Holistic wellness is an approach to health which views all aspects of an individual’s life and their way to interact with the environment. It believes that every individual may play a role in their own wellness rather than relying solely on a specific medical model to treat illness. It involves viewing the health of the mind, body, and spirit as a way to promote wellbeing.
Holistic wellness varies from other treatment approaches in that it is viewed as a lifestyle coupled with a deeper understanding of self. According to the holistic approach, our “self” is the whole composed of our complex, interconnected parts. When one of these parts is malfunctioning, this will manifest as disease or deficit to the whole.
Studies suggest that holistic wellness is the most effective method of achieving wellness due to its multi-disciplinary approach.
While there are slight variations in the number of the domains within literature, generally these domains include physical, emotional/psychological, spiritual, financial, occupational and social wellness. The holistic approach emphasizes that attention must be given to each of these domains, but there does not need to be equal balance within these domains.
Holistic wellness is important because it helps individuals conceptualize illness by looking at all aspects of their lives and implementing changes to promote healing and prevention.
Holistic wellness is an essential factor in guaranteeing that someone will live a happy and healthy life by promoting spiritual and emotional reflection while deterring illness and disease. Achieving holistic health is also associated with accountability, self-regulation, and responsible decision-making.
The most efficient method to implement a holistic lifestyle is through behavioral changes, development of habits, and developing self-awareness and self-regulation.
A study in 2008 examined the importance of the mind-body connection within the context of preventing autoimmune responses due to stress triggers. It identified that stress decreases the body’s white blood cell activity, slows down wound healing and lowers the effectiveness of vaccines. Individuals involved in talk-therapy in order to address stress and offer coping showed improvement in their ability to heal and fight disease, this offers some concrete evidence in the importance of the mind-body connection in efforts of maintaining wellness.