The Healing Journey and Holistic Wellness

Parallel Journeys

There are many types of services and proclaimed remedies available today to help us with our problems. Some treat the body, as with diets, nutrition, massage therapy, chiropractic care, or acupuncture. Others focus their treatment efforts on both the body and the mind, as with herbal remedies or psychotropic medications. Still others almost exclusively focus on working with thoughts and behaviors, dealing with the dynamics of our mind, will, and emotions through different tools and techniques. All of these approaches tend to be limited in their effectiveness to treat the whole person. They seem to only look at a "part" of who we are - perhaps synonymous to the metaphor of three blind men each trying to describe an elephant from the specific part of the elephant that they are holding. They are all describing the same thing, but perhaps from a limited scope.

If we step back and look at the larger picture of what constitutes our "being" we realize that we consist of body, soul (which constitutes our mind, will, and emotions), and spirit. All too often it seems that our society tends to neglect the holistic nature of our health and wellness, and rather it focuses almost exclusively on the nature of our body and/or our soul. Perhaps it is because we cannot empirically define or measure spiritual health or subject it to the scrutiny of the scientific method that many professionals seem to dismiss it as "irrelevant" in their treatment planning.

Interestingly, even the most secular 12-step programs seethe need for a "Higher Power". It is often the case that people who find success in these programs recognize that they have tried it on their own for so long, to no avail. The first 3 steps acknowledge this need, and that this higher power is, in fact, God. Until we acknowledge our need for a relationship with God as being paramount to the integrity of our spiritual health, we can suffice to say that we are not "working with a full deck". We cannot find wholeness, completeness, and true healing unless we work with all of our being. As such, an approach toward holistic wellness recognizes the relevance and relationship between body, soul, and spirit.