On the most recent episode of the Holistic Wealth podcast with Keisha Blair, I discussed the concept of Holistic Healing, and more importantly, What is Holistic Healing? How can we apply it in our day-to-day lives? It’s such an important topic given that we’re in the fourth wave of COVID-19 and we’re fighting this Omicron variant. So many people are worried about their health, their wellbeing, their wellness, they’re worried for their families. Many people are facing grief from the loss of loved ones, and grief due to secondary losses such as chronic illnesses, the loss of a job due to COVID-19 and grief due to many different secondary losses that we’ve all collectively had during this pandemic.
It’s a wonderful time to talk about holistic healing because it’s so needed during COVID-19. Holistic Healing also encompasses a range of lifestyle design choices that we can all benefit from during the pandemic, to boost our health and well-being, including getting enough sleep which boosts our immune system. A study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco looked at the impact sleep has on the response to hepatitis B vaccines. Those who slept less than an average of six hours were 11.5 times more likely to be unprotected by the vaccine than those who slept an average of seven hours or more. Another study found that those who had slept only four hours in the four nights before receiving the flu vaccine had less than half of the critical antibodies of those who weren’t sleep deprived. Exercise and yoga, mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy and a host of lifestyle changes are also beneficial.
A recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that exercise has a dramatic effect on our body’s ability to fight COVID. After controlling for factors like age, weight and a range of health conditions like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, the researchers found that compared to COVID patients who exercised 11 to 149 minutes each week, “consistently inactive” patients were 120% more likely to be hospitalized, 110% more likely to be put in the ICU and 132% more like to die.
What is Holistic Healing?
What exactly are we talking about when we refer to holistic healing? It’s defined as a method of healing that focuses on the whole person, and that includes the mind, body, spirit, emotions, physical health. So it’s really one core aspect of holistic wealth. In my book, Holistic Wealth, I talk a lot about my personal healing journey. There’s an entire section that’s titled “Physical and Spiritual Nourishment”. There’s also another section of the book, that speaks to “Intentional Life, Purpose”, “Goodwill and relationships”. There’s so much wrapped up in holistic healing in that book. I’ve had my own personal journey of holistic healing as a result of becoming widowed at a very young age at 31, just eight weeks after I gave birth to my second child, and I went on a journey of holistic healing.
My journey of holistic healing is outlined throughout the book in several different ways, and it’s outlined through that one-year sabbatical, where I really took a systems perspective to my own healing and it encompassed that holistic healing journey because I focused on my mind, my body, my spirit, my emotions in order to heal. I’ve developed this framework from my own personal journey.
Mental Health Aspect of Holistic Healing
So even if we think about the mental aspects of holistic healing, so many people have gone through grief, and even if you haven’t suffered from the loss of a loved one, you’re going through a secondary loss, probably another type of loss, such as the loss of a job or a divorce or separation, we have to absolutely win the battle in our mind before we can win the battle anywhere else. We have the authority to cast out negative thoughts, and those are strongholds that we have to tackle when we’re going through grief or any type of loss. As with any type of secondary loss, it’s easy to have that victim mindset. And I talk about that in my book, Holistic Wealth, in terms of embracing a Holistic Wealth Mindset and really using the Holistic Wealth Method to become more intentional.
Rewiring Your Anxious Brain
It’s easy to be trapped in a cycle in your mind where you keep telling yourself, “I’m such a victim”. “Why is this happening to me over and over again?”, and constantly replaying the event again and again, and the script keeps replaying and we know when we’re heading down that rabbit hole. In my book Holistic Wealth, I talked about flipping the script. When you start to think about the tragedy or you start to think about what happened at work, or you start to think about that divorce and all of a sudden it leads you down the rabbit hole again, and again, but we all have the power to stop it and to nip it in the bud, and to then flip that script. So we think about something more positive, more uplifting, something that brings us joy. And just to channel that gratitude, which is also important. Gradually you start to rewire your anxious brain into a state of peace and calm.
