Roadmap to Health and Healing
As medical science is making a great leap forward in helping us understand many types of diseases, the future of medicine is truly about "health" or "wellness" rather than sickness. This "wellness revolution" is already happening everywhere in the world. People have started to pay more attention to preventive care, mental health, mind-body connection, cleaner environment, and better ways to reconnect to the nature, to reconnect to themselves and communities worldwide.
But how do we define health or wellness in the first place? Why do we fall to illness? Although tons of medical text books have been devoted to diseases, there are relatively fewer materials written about health instead. Why? Because unless we understand health from an energetic point of view, we will be forever trapped in the physical manifestations of the diseases, which can take many forms and many shapes with infinite possibilities.
The difference between holistic health versus mainstream medicine, as of today, is that the goal of holistic health is to bring vitality and integrity back to the personal as a whole human being or the body-mind-spirit entity, whiles mainstream medicine focuses more on removing the disease and alleviate the symptoms. Both are needed at the same time, to compliment each other, in order to bring true healing to the person.
Another major difference between holistic health and mainstream medicine is the way we see diseases. In holistic health, diseases are doorways or the way nature is communicating with us, about the correction needed to restore health. They are not something to be get rid of quickly or numbed, so we can continue to do whatever we have been doing that leads to the diseases (this will naturally result in even more problems and more serious stage of the diseases). We see diseases also as ways that we experience our life in our body-mind-spirit entity and in our collective human journey together. Diseases can often open ourselves up to hidden potentials we never know before, or bring us more empathy towards others' sufferings.
In holistic health, we also pay attention to the systematic disorders and injustice of the society, as an individual is always an integral part of the whole: we are forever subject to the influence of our social and natural environment, at the same time, contribute to this environment and its wellbeing. The aggression and exploitation of our nature environment and disregard to other fellow human beings' suffering are bringing back diseases of the body-mind-spirit. All these factors can lead to disorders among ourselves and certain aspects of the ecosystem. So holistic health can span from the wellbeing of an individual to the entire community, society, or even the ecosystem. It is truly about the whole and wholeness, rather than just a particular element or parts of the body.
The following section is written by Dr. Helen Shih, in her way of addressing holistic health and how we can step into the path of healing.
1. Understand Health from an Energetic Point of View
After many years of studying health and ways to quantify it, Dr. Helen Shih has come up with a more scientific and holistic way of defining "health" as a "Natural Harmonious State of Being" of the body-mind-spirit.
What does this mean? Health is the balanced and ordered beauty of your entity on many different levels and layers. The vitality, integrity, and harmony of this state are what we call "Health".
To help you understand it more intuitively, if you look at a flower (for example, the sunflower on this page), you can tell right away if the plant is in the state of health or sickness. Why? Because you can see and feel the flower and the energy state the flower is emitting. In the same way, when we meet a person for the first time, we can see and feel how the person is doing in terms of his/her energy state.
We do this on an intuitive basis, with our sense of energy. In fact, everyone does this, including the pets who meet their owners for the first time. We are all fundamentally energy beings who can sense energy and live with the energetic structure looking like a flower. This energetic structure can be visible or sensed by those who are particularly sensitive and more developed in this ability. Biomedical scientists are also making breakthroughs in developing instruments that can help us measure such energetic states. For example, Dr. Helen Shih spent many years in studying these instruments, including Bio-energy scan she developed herself.
But how do we define this intuitive feeling in a more scientific way? After researching it extensively, Dr. Helen Shih has come up with 3 key elements in defining the healthy state with a systematic and energetic way. Let's use the flower as an example.
"vitality": defines the energy level of the plant (a sick plant is often withering).
"Integrity": defines whether the plant has all pieces together, instead of missing branches or parts.
"Harmony": defines whether all pieces of the plants are in balance rather than certain part is too dominant.
In the same way, when we see the person's health from an energetic point of view, we exam his/her "Human Energy Field" (many materials have been written about this topic; you can do an internet search to see what you may find, but use your due diligence and be careful of misinformation). It looks like a flower in fact, needs to have all the 3 elements in place to be healthy. If any of the 3 components are missing, the person will feel sick and out of balance. This leads to the physical, mental, or spiritual disorders or diseases. This principle exists at all levels, from cellular structures to organ systems, from the body to the mind, from individual person to the whole society. This is the fundamental premises of holistic medicine.
Read next about the "Disease Process" and "Creating Healthy Shift"