Know why taking care of your mental health is equally important as physical health.
A holistic approach to disbalance and wellbeing.
It is an ancient wisdom that only a healthy mind can lead to a healthy body, and in return, only a healthy body can produce and sustain a healthy mind. Unfortunately, there is longstanding tradition of considering the mind and body as separate and distinct entities. During the 20th century, scientific medical advances lead to a dramatic shift in concept of health. In Occidental medicine, germs were identified as outside sources causing disease, body was cured with medications, and holism was temporarily lost form sight. It has taken until the late 20th and early 21st century for there to be stronger calls for an integrated approach to the understanding and management of psychological and physical health needs. By the 1975, when the new field of study- Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) emerged, researchers had already known that nervous and immune system can communicate with each other. Over the last few decades, the intriguing and pervasive links between psychology, neuroscience and the immune system have been more intensely uncovered. We only recently started to understand their interaction and what does it mean for our health, altering ramification for the treatment of diseases.
PNI identifies the direct links between psychological distress and illness.
Our immune system oversees discrimination between foreign cells and our own naturally occurring cells. A strong immune system is necessary to ward off infections and keep us healthy. Biological as well as psychological stressors compromise our immune system making us vulnerable to illnesses.Hans Selye understood stress as a set of physiological events in the body, in response to any loss or threat, real or perceived. In modern life there are very few real life-threatening situations.The most important stressors acting on human beings are psychological ones. Of all the types of stress, changes in health from routine stress may be hardest to notice. Because the source of stress tends to be more constant than in cases of acute or traumatic stress, the body gets no clear signal to return to normal functioning. In small doses, stress alert us and motivates. The more intense the stressor, the more compromised our defensive system becomes. Chronic stress leads to increased susceptibility to inflammatory and chronic diseases. Even stress caused by relatively minor aversive events, such as public speech, can cause temporary increases in white blood cell count to occur.
Links between mind and body must be seen not only for understanding of illness, but also for understanding of health. With holistic approach to health, one’s health is measured not just by the absence of symptoms and disease, but overall positive state of being.Holistic health is based on the systemic view on nature- the one that the whole is more than just a sum of independent parts,constantly interacting with the surroundings. When one part of system is not working, it impacts all the other parts.A holistic approach to healing goes beyond just eliminating symptoms. In holistic medicine, a symptom is considered a message that something needs attention. So, the symptom is used as a guide to look below the surface for the root cause. Then what really needs attention can be addressed.
Every person is different, so there is no specific formula for holistic healing. Frequently it involves medical attention alongside psychological counselling or psychotherapy in regaining the healthy balance. Psychotherapeutic setting is a non-invasive platform for exploring depths of our minds and nature of our relationships. It focuses on the helpful and healthy traits of mind, rather than its problems. Therapists help those in stressful situations find a way to cope and learn stress management tools. Emotions are a practical guidance that, when attended to, help an individual grow.
The mind’s impact on health highlights the importance of recognizing a holistic approach that considers the roles of emotions, cognition and behaviour in bodily homeostasis. Taking care of your mental health is equally important as taking care of your physical health.