Holistic treatment also referred to as holistic psychotherapy is a treatment approach that focuses on creating a whole person as opposed to focusing on symptoms or isolated elements of an individual’s wellbeing. Usually, treatment focuses on treating aspects of an individual that require attention at the time.
For instance, if you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, you could get medication and counseling sessions. In holistic treatment, however, a holistic therapist will focus on all aspects of your life. These include exercise and diet, spiritual health, and psychosocial support.
How Does Holistic Treatment Work?
Holistic therapy holds that one’s consciousness is in one specific part of the body but is found in multiple areas that work together. These include the mind, body, and spirit. According to holistic therapy, the physical body hosts all other elements, the mind manages all roles of the brain, and the spirit is a higher sense that allows us to connect with others, higher power and to understand life’s meaning.
Holistic therapy intends to help one get to a place where they understand the connections between the body, mind, and spirit. To attain this level of understanding, holistic therapists use a variety of techniques. The idea is to help an individual get a deeper understanding of who they are at all levels and by doing that develop healthier esteems and awareness.
Holistic practitioners assess a person’s symptoms so as to determine the best approach for treatment. For instance, if one is suffering from anxiety, depression, or substance abuse, the treatment will focus on helping the person develop a heightened awareness of who they are. While holistic treatment is very effective, other conventional treatment options might be necessary depending on the individual case.
For individuals struggling with substance abuse, taking part in the 12 step programs and joining a support group is a significant part of recovery and highly encouraged by the holistic practitioners.
Mindfulness, which is described as an attempt to achieve full awareness, is a concept that has gained recognition in holistic therapy. It involves helping individuals undergoing treatment to get to a place where they fully accept themselves, after having a deeper understanding of who they are; their strengths, gifts, talents, weaknesses, etc.
The practice holds that if you can understand yourself better, you are likely to accept yourself more and ultimately be in a better position to let go of issues that cause you distress. Other techniques such as visual imagery, relaxation, meditation, and some physical exercises are employed during therapy.
What Is Holistic Therapy Used To Address?
There are many conditions that can be addressed using holistic therapy. It is however important to note that depending on the situation, other interventions such as conventional medicine might be integrated into the treatment.
Some of the psychosocial concerns that can be managed using holistic treatment include:
- Stress management
- Existential crisis
Holistic treatment can also be used in the case where one has physiological symptoms that have occurred as a result of a psychological problem. Such physiological symptoms involve muscle tension, muscle spasms, tension headaches, and digestion issues.
While there is a general belief that holistic treatment purely focuses on mental health issues and symptoms, you will find that it is very useful in helping you deal with your emotional, physical, and spiritual issues that could be affecting your overall well-being.
Holistic Therapy And Exercises
Holistic treatment exercises go beyond dealing with the physical body, to dealing with emotions, the mind, and the soul. Treatment through exercises first addresses the tension in one’s body by massaging and using other bodywork procedures.
Trust needs to be established between you and your therapists so that they can help you address deeper tensions that might include repressed emotions. There is no set timeline for this level of awareness and release to be accomplished and that is why it’s imperative that one feels safe and connected with their therapist.
Once the repressed emotions are released, the individual is in a position to let in positive emotions that help in their healing.
The next set of exercises includes utilizing verbal styles of psychotherapy. During this process, an individual is guided towards exploring their emotions, and how they affect their life. The point of these exercises is to help individuals gain control of their emotions and ultimately be able to make better decisions than enrich their lives.
In the third level of treatment, the therapist introduces exercises that focus on the soul and mind. This level of treatment is the hardest and could take years before one attains full awareness. The point of this stage in treatment is to help one get a deeper meaning of life, the world, and how to interact with them so that they can live a balanced life.
Is Holistic Treatment Effective?
Holistic therapy is very broad and addresses so many integrated parts of a person and it is, therefore, difficult to measure the extent to which it is effective. However, there has been researching that indicates some techniques employed during holistic therapy have been critical in managing certain mental health challenges.
Critics have cited that the three-level mediation treatment used in holistic treatment is realistically unachievable. There is a question of whether an individual can reach the ultimate level of awareness and overall well being in all aspects of their lives: social, physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual.
In a world where there will be new challenges that we have no control of, such as loss, grief, and sickness, overall wellness is not something that one can achieve, it is a continuous journey.
However, some argue that it is possible to undergo holistic treatment and get to a point where you are able to practice holistic living without the help of a holistic therapist.
Holistic therapy has been practiced for generations and it has proven beneficial. Treatment is however not linear and you require a qualified holistic practitioner to guide you through the process if you hope to ultimately benefit from the process.