Tuesday, August 29, 2006

An Introduction to Holistic Wellness

well·ness (wlns)
The condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.

Most often, western (or allopathic) health care focuses on illness and disease. Indeed, focusing on ill health may sometimes be necessary, for instance to address problems that require surgical intervention or medication.

However, here at the Australasian College, we teach a holistic perspective of health. We like to teach each student to focus on the overall holistic concept of wellness and the tools that we can all use to stay well. This introduction is intended to assist you to do this.

Why focus on wellness?
Any psychologist will tell you that focusing on a concept is the first step to achieving it. An equestrian will tell you that you must look over the jump ahead to where you want to go: If you look at the jump, your horse will balk. A car racer will tell you that you need to look at where you want the car to go, not what you need to avoid.
However, how often do we focus on wellness? Instead, we go from day to day, not thinking about our health or body until it begins to ache, a joint twinges, or a headache starts. Then we try to remedy the problem.
Wellness is a wider concept, encompassing our physical, mental, and spiritual sides. Each day we make a myriad of decisions that affect the balance of our body and our wellbeing:
• What we eat for breakfast: Whole-wheat toast with a poached organic egg or a fast food sandwich?
• How we respond to our morning commute: By getting upset at other drivers and changing lanes every ten seconds or by listening to classical music and deep breathing?
• How we respond to feeling sleepy during the day: Choosing a third (or seventh) cup of coffee or selecting a tonic herbal tea blend?
• How we act when we get home from work: Collapsing on the couch, exhausted, or summoning up the will to stop at the gym or a yoga class on the way home, or popping in a yoga tape at home?
Each decision we make throughout each day creates our wellness.

In our view, stress is one of the most harmful issues our bodies have to deal with in the modern world. Stress is linked to many illnesses. Stress has been shown to affect thyroid function, to affect our immune systems, our blood sugar levels, cause headaches, cause ulcers, and affect just about every aspect of our lives and our bodies.
Feeling in control reduces stress in our lives. There are a number of steps to regaining that sense of control. One is having the tools we need to achieve wellness.

Tools for Wellness
The Australasian College of Health Sciences Holistic Nutrition course
focuses on one of our most powerful tools for wellness: Good nutrition.

Although nutrition is vital, do not forget that holistic wellness also comes from optimal:
• Elimination;
• Exercise; and
• Stress reduction

Every person is a blend of the physical, psychological, and spiritual. Neglecting any area will lead to imbalance and affect our wellbeing.

1 comment:

Lori Dale said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to holistic health. After returning from the beach, our family was able to nurture all three sides - the physical (exercise, nutritious eating thanks to a fantastic gourmet grocery store, and plenty of rest), psychological (the sound of the waves and seagulls, the smell of the sea and the feel of the warm, soft sand on our toes) and spiritual (we saw friends who read to us the story of Palm Sunday while we sat digging our toes into the sun drenched sand, we soaked in the healing rays of the sun and reveled in our natural surroundings).

Before starting my first class at Australasian I already know that this College embraces the fundamentals of holistic living, which is what I strive to understand someday. Thank you for this introduction.

Lori Dale