Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The New Craze....Holistic Health!

The New Craze...Holistic Health!
Are you confused about the meaning of holistic? Have you ever been discussing holistic health and discovered that the other person was defining holistic in a totally different way than you? This is not surprising, since there are no accepted standard definitions for holistic, holistic health, or holistic medicine. Most usage falls within two common definitions:
  • Holistic as a whole made up of interdependent parts. You are most likely to hear these parts referred to as 1) the mind/ body connection, 2) mind/ body/ spirit, or 3) physical/ mental/ emotional/ spiritual aspects. When this meaning is applied to illness, it is called holistic medicine and includes a number of factors, such as 1) dealing with the root cause of an illness, 2) increasing patient involvement, and 3) considering both conventional (allopathic) and complementary (alternative) therapies.

  • Holistic as a synonym for alternative therapies. By this definition, "going holistic" means turning away from any conventional medical options and using alternative treatment exclusively. This meaning mainly relates to illness situations, and sometimes is used for controversial therapies.
There are many hot topics over this debate, so I decided to dig a little bit deeper into the idea of holistic remedies. We have all a heart, so let's look at five tip to keeping your heart strong! 

1. Consistent Exercise
Make it a goal to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Remember the heart is a muscle, in order to keep it strong it must be exercised. Swimming, running, and cycling are great cardiovascular exercises to get your heart pumping and also burn fat.
If your free time is limited try to find small breaks of 10 or 15 minutes throughout the day and do what you can. Consistency is what’s important; even if you can’t do a lot all at once, some activity is better than none.
2. Eat A Healthy Diet
This is quite possibly the most difficult thing for most people to do as healthy food is always convenient for everyone.
Avoid fast food as it tends to contain lots of additives, sugar, and saturated fats. Do your best to avoid saturated fats especially, they are what clogs your arteries and slow blood flow. A healthy diet is the hardest thing to maintain, but the benefits later on in life definitely make it worth it.
Healthy unsaturated fats that are found in nuts, fish, and olive oil are actually very good for the heart and combined with combined with simple carbs like those in fruit and complex carbs found in foods like bread and pasta, can give you a well-balanced diet.
Fish is one of the best sources of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids you can get so feel free to indulge there as well.
3. Avoid Tobacco Products
Smoking and chewing tobacco are known to greatly increase your chances of developing heart disease. The heart is put under much more strain when you smoke or chew because the nicotine narrows your blood vessels, making it harder to pump blood throughout your body.
Consequently, use of tobacco products can severely inhibit your ability to exercise as well.
4. Get A Healthy Dose of Vitamins
No matter how hard you try, odds are you won’t get all of the necessary vitamins and other nutrients out of your diet every day. A one-a-day multivitamin or form of Vitamin D could go a long way to keeping you healthy and making up for the less than nutritious day you might have had on the go.
This is not to say vitamin supplements are a substitute for a healthy diet, but an aid for the days you are a little more on the unhealthy side. Even if you are eating right, a multivitamin definitely doesn’t hurt and only does that much more to ensure you a healthy heart.
5. Visit the Doctor at Least Once a Year
Do your best to keep an eye on your overall health by making a habit of seeing the doctor once a year. If your family has a history of heart problems or you think you may be having some occur suddenly, consider a heart screening for a more thorough exam.
Those who use tobacco, drink a little more alcohol than usual, or lead a sedentary lifestyle should really keep an eye on their heart after 40 as that is when the first signs of heart problems brought about by an unhealthy lifestyle tend to show up.

By implementing these five tips within your daily life, you are well on your way to a well rounded holistic lifestyle! What are your opinions on the holistic way of life?? 


  1. A great post, Kaitlyn, which beautifully explains some of the holistic principles and tactics that form the core of your work. I can't give you credit for the post because it is so late, but I am glad you got it in nonetheless!

  2. I love the idea of holistic health because it hits every target point that goes into our overall wellness. I feel that people forget about taking vitamins or integrating more food items with more vitamins so it's nice to see that make it onto the list! I also like the idea of non conventional medical treatment because I feel that nowadays we are focusing solely on medications, such as antibiotics, to fix our illnesses when it could be as easy as changing your workout routine or eating healthier. Your post was very informative and fun to discuss!

  3. I personally am fascinated by both definitions you given us regarding of holistic health. The first term you used describing holistic as something made up of parts and the workings of those parts to help the whole function is something that should be added into clinical health care. It's crazy to think that a problem, such as restless leg syndrome for example, can be directly linked to nutrient intake. Instead of prescribing a patient with medication to help the problem, a holistic practitioner, typically a Naturopathic doctor, would ask the patient what foods they were consuming and what type pf exercise that person was doing on a regular basis. From there, restless leg syndrome could be due to a lack of magnesium and B vitamins, and even due to exercise methods. Piecing together the functioning parts of the human body and seeing how it functions as a whole is a wonderful way to interconnect medicine, environment, and culture.

  4. Kaitlyn,

    I really enjoyed this post. I am very much into holistic remedies. A lot of my neighbors in Vermont make home remedies that many people, including myself, consider to be holistic. However, to be completely honest I wasn't entirely confident that I completely understood what holistic meant until I read your post. Your post helps really clarify the meaning of holistic.

    I really love holistic health because in today's world we are quick to jump to medicine to solve all of our problems. However, as you pointed out, getting down to the root of the problem and steering away from conventional medicine can be so beneficial.

    Have you tried some home remedies yourself that you believe to be holistic? I have a history of gastrointestinal problems and one of my neighbors makes kombucha juice. It sounds really weird but it is not half bad and it really helps!

  5. Being a student in the health field I have never really heard of holistic health but, when I was reading your post I feel like I know some people who live by this lifestyle! I feel like it is becoming more common for people to find that mind/body/spirit connection and turning away from the conventional medicine and turning to therapies. I loved your last little piece to your post about how people are holistically trying to keep their heart healthy and when you read it, it is pretty much the top 5 things that people need to do for general overall health!