A holistic approach to health acknowledges that our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements are connected and impactful; making changes to support the WHOLE person and not just the physical parts of the body that are symptomatic.
Client-centered care respects that every person is unique and that their needs, knowledge and preferences are important. The client is encouraged to contribute to their plan for change and the practitioner is there to educate, guide, support and empower.
Our health and well-being isinfluenced by a range of interconnected factors including: age, gender, genetics, nutrition, hydration, movement, sleep, stress management, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, spirituality, positive intimate and social relationships, sense of community and purpose, support networks, self-talk and self-esteem, perspectives, optimism, and stress (all types - environmental,psychological, physical and social).
While potentially complex, there is true value to be found in reflecting on these interconnected relationships:
Consider how your stomach feels when you are nervous or anxious...
How are your emotions impacted when you are in pain or tired? Your appetite may be different at these times. You also may not feel like exercising.
Nutrition and eating habits can significantly impact your sleep, mood, energy, social life, happiness etc.
Stress, even mild forms can negatively impact digestion, blood pressure, weight, sleep, hormones, inflammation, immune system and how nicely you talk to your family & friends.
There is a strong connection between physical health and mental health. In fact, looking after your physical health has scientifically shown to improve mental health, and vice versa. If one declines, the other can also be impacted.
Exercise helps you sleep better, often drives you to want to eat better and both of these will give you more energy to stay active.
Physical activity not only improves physical health but can also lift your mood and contribute to social well-being especially if you are active with others. Recreational activity with other people has been shown to improve self-esteem and reduce anxiety and depression.
Enhancing social well-being is one the best ways to improve mental and emotional well-being. When socially connected, we can feel better with more positive emotions and are able to cope better with day to day challenges.
Physical health and mental health are strongly connected. Taking care of your physical health is scientifically shown to improve mental well-being, and vice versa. If one declines, the other can be affected too.
As a Dietitian and Nutritionist, I am trained to help you with your eating habits, optimise your nutrition and use food as medicine. As a holistic health practitioner, I'm also eager to help you optimise your overall well-being by looking at your lifestyle, environment, mind-body influences etc... to ultimately help you feel your best!
Having a holistic practitioner in your healthcare team takes some pressure off you in terms of assisting you to look at the big picture and make informed suggestions about different factors influencing your health concern.
Day to day we have more time to focus on some of the above factors than others, but when you neglect to find a balance, your body will start to tell you in one way or another e.g. digestive issues, tiredness, irritability, headaches, low libido, poor immunity, chronic illness etc.
Learning to tune-in to the many ways your body communicates to you, and to respond accordingly, will be a game changer for your health journey xx