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While researching the definition of holistic health I discovered that there a variety of explanations.
For a deeper understanding of the definition of holistic health, it is helpful to look at the work of American psychiatrist, Dr.
One definition of Holistic Health that I found interesting was that it is a non-medical philosophy of well-being that considers the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life as closely interconnected and balanced. The interesting thing is that there are many factors outside of the obvious physical needs of our body that play a significant role in undermining our quality of life. By the same token, the term Holistic Health Care takes all these factors into consideration.
One major theme of Holistic Health is that we are ultimately responsibility for our own health and our Holistic Health Care.
Since ultimately we can not be completely healthy until we achieve balance in our life, with others and in our environment, then perhaps the true definition of Holistic Health is achieving BALANCE. Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold. In the years running Healthy Holistic Living, I have come to the realization that empowering yourself with information is the key good health. On a monthly basis, I will be updating this list in an effort to provide you with resources to help you along the way. About Latest Posts Follow meMichelle TooleMichelle Toole is the founder and head editor of Healthy Holistic Living.
The Holistic Definition for holistic therapy, holistic therapies, holistic healing, holistic health, holistic medicine, holistic treatment has to do with holistic as a whole.
Holistic defines an approach to healing the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical elements of each person.
Another Holistic Definition: Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole. Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical factors.
Holistic connotes what is whole, working with the whole person, rather than just the symptom that is presenting itself. By holistic definition we go to the deepest source of the pneumonia, on the spiritual level. My personal Holistic Definition not only includes those four levels, but also I look at sourcing the weakness that created the imbalance researching relationships. I provide holistic tests to see if movement is creating weakness, movement that is physical, or in your life, in your career, with friends. The holistic definition approach treats you, as a whole person and your whole situation in life! By definition, holistic nutrition, and by expansion, a holistic health approach, strives to bring balance to all aspects of a human being: physical, mental and emotional. Holistic nutrition uses various combinations of food and nutrients to help individuals achieve optimal mental, physical and emotional health. Holistic nutrition also recognizes that diversity among the population is as important as diversity in the diet. Although holistic nutrition is largely individualized, there are some basics that apply to all individuals who wish to follow a holistic nutritional plan. Disclaimer: The information contained throughout this website is provided for reference and education only and is not intended to be a substitute for a physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Spirited Life has been a holistic health program, and we have tried to offer a broad framework within which participants can define health for themselves. A couple of years ago, while preparing for a Spirited Life workshop, we came across this article by Rev.
Space is still available for this retreat.  Click here for more information and to register.
At our closing workshops for Spirited Life Group 3 participants this fall, we have had the honor of hearing from Rev. Spiritual Direction– This form of support is helpful if your need is to work on your relationship with God.
Coaching- This form of support is helpful if your need is to make an assessment of your current situation and to develop a plan of action for moving forward. Hopefully, your renewal leave will uncover some areas where you would like to pursue a greater degree of health. Dianne Lawhorn is the Minister of Spiritual Formation for the Lydia Group which is a resource for spiritual wholeness offering formational teaching, retreat leadership, and spiritual direction. A renewal leave is an ideal time for you to develop rhythms that can be incorporated into your life when you return to work. You might try incorporating a particular time every day where you can connect with God through a favorite spiritual practice. A renewal leave is a great time to reflect on your personal life.  It’s a good idea to consider if the life you are living is the life you want to live.
Renewal time is an opportunity to consider if you want to make use of a helping professional such as a spiritual director, counselor, or a coach. Often in our ministry, after years of service, we find ourselves in need of being recharged.
Thankfully, the Methodist Book of Discipline recognizes the need for this time and provides for it in the form of a renewal leave.  I took this time of renewal back in 2012 and found that it gave me a renewed sense of vitality and purpose in ministry. A renewal leave is the perfect time for you to get out of your environment, especially if you live in a parsonage. This is the second in a special series on Sabbath by our friends at Blessed Earth.  Today’s post was written by Rev.
