Healthy Body, Healthy Mind – A look at Holistic Wellness
Holistic wellness is a movement that has gained significant traction throughout the world. Perhaps you’ve been feeling a little run down and can’t quite figure out why? Well, there may be a very good reason for that, and a few simple lifestyle changes could be all that is needed to nurse your body back to health.
Holistic wellness recognises that the body and mind are interconnected, encouraging you to adopt a comprehensive approach towards wellness. What does this mean? Well, it means taking charge of your health – both physical and mental – with the goal of achieving balance within the complex systems of the human body. There are seven facets to holistic wellness including: spiritual, social, environmental, intellectual, emotional, physical and occupational wellness. They are all interrelated, and need to be kept in balance if you want to maintain wellbeing and vitality. With the pressures of everyday life, many people find it hard to achieve this goal. Rates of mental illness have risen dramatically, and complaints of physical ailments seem to have become increasingly common. But why is this?
The relationship between the mind and the body
Our experience of illness is closely linked to our state of mind. It is all too easy to blame external pressures for the rising rates of mental illness in society today, when in fact there could be an internal cause needing to be addressed. As an example, Physical symptoms of depression can present in the form of joint pain, muscle aches, digestive issues and more. Further, research has shown that those who suffer from chronic pain are also up to three times more likely to develop psychiatric symptoms, including depression. This clearly highlights the link between mind and body, and the importance of taking care of both to maintain optimal wellness.
This idea is not new, you need only look at ayurvedic, traditional Chinese and ancient Greek and Roman practices to understand this. It is only with the proliferation of modern science that holistic wellness fell out of touch, but it is now making a serious comeback – and the positive results speak for themselves.
Keys to holistic wellness
A good holistic wellness program aimed at optimising wellbeing begins with:
Exercise increases production of norepinephrine within your body, a chemical which plays a key role in moderation of stress and depression. It also increases the production and release of serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins – all of which contribute to mental wellbeing. As little as 30 minutes of exercise per day has been shown to have profound benefits.
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to get in touch with your spiritual side and be present in the moment. The benefits are many, including: reducing stress, treating heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, improving sleep and improving mental health.
Diet. As the famous Ayurvedic quote goes “If diet is wrong, medicine is no use and when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” Natural Foods have tremendous healing powers. A diet rich in plant foods, organic proteins, nuts, seeds and natural sugar alternatives such as honey will help to boost antioxidant and micronutrient levels within the body.
There is no shortage of evidence highlighting the correlation between cannabis and healing, making the plant a highly promising and worthy component of any holistic wellness program. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a highly complex system, and recent research has shown that cannabis may play a key role in regulation of the human immune system. Immune cells have been shown to hold both CB1 and CB2 receptors, indicating that cannabinoids could be a critical component for a healthy immune system. A recent international trial has concluded that regular doses of cannabidiol (CBD) can reduce uncontrolled seizures in children suffering from epilepsy. This is the first piece of conclusive evidence for the efficacy of cannabis in treating severe cases of epilepsy, a chronic disorder which may be triggered by a compromised immune system.
But you don’t have to be suffering from chronic illness to reap the rewards of THC and CBD. Each strain of cannabis has a unique cannabinoid and terpenoid profile, making some strains more effective at treating (and preventing) certain ailments than others. In addition to the treatments discussed above, cannabis is also useful as a topical ointment, antioxidant, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. Given that we are all born with the ECS, it is our duty to keep it functioning at optimal levels. Even low dosages of THC taken at regular intervals have been shown to halt cognitive decline – reducing your likelihood of contracting diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. To put it simply – cannabis helps to regulate both the endocannabinoid system and immune system, keeping your body healthy and balanced. Low doses of cannabis at regular intervals may benefit the body, and should form part of any holistic wellness program.
Maintaining a healthy body, healthy mind is crucial to wellbeing. Holistic wellness is an effective, nourishing and natural form of healing that will improve your state of mind and physical health. Allopathy may be the most common form of treatment in the western world today, but a holistic approach should not be ignored.