Holistic Therapies & Stress

The word holistic is from the Greek word “Holos” meaning whole.  The Holistic therapist incorporates idea of the whole person including the mind, body and spirit.  The Holistic perspective considers the client’s physical and psychological problems.  In addition their environment and nutritional state.  All of these components can impact the body in both positive and negative ways. 

The integral biology studies our environment, physical and mental well-being.  It understands that everything we do within our life effects our body.  It can be divided between home and work events or “the work life balance”.  To approach from a holistic view you are going encourage client to consider their lifestyle and allow them to make changes to their own health, environment and daily way of living.  Often the client will come to therapist with their symptoms but it is the Holistic therapist role through questioning to look at the cause of the symptoms.  If we only treat the symptoms the result may be short lived.  If we can get to the root of the cause this can help to find a long term resolution to the condition and maybe a permanent change.

The stress factor is especially important this will have impact on physical and mental well-being.  It eventually is not the stress that is damaging to us but the way we manage and cope with stress in various ways.  There are those who lead a very stressful life but it does not make a difference to them and others who do not manage stress so well and it has a major impact on their life.  The two types of stress has been defined as either positive and negative.  Positive stress is one that is required to perform tasks and escape a possible threat.  Negative stress is one that causes worrying, panicking or loss of concentration.  This is damaging to our health and well-being.

When the body perceives there is danger or becomes highly stressed the hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain sets off an alarm response.  The signal is sent via nerves and hormones.  The body allows it to produce more “stress hormones” ie adrenaline and cortisol to be released.  The process is more commonly known as “the flight or fight response, in turn triggers the body to shut down in order to save energy and escape the threat ie the digestive system shuts down.  The body releases adrenaline to help increase speed to get away from danger. The heart rate increases and our breathing, blood vessel dilate to increase blood flow to the supply more oxygen and nutrients to able to contract muscles.  If the body is going to react in this way short term this may be beneficial to get a task done or get away from something that is harmful.  If the body is to continue to react to stress on a long term basis then this can have devastating impact for our overall health in the long run. 

Stress can cause Health related issues:-

  • Worry
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Digestive Issues ie IBS
  • Heart ie High Blood Pressure
  • Restless Sleep
  • Tiredness/Exhaustion
  • Weight Gain

Stress is linked to 75% of all diseases.  It is important to prevent and cope with stress and not allow it to take over our lives by confronting and taking positive steps to eliminate negative stress.