I Choose to Live Holistically
Holistic living is such a beautiful approach to life. The goal of holistic health is to live optimally. Just think about that for a minute. How amazing is it to follow a philosophy of life that aims to provide you with a maximum level of wellbeing. For yourself and your family, you don’t want to have a life that you describe as just being “okay,” do you? You want a great life! We all do. Holistic health teaches us to nurture all of our interconnected parts, our mind, body and spirit, as well as, our environment in order to achieve our greatest potential. Choosing a holistic lifestyle means that you will accept responsibility for your own wellbeing and that every day you will make choices that will bring you greater health and joy. I choose to live holistically because I want the best for myself and my family and I believe that caring for ourselves, for each other and the planet just makes sense.
Conventional medicine would have us believe that health is the absence of sickness. This is a concept that I could never fully grasp or appreciate because I know that simply avoiding pain does not create health, vitality or happiness. As an infant and into her toddler years my daughter could not digest a variety of foods. She was prescribed a hypoallergenic formula, and she was living on infant oatmeal, rice cereal, applesauce, stewed carrots, prunes and squash for over a year. She couldn’t tolerate many proteins rich foods. She couldn’t eat chicken, eggs, beef, nuts or soy. She couldn’t eat wheat. She couldn’t even eat most fruits and vegetables. She couldn’t have the typical childhood favorite snacks such as bananas, peaches, yogurt and crackers. Anytime she ate a food that she couldn’t tolerate she would break out in a red itchy rash. The rashes were pretty severe. At their worst they led to skin infections. So our solution at the time was to avoid the foods she couldn’t tolerate, but the extremely restricted diet that she was following was hard on the whole family. When I asked the doctor what we could do, I was told that there was not much to do, but use steroid creams and antibiotics when her flare-ups were really bad. The doctor wasn’t too concerned about her because she was growing and gaining weight at each visit. Without a severe symptom like a failure to thrive, the doctors were not even willing to send her to a gastroenterologist to figure out why she was not digesting her food. In the doctor’s eyes, she was a well-child, but all I could think about was her quality of life?
When I discovered holistic medicine and was able to work with doctors who practice functional and complementary medicine, I found out that there was so much more that I could do to improve my daughter’s quality of life. Her rashes and food intolerance were a symptom of a much larger underlying problem. As we were consulted to give her body what it needed to repair itself we began to see positive changes. Finally, we were making progress, rather than waiting for my daughter to get sicker. The holistic practitioners that I met were completely different from the conventional doctors that I had interacted with my entire life. They listened to me. They took time to get to know me and my daughter and our unique situation. They took an interest in my daughter as a person and they were fully committed to helping her feel better. The treatment that she was given was ongoing, for as long as we felt we needed it. This was a stark change from the visits to her regular pediatrician who would glance at her rashes, write us a prescription and we wouldn’t see her until the next horrible flare up. They weren’t waiting for her to be severely underweight before they would treat her. The holistic practitionares were not waiting for a life threatening situation before stepping in. They were the support and guidance that my family desperately needed.
Holistic Health has not only helped my daughter, but it has had a positive effect on the entire family. As my husband and I cared for my daughter, we began to take better care of ourselves as well. We realized that choosing a holistic lifestyle was a no brainer. We were no longer left at the mercy of our doctors but instead we were able to learn and work more collaboratively with them. Instead of taking a pills and creams to mask our symptoms, we have learned to make daily choices that keep our bodies working at their best. We are experiencing firsthand what it means to live optimally and as we take responsibility for our health and learn new ways to take care of our bodies, our lives get even better. I choose a holistic approach to life because I want my family to feel their best.
What does holistic living mean to you? Why have you chosen to live holistically?