Holism is approximately the big picture; it relates to the idea that nothing happens in vacuum pressure. When seeking answers to an issue, holism puts the emphasis on the ‘whole’ rather than the parts.
The English Oxford Dictionaries define holism:
The theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they can not exist independently of the complete, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of the its parts.
And when holism is about health:
The treating of the complete person, taking into account mental and social factors, instead of just the symptoms of an illness.
Another way to consider holism is to apply the analogy of systems both natural and manmade (i.e. an ecosystem a health system, a family group system, a solar system, etc.).
A system is a complex ‘whole’ with a clear boundary; there is another and an inside. The content inside a system (for instance: weather, animals, and plants) is made up of interrelated, interdependent parts that directly reflect the overall context, within that they exist, (for instance: an ecosystem).
Whenever the whole of anything produces an outcome higher than any of its parts could accomplish, individually, we call that synergy, (for example: a thunderstorm, the music of an orchestra).
The contrary to holism, reductionism, instead analyzes something by its component parts.
Holistic Health: Treating the Whole Person
The original approach of the medical system has taught us to recognize health from the reductionist perspective. We go to the doctor to obtain some specific part of our body fixed since it has stopped functioning well and may be causing us pain.
Millions of people get excellent results using the medical-model. The only problem is that this model considers, almost exclusively, just the fitness of the body. So when it comes to mental health, the typical solution is to prescribe antidepressant medicine.
Why is this a problem? We humans are complex beings. We’ve minds, emotions and a soul, the personal, intangible relationship to a macro reality beyond ourselves. Also, who we are, is constantly influenced within the contexts of family, community, country and world.
A holistic approach to health and wellness addresses the reality of these multiple interrelated and interdependent parts that make us who we have been. The malaise of anybody of them can directly (and negatively), affect the health of other areas of our life.
For this reason alone, the first focus of holistic care is on the person and not the issue or disease. Stress, anxiety, and depression, for instance, often end up translating to a physical symptom. It’s all connected.
In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national survey, in September, 2017, The American Psychiatric Association reported that antidepressant use had gone from 1 in 50 people 30 years back to at least one 1 of 9 between the years 2011 and 2014, and today in 2018.
This is clear evidence of the rise in mood disorders for Americans.
Why the increased use? As mentioned, nothing happens in a vacuum and so assessing one’s lifestyle regarding home, relationships, finances, work, etc. becomes a critical task to find out their impact. The bottom-line would be to find the root cause (s) and set up a restorative plan.
Cannabis and Holistic Health
The medicinal usage of cannabis is a world apart from its recreational use. In many cases, the lower the amount of THC found in any medicinal formulation, the greater the desired effect. The saying is: Start low; go slow. Treatment is never one-size-fits-all because the current interplay of someone’s body, mind and soul are of primary consideration.
Dispensaryherbs.com Historically, the entire ancient cannabis plant was useful for a beneficial impact on a person’s overall, general condition, far beyond mere symptom control. This helps it be an ideal match to the holistic method of health.
Not unlike the complexity of the human being in context of our various lifestyles, cannabis a complex plant of the plant kingdom. It’s effectiveness being an overall tonic has to do with the actual fact of cannabis containing approximately 100 molecular compounds, with THC and CBD most researched and understood.
Once the whole of the cannabis plant is used as medicine it offers a synergistic or ‘entourage’ effect which accounts for why the therapeutic usage of cannabis provides relief to a wide variety of conditions.
In this manner therapeutic cannabis use stands in stark contrast to traditional medicine that typically isolates plant compounds and manufactures them in pharmaceuticals to focus on one symptom or bodily system.
I believe that increasing numbers of people are discerning the difference between the medical and holistic models of health. Each has its time and place. When discovering the many great things about medicinal cannabis, our overall wellness, lifestyle and broader culture can transform for the higher.
Susan is really a 2018 graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy with over 45 years of personal involvement in the spectral range of wellness modalities. Her mission today is to intervene in the noise of modern life and help people identify and remove stressors that trigger their dis-ease while providing strategies towards a living experience of inner calmness, contentment and inspiration.