Holistic health is an all-encompassing approach to wellness that aims to address the root of health issues so that you can support your own health and wellbeing from all sides.
While holistic medicine may be a relatively new concept for many of us, many healing holistic health practices have a rich history dating back centuries.
Read these holistic health tips and tricks from The Brothers Apothecary if you’re interested in learning more about this beneficial wellness approach and ways to incorporate it into your everyday life.
What Is Holistic Health?
Holistic health is a holistic approach to health and wellness that considers the whole person, unlike much of conventional medicine that focuses on the physical symptoms or one single part.
Part of practicing holistic healthcare aims to understand and improve the mind, body, spirit, environment, and their connections.
Because we are composed of many overlapping and interconnected parts — and also connected to the larger world — holistic healthcare doesn’t isolate any single part of the whole. When one piece of the whole is out of balance, holistic healthcare aims to dig deep to understand the issue’s root cause.
By gaining insight into how any one area is both affecting and affected by the others, holistic health can help restore balance in all areas, promoting overall wellness and improving your quality of life.
Holistic Health Emphasizes a Healthy Body and Mind
While western medicine often focuses on treating specific symptoms, holistic medicine emphasizes the body and the mind together and the connection between the two. Holistic practitioners encourage us to tend to all aspects of our lives to attain better health and wellness, rather than isolating and prioritizing physical health alone.
Traditional forms of holistic care that hold space for the mind-body connection include yoga, reiki, acupuncture treatments, massage therapy, and Ayurveda — an alternative medicine in India that uses nourishing plant compounds found in herbal remedies.
Is Medication Always the Best Solution?
While medication can help address certain health issues, holistic health practices can complement treatment plans and help address areas of our life that may be causing or aggravating certain ailments.
For example, if you are experiencing discomfort in the muscles, you may ease the discomfort with over-the-counter medications. While this can temporarily soothe the feelings of tension, it doesn’t address the root of the issue.
Holistic health, however, would encourage you to examine what in your life may be causing this discomfort and make lifestyle changes to address it. Are you sitting at your computer for too long at a time, causing your muscles to tense up?
Are you engaging in vigorous exercise without taking the necessary rest days for muscle recovery? Are you not getting the protein you need in your diet to support muscle growth?
Once you’ve uncovered the source of your discomfort, you can adapt your daily activities, such as taking breaks throughout the workday to stretch your legs, incorporating recovery days into your workout routine, or adding protein powder to your diet.
And while medication may still help ease muscle discomfort when it happens, you may find you aren’t even experiencing the discomfort anymore after making these changes.
Ultimately, medication may play a role in your holistic wellness journey, but it would only serve as a single tool in your jam-packed toolbox. And always check in with your doctor before stopping any medication use.
Making Lifestyle Changes for Better Holistic Health
In practicing holistic health, we are encouraged to actively understand and improve our overall wellbeing by making lifestyle changes that can support our interconnected physical, mental, social, emotional, intellectual, and environmental health.
If you are new to the ideas of holistic health, this may sound overwhelming, but don’t stress! A few simple tips and tricks can help you feel your best as you explore holistic health.
Tips and Tricks for Better Overall Health
While holistic medicine may be a new concept for many, there are a few simple steps to add holistic health to your life. A holistic approach to your overall well-being doesn’t have to be complex or confusing. Let’s look at a few options.
Try Adding CBD to Your Daily Routine
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid that can work within the body to help maintain homeostasis. By interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (the ECS) to help support normal body function, CBD can be a beneficial companion in many wellness areas important to managing holistic health.
For instance, CBD can help support the effects of naturally produced endocannabinoids to soothe feelings of stress and tension, maintain a positive mood, and support a good night’s sleep.
CBD can also play a role in soothing physical discomfort caused by stress (which can include tense muscles and stomach aches). And by helping calm the mind to support restful sleep, CBD can also support healthy brain function, which can be impaired by lack of sleep.
See how everything is connected?
Drink Less Coffee and More Tea
Most of us can’t imagine starting our day without coffee, but paying closer attention to how our body reacts to certain foods and drinks may reveal that coffee is not as perfect as a pick-me-up as we tend to see it as.
The caffeine in coffee acts as a nervous system stimulant that can trigger the release of adrenaline, also known as the fight-or-flight hormone.
While the increased adrenaline production provides the burst of energy many of us have learned to crave in the morning, putting the body into the fight-or-flight state can also increase stress levels, cause irritability, and lead to an energy crash once the adrenaline production levels back out.
Too much caffeine can cause undesirable side effects such as increased heart rate and jitters. Not to mention, caffeine withdrawal can hit hard, and if you run out of time to make coffee for even a day, you may experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and nausea.
From a holistic health perspective, we can see how the effects of coffee may impact our physical, mental, emotional, and social health all at once.
