, that affects the area that it's in and the areas that are now getting less blood and therefore oxygen.
If we think about a delivery truck, let's say something happens midway through and now the rest of the route is delayed. That affects more than the 1 delivery, it's the same way in the body. Every action has a reaction, instead of treating a symptom of the reaction, you need to address the root cause, if you don't, the problem will continue to migrate and manifest in different forms.
Many imbalances are deemed normal. Bags under the eyes, bad breath or body odor.
These are all symptoms of something larger, but we leave these things out! That's not holistic!
I want to clarify, that yes, you can use herbs to heal emotional wounds.
In many ways in fact, herbs can be beneficial for this very reason however , you have to address the issue from the inside out.
In this case you need to for example, address the inside of the heart, or the feeling that cause the physical heart to grieve, or to be "heavy" and stressed. And resolve the unfinished issue, remove yourself from the situation or whatever you must do to be able to close the emotional wound. It's more than taking an herb because you feel sad or depressed, or taking an herb because it's "good for" healing.
What is holistic healing?
It's not just taking herbs.
It's understanding their functions and the body's functions.
It's understanding why we feel the way we do, and why we do the things we do. Why we crave the foods we crave and why we have a habit of doing things that aren't so good for us.
It's using our intuition and listening to what our body is telling us. It's using all of this information to positively benefit our health. It's long-term healing, a long-term process.
It's a relationship with the land, and ourselves and changes within ourselves.