"This is revolutionary health care of the future. Every health care practitioner should have a copy." Dennis Hertenstein, D.C.
"The most usable Resource Guide to natural health care I've seen." Ken Pryor, Integral Therapy Institute
Table of Contents
Part One - Health Care
1. Causes of Ill Health
2. A New Model of Holistic Health
Part Two - Aspects of Holistic Health
3. Physical Health
4. Economic/Occupational Health
5. Intellectual/Educational Health
6. Psychological Health
7. Relationship/Social Health
8. Governmental / Legal Health
9. Environmental Health
10. Spiritual Health
Part Three - From Here to There: Starting from Known Dysfunction to Ideal Health
Back and Neck Pain
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Hypertension - High Blood Pressure
Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorders, Learning Disabilities, and Sensory Integration Dysfunction
Aging, Dying, Death
Ultra-Low Cost Health Enhancement Strategies
Special Subject Resources
The Ultimate Journey is the lifelong Path of Wholeness. We have the sense that we once knew what it felt like to be Whole. We are just trying to find our way back. Use this book as a map to help you along the Way. It will show you the landscape of our present day lack of wholeness - physically, psychologically, economically, educationally, socially, ecologically, spiritually. We use the word "health" to describe wholeness and the integration of these aspects of our being, but it is very important to realize that the root meaning of the word health comes from the ancient references to "whole" and "holy."
The Causes of Ill Health
Reasons for our lack of wholeness or poor health are elucidated early in the book. One primary reason for our poor health is that the lay public and members of the health care industry live their lives and perform their jobs as if they believed that health was merely the absence of symptoms. This misconception creates a cascade of other tragic notions.
With health being the elimination of uncomfortable symptoms, what should be comprehensive "health care" systems are transformed into fragmented "disease care" systems. Modern medicine continues to perpetuate the belief that symptoms are best categorized into specific, discrete conditions or diseases that have one cause and one cure. Because the most powerful and predominant disease care system, medicine and surgery, has as its primary tools "drugs and knives," it has deemed that the best way to deal with these uncomfortable symptoms, conditions, and diseases is to use medicines and surgery. These cures are usually regarded as relatively unrelated to psychodynamics, environment, human relationships, or spirit. Only token credence, money, time, research, and energy are given to prevention, improving function, health promotion, or a transformation of being.
These misconceptions and misdirections are deeply ingrained by an economic and cultural steamroller consisting of doctors, nurses, therapists, hospital administrators, researchers, public relations specialists, insurance executives and claims agents, pharmaceutical manufacturers, advertisers, regulators, lawyers, and surgical instrument manufacturers. Besides those directly involved in the "health care" industry, there is also the tremendous influence of special interests pushing for "economic progress" despite its terribly damaging effects on many other aspects of health, such as consumer safety or environmental protection.
It is no wonder then that the overwhelming majority of citizens ends up deeply programmed to fall into the vicious cycle of:
It is only after many years of this routine working, usually with progressively deteriorating results, that some individuals start to question those beliefs. What alternatives are then available?
Attempts at Holistic Health Care
There are a number of health care systems, both ancient and modern, that claim to be "holistic" or imply it. They are known by different names: Ayurvedic, American Holistic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Complementary Medicine, Macrobiotic, Third Line Medicine, Patanjali Yoga, Psychoneuroimmunology, Mind-Body Medicine, and Era III Medicine, to name a few. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, spoke of health as the harmony of body and mind. He also discussed the importance of harmony between man and the natural world. Even certain segments of Naturopathy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy, and Homeopathy claim the label of holism.
The grand vision of each of these systems certainly leans more towards a unified concept of health and being than does modern medicine. But in practice they fall far short of their theoretical best intentions. There are a number of reasons for this.
The older systems have for the most part failed to integrate modern advances into their practices. Traditional Chinese Medicine might be improved by incorporating modern electronic instrumentation in acupuncture, as well as advances in exercise prescription in the Tai Chi Chuan exercise regimen. Ayurvedic medicine could utilize more elaborate and descriptive methods of psycho-physical testing and classification. Macrobiotics could benefit from complementing its Oriental perspective on healthy diet with modern biochemical, nutritional, and toxicological analysis.