As part of practicing holistic health, you may want to remain mindful of how different foods, drinks, and nutrients affect your mood, mental state, and physical being throughout the day, and transition to consuming more of what makes you feel your best long-term.
And if you realize that coffee may not be it for you, tea is a wonderful nutrient-rich herbal medicine that can help you feel rejuvenated and relaxed throughout the day.
Caffeinated teas tend to be milder than coffee, providing a mellower form of energy as the caffeine works synergistically with herbs and botanical compounds, nutrients, and antioxidants capable of supporting the immune system, maintaining healthy brain function, and calming the nerves.
And don’t forget to drink enough water throughout the day too! Focusing on naturopathy doesn’t mean you can neglect your mental health. Remember that holistic means your whole self.
Get Some Light Exercise Every Day
Moving your body doesn’t just improve your physical health; it can also lift your spirits and support your brain function.
As you exercise, blood flow to and from the heart and brain increases, and endorphins are released, helping to soothe feelings of stress. Exercising can also increase serotonin production, creating more feel-good chemicals in the brain that can help improve mood, ease nervous thoughts, and support a good night’s sleep.
There is evidence that the effects of movement on your physical and mental well-being can also help support the immune system.
Finding an exercise that is fun and feels good for you, be it running, rock climbing, cycling, boxing, or dancing, can enhance your overall wellness and improve all areas of your life. You can tend to your social well-being by taking walks or bike rides with a friend or enhance your spiritual balance by seeking out green spaces or hiking trails as part of your routine.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
When we have too much going on in our lives, sleep is usually one of the first things we let fall to the wayside. But getting enough good quality sleep is vital to our wellbeing. The time we spend sleeping is when our body recharges and readies itself for the upcoming day.
During sleep, our internal systems are hard at work rebuilding and strengthening our muscles, recharging neurons, consolidating memories, leveling out hormone and protein production, and strengthening the immune system to protect us from infections and illness.
Lack of sleep can quickly disrupt the body’s state of homeostasis. But small lifestyle changes to help ensure you get enough sleep can have incredibly positive effects in every aspect of your life.
Better sleep can help you feel rejuvenated and more alert throughout the day, decrease stress and tension, boost your memory and mental performance, improve your mood, reduce your chances of getting sick, and help you feel more in control of your emotions.
High screen usage can affect melatonin production and mess with our circadian rhythm. A relaxing pre-bedtime routine that replaces screen usage with calming activities such as meditation, journaling, aromatherapy, self-care, or sipping on a warming cup of CBD herbal tea can support a good night’s sleep.
Add Calming Habits to Your Life
Chronic stress can cause a wide range of physical health problems in both the short and long term, not to mention how it can wreak havoc on your emotional wellbeing. One way to counter this stress is to engage in calming activities that help you feel grounded and at peace.
Building feel-good habits is a personal journey, and there is no right way to do it. Your calming activities may include a short morning walk in nature, gardening, deep breathing, keeping a gratitude journal, or stretching. These habits can also include activities that engage the creative side of your brain with calming and creative projects such as pressing flowers, collaging, or filling up a coloring book.
Another way to add a little calm to your life is through holistic health practitioners. Look up your local holistic chiropractors for chiropractic care or traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. There are avenues to holistic healing around every corner and in every modality.
Or maybe your calming habits look like something else entirely. Whatever it is, if it helps you feel even a little more centered and relaxed, it can soothe feelings of tension and benefit your overall wellness.
Cultivate Healthy Relationships
Social wellness is one of the aspects of holistic health, as cultivating healthy relationships can help boost the mood and nourish the soul.
Having a friend to laugh with, a therapist to help process emotions with, getting involved in community projects, attending virtual meetups, or volunteering with groups and organizations where you can connect with others over shared interests can all lead to emotional fulfillment to improve mental and physical health alike.
As you make time for friends and family and tend to social connections, remember that cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself and setting healthy boundaries are also necessary parts of caring for yourself.
The Bottom Line
Holistic health can help us improve our well-being in all areas, and it will look different for all of us as we learn about our wellness needs and the ways different areas of our lives overlap and intersect.
Once you understand how one aspect of your life impacts others, finding the tools and practices that best address your overall personal wellness will become easier.
As you start, building an awareness of what foods and activities make you feel good, tending to relationships that help you feel happy and fulfilled, and seeking out ways to calm the mind and promote better sleep can significantly impact how you feel in your day-to-day life.
CBD can help you on your holistic health care journey by working with your body’s natural systems to soothe feelings of stress, support relaxation, and support a good night’s sleep.
With a wide variety of sustainably sourced and third-party tested CBD and herbal infused teas, edibles, oils, supplements, smoking blends, and topicals to explore at The Brothers Apothecary shop, you can find an option that is best suited for your unique wellness needs.