Winning that battle in the mind, because the mind is a battlefield and taking authority over negative thoughts is important and the heart itself is an environment for negative thoughts because it all begins with our emotions. That loss of a loved one that divorce, that chronic illness that just crept out of nowhere, that job loss, you know, how you felt unrecognized and all of that begins in the heart. And the reason why we have to recognize is that’s where the emotions start, the hurt, the pain, the loss, the regret, the unravelling, it all starts in the heart. So we have to get a hold of our emotions there and try our best to not get lost and not let our emotions control everything. And then of course there’s the mind and that’s where the battle of field is, and that’s where we have to now apply ourselves intentionally.
As I shared in Holistic Wealth, each of us has 60,000 thoughts per day. We have to try to be intentional every single day about thinking about the things that we want to cultivate in our hearts and in our minds. When we talk about holistic healing, we’re talking about healing in our mind and our bodies in terms of nourishing our bodies well with the food that nourishes us and also taking care of through exercise, and hobbies.
When I went on my sabbatical I took a systems perspective to my healing. I ate organically. I created my own original recipes. I hiked in the mountains daily. I meditated every morning for three hours. It’s all outlined in Holistic Wealth. If you apply a systems perspective and dedicate your heart, your mind, your body, and your soul to healing, you can absolutely do it.
Spiritual Self-Renewal, Including Mindfulness and Meditation
In Holistic Wealth, part three in the book is titled “Physical and Spiritual Nourishment”. When we talk about the spiritual aspect of holistic healing, it’s important to renew ourselves daily. I developed this framework, It’s called the four spiritual laws of self-renewal. It’s outlined and further fleshed out in the book and there’s a whole chapter on it. Every single day, it’s important to renew ourselves. So, whether it’s through prayer and meditation, whether you do that by yoga, taking a walk in nature, it’s important to renew and refresh and start again and see every day as a new day for a new beginning and new chance to renew hope and motivation, to keep it alive, to keep you going through difficult times. So it’s important to not dwell on the past but focus on the present, and not worry about the future either. Mindfulness is a key mechanism for rewiring our brains. According to Mindful.org, “new research on neuroplasticity gives neuroscientists a framework for tracking meditation research, and researchers are beginning to see that even short amounts of practice, like 30 minutes of meditation per day, can induce measurable changes in the brain that can be tracked on a brain scanner”.
So let’s not even worry about what’s going to happen next year or what’s going to happen at the end of 2022. Let’s just focus on the present, focus on the small joys that we have today through mindfulness. And so that’s also part of it in terms of holistic healing, and while this article can’t cover everything, there’s a Holistic Healing course available on the Institute on holistic wealth website that I really want you to check out. Intuition is also a very important concept, and it’s such an important part of holistic wealth. Your intuition is a catalyst for holistic wealth.
What is Intuition?
In my book Holistic Wealth, I’ve defined Intuition as “our inner wisdom. It’s that little voice that speaks through us. It’s the quiet voice that is hard to hear if you’re not used to tuning into it. But it speaks through our dreams or spontaneously as thoughts, hunches, or gut feelings. It can be a strong urge, a physical sensation, and be through memories“. While I was on sabbatical, I started tuning into my intuition, and I started my daily prayer and meditation routine.
I later realized that if I followed my intuition, I would start to make better decisions. I had better results overall. Some of the most important decisions that I’ve made personally have come through tuning into my intuition, and I have to say that this has to be coupled with prayer and meditation. I wholeheartedly believe that prayer is the foundation of everything, and you want to be able to harness that and engage in that to really overcome whatever challenges come your way. You’ll get answers to life’s biggest problems through prayer.
The Holistic Wealth podcast with Keisha Blair is sponsored by the Institute on Holistic Wealth. If you visit the website www.instituteonholisticwealth.com, you’ll find a range of resources and courses. And one of the courses is a Holistic Healing online course.