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Myths Surrounding Holistic Wellness

Myths Surrounding Holistic Wellness



Holistic wellness





When talking about health and wellness, the dialogue is split into two unnecessarily opposite sides: western medicine and holistic medicine. In this sense, it is important to debunk a few myths surrounding holistic wellness.


As with every aspect of Western culture that has become “dominant,” or “mainstream,” the realm of what the latter considers “alternative” is often deligitimised for not being the dominant school of thought.


While there is no question whatsoever that Western medicine has come a long way in making the world a safer place for everyone in many respects, in as much as it extends lifespans and has found has made significant breakthroughs. However, there is still much it leaves out, many questions it does not ask and many objectives it does not consider. 


In this sense, many of us have been raised to think in binary terms: that to be healthy, for example, is simply to not be sick. What many physicians and thinkers have discovered in the last three decades points increasingly in the direction of shattering such black and white, either/or thinking.


Holistic Wellness: More Than Just Physical Health

Therefore, a holistic approach towards health will always focus on all the questions and areas not taken into account by Western diagnostic standards, providing alternatives to prescription drugs which focus only on the alleviation of symptoms. Holistic medicine focuses on the root causes of the word “disease,” which ultimately means to be ill at ease—a concept that should go well beyond the physical realm and consider the emotional, intellectual and spiritual spheres. 


Here at Ibogaine Treatment UK (a subsidiary of Tabula Rasa Retreat) we aim to treat a variety of conditions that affect not only the body, but also the mind and the spirit. These range from addiction, mental illness, down to self-harm: conditions that just as often beg as they are denied a holistic approach that looks at all areas of a patient’s life-history to find the underlying root causes.



Key Terms To Understanding The Holistic Approach

It is an unfortunate, yet intrinsic part of human nature to fear what we do not understand; worse, still—to mock it. Below are three key terms that go some way towards informing you on what holistic medicine actually is and does. 


Holistic Medicine: Often used as an umbrella term, it encompasses several disciplines. These disciplines hold the common belief that both the mental and physical aspects of one’s life play a significant role in one’s overall levels of health or, as we will see below, “wellness.”


Wellness: As discussed above, the concept of health involves much more than simply not being ill—it means optimal physical and mental functioning. Wellness, on the other hand, is an even broader term, which amplifies the physical and mental spheres and subdivides them into the more comprehensive emotional, creative, professional, social, and spiritual components of one’s lifestyle and personality. 


Western Medicine: Owing to the fact it is not “mainstream,” there are many myths surrounding holistic wellness; but what of “Western Medicine?” It comprises the leading health viewpoints practised in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia, and commonly refers to physicians and their training, protocols with large, profit-driven pharmaceutical conglomerates or corporations, and the healthcare institution as we know it. Its main focus is in the treatment of diseases and injuries after they have happened, rather than prevention and the optimal maintenance of health. The Western medicine system  and its insurance protocols, for example, do not include, recognize or cover alternative treatments such as acupuncture, homoeopathy, yoga, or herbalism. We still have a long way to go. Can you imagine if ibogaine treatment was recognised by insurance companies?

Myths Surrounding Holistic Wellness

As with anything considered “alternative” by the mainstream or “powers that be,” there is  a considerable amount of misinformation surrounding the holistic health model. It is commonly associated with “hippies”and a certain level of fanaticism, which is neither helpful nor informative. Below we have listed some of the most popular misconceptions surrounding it.


That you must be wealthy or belong to a specific class or race to access the fully holistic lifestyle

Somewhere along the way of “the culture wars” of today, the very damaging and irrational belief took hold that in order to be healthy, one must indulge in Gwyneth Paltrow-style chic smoothies and designer-vagina essences. However, let’s keep things real.

While a healthy lifestyle does require some form of commitment and discipline, there is something on the market for everyone. As always, those with more money will tend to favour exclusivity, and those with less will try to find goods within their pay scale, which has little or nothing to do with partisan ideologies of left or right. What can truly cost you a lot of money, though, is a dependence on purely for-profit medications such as Purdue Pharma’s Oxycontin.

That you refuse to, and never visit doctors nor take pharmaceutical drugs

This is often levelled at the holistic model as a way of de-legitimizing it. Although there have been some instances where certain individuals have rejected western medicine because of their beliefs and died because of it, the habit of visiting a doctor and taking prescribed pharmaceuticals is not frowned upon by the holistic approach. To lead a fully healthy life, neither approach should be mutually exclusive. What the holistic health model does recommend is that the use of pharmaceutical chemicals be kept to the necessary minimum. For example, if you have suffered from insomnia, then there is no need to go on medication for epileptic seizures, and you should know that there are other ways of treating this.

That you must uphold and believe in certain mystical or spiritual beliefs

While it may help some people to ground themselves in a belief system of their choosing, it is neither synonymous nor a prerequisite to following a holistic health model.

That holistic physicians and practitioners are unequivocally and always “quack” doctors

That, invariably, they will tell you what you want to hear with no scientific backing whatsoever. Contrary to popular belief, the holistic health movement does actually have plenty of scientific backing. As with anything in life, there will always be those out for personal gain with their false claims. With regards to holistic wellness being a “pseudoscience,” one need only look at the work of Western physician Gabor Maté or psychologist Dr. Nicole LePera’s work to see how the body and mind are connected. 

That you must constantly douse yourself in herbal supplements, vitamins, and become either vegan or vegetarian

This myth is likely to stem from the sheer amount of little known herbs and compounds found in health stores. You do not have to purchase every herb and supplement you see, and while they are all helpful in some way or another, the holistic approach is about so much more than taking powders, herbs and teas: it is about proper nutrition, exercise, consciousness, emotional well-being and making sound life-choices. 

Especially for those in recovery from addiction, the very concept of an interconnected approach towards physical, emotional and spiritual health can be very grounding, and will go a long way to preventing relapses. Often, addiction keeps us running in circles serving only our fear and unchecked impulses, to the detriment of everything else. What a holistic approach can do for you is rebalance what prolonged addiction has thrown out of balance, help process old traumas, aid in locating the real issue behind diseases which doctors cannot find the cure for, and bring you to a greater feeling of inner and outer harmony.

Here at Ibogaine Treatment UK, (a subsidiary of Tabula Rasa Retreat), we prefer to look at our clients as whole, complete beings who have become fractured along the way by external conditions, and not just patients requiring medication, which is why it is part of our mission to coach you in alternative therapies you can then adapt and bring into your daily life. 

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