These older systems also tend to be more simplistic than reality dictates. This is in part due to the level of knowledge about human physiology and the laws of the natural world that prevailed at the time these systems were developed. Hippocrates, for instance, theorized that health depended on a balance of "humours" - phlegm from the brain, blood produced in the heart, yellow bile from the liver, and black bile coming from the spleen. Quite a bit off base! Oversimplification also comes from a hesitancy to recognize progress.
As for some of the more modern approaches, one pervasive problem is that each system has a predominant therapeutic focus that overlooks a truly balanced, unified view of the client's health. This despite eloquent pronouncements about balance and a holistic perspective from the advocates of these systems. Too often this is just lip service.
Individual exceptions aside, when you go to a chiropractor, the major focus of care is going to center around spinal manipulation. Homeopaths, no matter how much affinity they feel for some of the original holistic philosophies, spend ninety percent of their time figuring out and prescribing homeopathic "remedies." Naturopaths, depending on the particular orientation of the practitioner, will focus on one or two favorite therapeutic modalities. Medical doctors or osteopaths practicing "preventive" or "holistic" care have their own unique, but limited, "little bag of tricks." The contents vary every few months depending on what new seminar the doctor recently attended, or what new products are being hawked by their local detail men. Those "holistic" practitioners that have a psychological bent often focus too exclusively on the psychosomatic axis of care and ignore other important elements.
This limited mode of health care, working under the umbrella of holism, occurs so often for several reasons. One, it is difficult, if not impossible, to acquire the knowledge and skill to personally deliver all therapeutic modalities. Many health care workers were practicing, and became accomplished in, a particular specialty prior to coming into the fold of "holistic health care." They were thus trained in a particular method of practice, and then they tried to fit those modalities of care into a new, expanded philosophy of practice. Two, it is also difficult to assemble and coordinate a "team of specialists approach." No matter how good it might sound in theory, centers attempting this most often end up just "ping-ponging" patients from one therapist to another so that each can try his or her specialty on the "problem." Three, no real, systematic, team approach exists that effectively evaluates priorities of health enhancement strategies for each aspect of one's being. Nor do any health centers use a well defined protocol for integrating all of these factors.
Another major problem preventing these types of established "holistic" attempts from actualizing the full promise of comprehensive health care is that they are trying to survive economically in an atmosphere totally hostile to their philosophical tenets. Medical boards revoke licenses of doctors using some "alternative" methods. The legal system imposes potential economic and professional ruin in the form of malpractice lawsuits for those not willing to strictly abide by the "community standards of care," no matter how archaic they might be. Pharmaceutical advertisers relentlessly condition the masses to think that health can be bought in a pill, potion, or lotion.
A New Model of Holistic Health
The model of health that is proposed here is based on several major foundations. One, health = wholeness = physical, psychological, economic, intellectual, social, ecological, and spiritual well-being. Each person has a unique pattern in which these and other elements of wholeness are integrated. The more factors that can be accurately assessed and enhanced, the more one can determine the level of wholeness one will obtain. This is why multi-disciplinary cooperation is encouraged for regaining health in the most effective way. Two, all energy and matter in the Universe are intimately interrelated. All life has an inborn drive towards this wholeness and unity. Three, illness and symptoms should not be seen as just uncomfortable experiences to be rid of. It is far more useful to view them as signals of meaning and encouragement to go into deeper, more comprehensive transformations in all aspects of being. It is more valuable to look at health on a spectrum of varying levels of functioning rather than depend on the old model in which "you are either symptomatic or you are healthy." Holistic health is not some ideal state to be acquired, but rather a process of engaging Life in the best way we can. It is a Path of Unity. Four, health is more dependent on what people do for themselves and with others than it is on professional intervention. This demands that individuals know their rights and responsibilities regarding health. It also speaks of the importance of right relationship with our fellow beings.
Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1995
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