Our biggest resource, however, is YOU!  If you or your church has a Sabbath experience that you are willing to share, we’d love to hear your story. Photo credit: The William Smith Morton Library at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA, and is used with permission.
Over the last year, my husband Matthew and I have spoken with more than one thousand UMC clergy in North Carolina. Here’s the encouraging news: more and more of you are accepting God’s invitation to the Sabbath banquet. More good news: The Duke Endowment has awarded a generous three-year grant to the ministry that Matthew and I founded, Blessed Earth.
Nancy Sleeth is the Managing Director of Blessed Earth and author of Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life. Sometimes we all need to be sure that we’re not alone and that someone cares and is paying us some attention– especially when we’re feeling vulnerable. I recently read an essay entitled Practicing a Life of Prayer by Sam Portaro,* in which he describes a spiritual practice of paying attention. When I was a young nurse, I’ll never forget a middle aged man with cancer who I cared for on the night shift.
In his book Out of Solitude, Henri Nouwen wrote a meditation on care saying that we tend to look at caring as an attitude of the strong toward the weak, the powerful toward the powerless; yet the word “care” is rooted in the Germanic “kara,” which means to lament, to grieve, to cry out with. Welcome!The Connection is the blog of the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School. Find out how they affect your well-being and how to tip your beliefs toward better health and happiness.


For example- poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, crime, divorce, lack of education and stress all have the potential to impact our physical health. I encourage all of you to take back your power and gain the knowledge you need to live the fullest, healthiest and happiest life possible. For example, if the symptom is pneumonia, by Holistic definition, the pneumonia would be approached as the physical symptom of pneumonia with coughing and phlegm, as well as having to do with the lungs and bacteria, as well as viewing the entire immune system of the body. There we would most likely find an attitude of not being one with the Universal Love, God by any name. Your relationship to yourself, family, parents, home, work, career, friends, the environment etc. Deepika operates a Holistic Health Center in Boulder Colorado that specializes in Alternative Holistic medicine and Holistic Health practices. In a society where stress has become second nature, it is difficult (not to say more expensive) to always make the right choices.
The holistic view sees the human body as a whole unit with intricate systems that depend on one another to operate optimally and efficiently. With an emphasis on quality ingredients, the holistic diet consists of organic, whole foods that are grown locally and enjoyed in-season. It takes into account a person’s heritage and biochemical individuality to formulate the optimal diet. This wellness wheel (seen at right) while comprehensive in its characterization of health, is also limiting because it keeps these parts of our lives in separate, neat and tidy little circles. Portaro alerted us to a fantastic (and free!) resource available through CREDO that we wanted to pass along to you.
If you are feeling the desire for a more rich spiritual experience, a spiritual director can provide guidance in developing practices that will help you connect with God at a deeper level.
If you recognize disappointment, disillusionment, or despair in your life, a counselor can help. It would be good to think about what aspects of this leave time you can incorporate into your regular life. It’s important to remember that in order for us to become healthier, we must embrace a new way of being and a new way of doing ministry that is life-giving to us. You may never again have this opportunity to “try on” a new rhythm and see how it works for you. It’s a time for you to think about what changes might help you to more fully live into the desires you have for your life. We all need help from time to time in processing what is going on with us at a deeper level. In the next article, I’ll provide some guidelines for selecting which resource you need at this point in your journey. Current statistics say that most of us will experience ministry fatigue at some point in our journey. I needed some guidance, however, in order to discern how to structure the time of my leave so that I could receive the greatest benefits from it.   I wondered if you might find yourself in this place and might like some tips for shaping this time.
For most of us, our tendency to over-schedule and over-commit has led us to the need of a break in the first place.  So, we don’t want to bring this pattern into our leave time. You might go to a place that you have enjoyed before, where you can connect with God and with yourself. During my renewal leave, my husband also took time away from his job so that he could share in my experience.
Maybe you could go to see a family member or friend that you would like to connect with whom you haven’t seen in years. Mairi Renwick (see her bio and contact information below the article).  Read the first installment here. A library with loads of books, commentaries, video recordings, DVDs, newspapers, and free access to online article databases.
