Holism is approximately the big picture; it pertains to the idea that nothing happens in vacuum pressure. When seeking answers to an issue, holism puts the focus 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 cannot exist independently of the complete, or cannot be understood regardless of the whole, that is thus regarded as higher than the sum of its parts.
And when holism is approximately health:
The treating of the whole person, considering mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of an illness.
Another way to think about holism is by using 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 really a complex ‘whole’ with a clear boundary; there is an outside and an inside. This content inside a system (for instance: weather, animals, and plants) comprises of interrelated, interdependent parts that directly reflect the entire context, within that they exist, (for example: an ecosystem).
Whenever the complete of anything produces an outcome higher than any of its parts could accomplish, individually, we call that synergy, (for instance: a thunderstorm, the music of an orchestra).
Dispensary to holism, reductionism, instead analyzes something by its component parts.
Holistic Health: Treating the complete Person
The traditional approach of the medical system has taught us to recognize health from a reductionist perspective. We visit the doctor to obtain some specific part of our body fixed because 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 model considers, almost exclusively, just the health of the body. And when it involves mental health, the normal solution would be to prescribe antidepressant medicine.
Why is this an issue? We humans are complex beings. We have minds, emotions and a soul, the personal, intangible relationship to a macro reality beyond ourselves. Also, who we are, is continually influenced within the contexts of family, community, country and world.
A holistic approach to health and fitness addresses the reality of these multiple interrelated and interdependent parts which make us who we have been. The malaise of any one of them can directly (and negatively), affect the fitness of other parts of our life.
For this reason alone, the initial focus of holistic care is on the individual and not the problem or disease. Stress, anxiety, and depression, for example, often find yourself 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 opted from 1 in 50 people 30 years ago to 1 1 of 9 between the years 2011 and 2014, and now in 2018.
This is clear proof the rise in mood disorders for Americans.
Why the increased use? As stated, nothing happens in a vacuum and so assessing one’s lifestyle regarding home, relationships, finances, work, etc. becomes a crucial task to determine their impact. The bottom-line would be to find the real cause (s) and set up a restorative plan.
Cannabis and Holistic Health
The medicinal usage of cannabis is a world aside from its recreational use. In many cases, the lower the quantity of THC used in any medicinal formulation, the higher the desired effect. The saying is: Start low; go slow. Treatment is never one-size-fits-all as the current interplay of someone’s body, mind and soul are of primary consideration.
Historically, the whole of the ancient cannabis plant was useful for a beneficial impact on someone’s overall, general condition, far beyond mere symptom control. This helps it be a perfect match to the holistic approach to health.
Not unlike the complexity of the individual 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 fact of cannabis containing approximately 100 molecular compounds, with THC and CBD most researched and understood.
When the whole of the cannabis plant can be used as medicine it includes a synergistic or ‘entourage’ effect which makes up about why the therapeutic usage of cannabis brings relief to a wide selection of conditions.
In this way 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 better.
Susan is a 2018 graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy with over 45 years of personal involvement in the spectrum 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 connection with inner calmness, contentment and inspiration.