What Is Holistic Health?

Modern society claims to be productive, creative and resourceful, but hundred years ago we did not have many diseases that exist today. In modern civilisation every day more diseases are being created.

The art of living technique has not been really cultivated. The reason for this is that life today has become very artificial. Man never stops to consider have I gone too far by ignoring his natural resources and depending on artificial means. Art of living by artificial means gradually decreases natural resources and increases suffering. Man’s whole life revolves around getting rid of self-created suffering.

17124132409_0cc3dd7d93_oAll human beings have the inner potential and skill to be completely healthy, but due to social and economic pressure people have forgotten what happens deep within before they appear in physical and mental levels. We must understand our inner skills and resources and use them as much as possible in order to ensure perfect health. By first paying attention to physical being we become aware that our actions, emotions and feelings are governed from within by the conscious and unconscious mind. Finally, we realise that the mental aspect is more important that the physical. The spiritual aspect is even more important than either of these.

Ultimately we become aware of the centre of consciousness within which is called spiritual health. Those who understand this are practicing the art of living and being and are constantly aware of this centre, enjoy all the gifts of life. The ancients emphasized the necessity of holistic health which means to understand the entire human being.

Yoga approach to health lays stress on the words yuktahar viharasya – eating and living as they should be done. The ancient manuals explain the science of living and extending the life span in a system known as Ayurveda, science of age, an ancient medicine emphasizing prevention rather than ‘druggation’, modern science is only now verifying these findings. Unfortunately, most modern researchers still believe in replacement, not in prevention. They rather spend billions of dollars looking for a cure of cancer or ways to replace a diseased heart than understand the laws of health and wellness. They do not realise that preventive medicine is the best, the easiest and the most rewarding approach.

To maintain physical health there are two ways of doing this, one external and one internal. Pain, fear and suffering will continue to exist, so it is important to be aware of the internal environment and not be solely dependent on the external one. Inner contentment and mental satisfaction are real keys to health.

Attitude is the most important factor in realising health! More crucial than good diet, taking vitamins or doing proper physical exercise is keeping a healthy state of mind. Good mental health cannot be disturbed, no matter what happens. It is clear that the basis of holistic health lies in understanding the purpose of life and learning how to achieve that purpose. In brief, we need to cleanse and nourish our body, exercise, be still, control our emotions and practice self-training.

Source: A practical approach to holistic health, Swami Rama

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