Holistic Approach to Wellness
I wanted to briefly explain what a holistic approach to healing actually means. The term holistic is based on the principles of holism. Holism is the theory that everything in nature is connected. While allopathic medicine focuses on treating illness and disease, holistic medicine combines nutrition, lifestyle, and herbal medicine to support optimal wellness and prevent illness. This means not waiting for a headache to start or a joint to ache before we start thinking about how to feel better and make it go away. The decisions we make on a daily basis, create our wellness. The concept of wellness is wide and consists of our physical, mental, and spiritual sides. If any of those areas are neglected, imbalances in our wellbeing are inevitable. What we choose to fuel our bodies with, how we react to stressful situations, and what we choose to do with our “free” time are precious decisions that our health depends on.
If you’re a medical cannabis patient, you have already taken one step in the direction of holistic healing. Science has discovered the amazing relationship cannabis has with our bodies endocannabinoid system. But did you know that each plant has the unique ability to draw nutrients from the Earth and transform them into bioactive constituents that create a corresponding biological response in the human body? In order to receive these benefits, however, we must create an internal environment that nurtures these powerful phytochemicals. In addition, every plant has its own unique therapeutic margin. This is the ratio between a therapeutic dose and a toxic dose. Many medicinal herbs can encourage healing at specific doses but become poisonous with overuse. Fortunately, cannabis has a wide therapeutic margin and it is physiologically impossible to fatally overdose with. It is, however, important to learn your own personal therapeutic dose. You want to allow this plant to deliver its constituents to a receptive endocannabinoid system. In order to optimally achieve this beautiful connection, we must make a holistic approach to health a priority.
Making big changes in your diet and lifestyle is not hard, it's all about perspective. Unfortunately, many of us are victims of a fast-paced society that runs on empty calories. It’s okay. Up until now we just grabbed a quick burger or slammed down a sub because it tastes good, its cheap, and its easily obtained. As we begin our wellness journey, let's start to actually think about everything we eat and how it will either cause disease or act as medicine. Stop reminding yourself that you hate broccoli and would never try a curry, and begin opening your mind to the fact that your body deserves all of those vitamins and minerals. A basic strategy for eating nutrient-rich foods is to eat unprocessed whole plant foods. As you begin to nourish your system, you’ll start to see astonishing results. Most of the time sleep will improve, which gives your body more time to rebuild and heal. The domino effect will start to take place. Because your sleeping better, you’ll have more patience which will make you feel less stressed. This is part of the evolving new you! As we rejuvenate our physical side, our spiritual side becomes brighter and the path to optimal wellness seems clearer.
Assistant Clinical Director
Erin has worked for Peninsula Alternative Heatlh (PAH) since the doors opened in December 2017. Her role at PAH consists of guiding patients through cannabis protocols based on their individual needs. Erin works closely with the rest of the PAH staff, to stay current with the latest clinical cannabis research and the emphasis on therapeutic communication.