Mairi Renwick, a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary, is Blessed Earth’s Sabbath Living Program Manager.
According to Clergy Health Initiative data, in 2012 only nine percent of UMC clergy in North Carolina were taking a regular Sabbath.
Our goal is to improve the emotional and spiritual health of clergy by engaging in regular rhythms of work and rest.
Mairi Renwick, Blessed Earth’s new Sabbath Living Program Manager, will share more about the sermon series outlines, small group studies, hymns, scripture, books, articles, and many other resources that are available to you and your congregations. She and her husband, Matthew Sleeth, MD, started the Sabbath Living Initiative, which supports NC UMC clergy and their congregations in their Sabbath practices. Sometimes we don’t stop to think about our child who looks at us with longing while we’re racing off to a meeting, or the clerk who has been standing behind a counter for hours and sighs deeply as she bags groceries, or the pastor who has just moved his family to a new town this summer.
It was back in the day when patients had to wait for an injection of pain medication until the 4 or 6 hours were up. It seems that being present is the foundation of care, but to really be present we have to pay attention.
Dr Engel rejected the medical approach of separating body as machine from the emotional makeup of patients in favor of an integrated approach. It is the sum total of  the choices you make and the actions you take each and every moment of your life in every area of your life.
There is no one universal definition for Holistic Health, but there seems to be a common thread that runs through all of the definitions of Holistic Health that I have researched. Each one of us is so unique that no one treatment, medication or technique is going to work for us all. In my twenty five years of holistic therapy work, bacteria indicate the person feels hurt, victimized, and or betrayed.
The symptom is the body’s way of saying wake up, I want you to help me so you become your potential of who you are spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I test to see if there is a financial weakness as one of the major sources creating the weakness. I just worked with a client who had four sick children, here main weakness was empathetically taking on their energy. Deepika covers Holistic Nutrition and provides sound Holistic References here in this website. Coming from the corporate world myself, I am aware of the hectic schedules, deadlines and long hours forcing most of us to make unwise food choices. The foods we eat and our ability to digest them properly are at the foundation of our beings. In order to cope with the daily toxic load, it is essential to eat foods that will provide clean sources of fuel without further harming the body. At a fundamental level, holistic nutrition focuses on the biochemistry of the human body, and recognizes the importance of creating balance where imbalances exist. A spiritual director can also help you to notice where God is at work in your life and discern what response might be called for. Counseling is useful in uncovering what’s going on with you emotionally so that you might seek the healing you need.
Deciding what rhythms you will keep from this valuable time away will be essential to sustaining the renewal you’ve experienced. We must then walk forward into this new way, having been equipped with tools for a better way of doing life and ministry.


Do you need to connect with a spiritual friend or ministry colleague on a regular basis to help you implement this new way of life? The rhythm I sought to embrace was to: eat healthy foods, exercise, get plenty of sleep, take a Sabbath, and have some fun!
This guide not only provided readings but also included practices for prayer, reflection, scripture reading, journaling, and a commitment for each day. This book helped me better understand the challenges of life-long ministry and the effects it can have on our bodies, minds, and spirits. We shouldn’t feel guilty about taking the time we need because all of us will need a break eventually. You might want to spend a few days in the mountains, at the beach, or at a local retreat center, where you can spend some time alone in a peaceful environment that nurtures your soul.
We felt grateful to have that unstructured time together as a couple in a place that we both love! Shared experiences with people who are important to us can certainly contribute to our well-being, which should be a goal of our renewal time. When you walk into the large foyer, you are greeted with high ceilings and a large circulation desk.
Finding easily accessible materials from local libraries is difficult, and church libraries are rarely stocked with the newest books.
In Exodus, it becomes one of the top ten—the longest of the commandments and the most oft-repeated directive in the bible. Among the pilot populations we are working with, about thirty-three percent are now remembering the fourth commandment.
