The body and the mind act in unison. Physical symptoms may indicate the state of mind or vice versa. Medical intervention should take into consideration the whole rather than isolated parts. This is the holistic approach.
The purpose of holistic healing is to provide long-term improvement and health. This may even cause short-term pain. Intervention should be minimal since nature, in her wisdom, knows the best course. Pain can serve to make us aware of the problem so that we give our body the chance to heal. Pain can also make us aware of our emotional state, thus helping us in our own personal evolution. A natural diet, good exercise and calmness of mind can be one of the best means of holistic healing in a number of cases.
Symptoms as survival mechanisms
Our body is always acting in self-preservation, and speaks to us through symptoms. Symptoms indicate that there is a problem and that we should take action to remove the cause. For example, a back pain that limits movement may be the body’s way of saying that that particular movement is harmful. Taking painkillers rather than avoiding the movement may cause the condition to become chronic. Similar logic applies to almost all diseases. Getting rid of a symptom temporarily, without getting to the root of problem will cause future complications.
The body’s healing power
The healing power is inherent in the body. When disease occurs, the body makes every effort to regain ease, that is health. A good doctor strengthens this innate healing power. While treating his patient he should remember his first duty, Primum Non Nocere. In other words, he may not always be able to help the patient, but his prime duty ought to be that he does no harm to the patient.
Modern medicine’s approach
Modern medicine emphasizes the immediate relief of symptoms. This is certainly life saving in emergencies, but more ordinary diseases may benefit more from another approach. Modern medicine’s time frame ignores the long-term well-being of patients and the environment.
Many of us live our lives striving for short-term goals. The consequences are similar to those of modern medicine. We have witnessed a growth of consumerism in the previous decades. People believe that if they achieve more, have more material possessions, or even more love, they will be happier. The empty feeling that people often find themselves struggling with, occurs when our goals are not in the best interests of the interrelated network of life that surrounds us.
Pressing further on our destructive path, we eat unhealthily on processed food, denying our bodies essential nutrients and clogging our cells with preservatives and chemicals. We live in an environment that is polluted from our desire to consume more. We are digging ourselves a deeper grave.
Fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified foods are all examples of this approach which results in short-term gain but ends in long-term destruction.
Our connection to the Universe
Our connection to the rest of the universe can be viewed on similar lines. We are an integral part of the whole. Any action, which causes harm to any part of the universe, cannot be beneficial to us on the long run as a consequence of this unity. A simple example is the use of pesticides to help human survival through greater food security, but by destroying ‘pests’. Though these help in the short term, they pollute our water and soil, cause disease, malformations and even deaths.