Paying attention is one of the greatest gifts we’re given by God because it leads us to not only care for others but for ourselves as well. This patient was very uncomfortable, and I was in a hurry to request an order from his doctor to administer the pain medication sooner. We have to stop so that we, like Portaro writes, can recognize the presence of God in the other. Those explanations describe the hows of health and healing, but fail to include the overall condition of body and mind.
When you affect one level, either positively or negatively, to some extent you affect the whole person. He believed it was important to examine all areas of life, including  body mind health, interactions with your environment and others.
That is, to look at the self from a whole (holistic) perspective and to understand the mind, body and spirit connection and the importance of balancing all aspects of one’s life. Hippocrates, both a philosopher and a practitioner, “tried to close the gaps between the understanding of disease and its treatment.
Therefore, we developed solutions and easy to apply strategies to help our clients succeed in achieving their health goals.
In the absence of quality nourishment good health gives way to disease, brain function diminishes, and our joy of life fades away.
Whole, organic, seasonal foods offer a significant amount of nutrients not found in foods that have been processed, denatured or genetically engineered.
So, how do we reconcile a life in Christ when our days are filled with grocery shopping, meetings, charge conference papers, and if we’re lucky, a trip to the gym? He suggests that by reframing what it means to have a prayer life, we can move from a daily ritual of spiritual practices to living a life of prayer where we are in constant and holy relationship with the Lord, even in our mundane activities.
Portaro is a retired Episcopal priest and a faculty member at CREDO, a wellness initiative of the Episcopal Church, where he conducts seminars and offers spiritual direction to participants. A Spiritual Director can provide a prayerful, companioning presence for this time in your life. A counselor can also help you cope with situations and relationships that are causing you discomfort, allowing you to recognize and honor what you are feeling.
They are equipped to assist you with your plan for development and can provide accountability as you move forward. It is important to think about how you are going to create space in your life to nurture that which contributes to your health and well-being. Perhaps you could create a support group of others who join together in sustaining this important life change? By doing these things over a short-term period, I was able to conceive of how this rhythm could become a reality over the long-term as well. It was great for me to spend that time simply being still, with stillness as my only task or accomplishment for those days.
We would to share tools that you’ve generated and additional helpful resources on the Sabbath Living website! While Mairi loves books and articles, she really admires her father’s card catalog of every sermon illustration, in alphabetical order according to topic, which he has used in 30+ years of ministry. And among our beta leadership groups, fifty-five percent are now keeping a regular Sabbath. As I hurried from his bedside, he reached for my hand and said, “don’t leave, please.” In that moment, my patient taught me one of the most important lessons I have ever learned- pay attention. Pooh understood this and willingly offered this gift to Piglet without giving advice or finding a solution– because sometimes we just need to be sure that someone is present with us. It also includes accepting personal responsibility, health education, using preventive care and all modalities of care available such as surgery, western medicine, chemotherapy, nutrition, rehabilitation, hypnosis, acupuncture, psychotherapy, bodywork, energy work, and spiritual healing to mention a few.
Knowing what to eat and what not to eat is becoming more important each day, as we continue to live in a stressful, toxic world.
You’ll find plenty of resources for both you and your congregations on the new Sabbath Living website. He was scared and alone and needed someone to be present– to touch him, to hold his hand. How do you achieve and maintain improved levels of whole self wellness?Borrowing from a variety of definitions, including the biopsychosocial model, I created the following inclusive definition of holistic health.
It helps you assess your level of holistic wellness now and in the future as you make changes. In spite of his own unjust imprisonment, the losses of good friends to war, separation from those he loved, and dealing with evil all around him, Bonhoeffer believed it would not just be an endurable Christmas, but an exceptional one. Engel considered wellness to be based on many factors interacting together to create a whole picture of health. By holistic definition, the approach has to do with four levels plus social and economical, when holistically treating the pneumonia.
Just popping an antibiotic may get rid of the symptom from our obvious view, but it is not a holistic healing. It is our genes that primarily determine how long we live, our mental outlook, and whether or not we eventually succumb to heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancer and other conditions.
It proves that we have a great deal more influence over our health and well-being than we were led to believe.



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