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What Does Holistic Really Mean

By Pamela Shenk, CHt


We talk about it, more and more we are using holistic modalities, but really…what is it?


The dictionary defines “HOLISTIC’ as ho⋅lis⋅tic 

1. incorporating the concept of holism in theory or practice: holistic psychology. 2. identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, esp. one considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and usually involving nutritional measures.


According to a government survey in 2004 it was said that 36% of Americans 18 years and older use some form of complementary and alternative medicine and this number is growing rapidly every year. According to the survey, mostly women; people with a higher education; those who had been hospitalized within the past year; and former smokers, compared to current smokers or those who had never smoked. Since 2004, more and more people have become aware of the benefits of integrating a more holictic approach into their life-style.


I have always been interested in the mind/body connection to wellness. Also, I believe it is extremely wrong for us to try to put the responsibility of our healing entirely on our physicians. Our medical professionals are an amazing group of professionals that save lives every day, but we have to do our part. 


Dr. Zhi Gang Sha is an Acupuncture Physician as well as a Western Medicine Doctor.  He has a book called “Power Healing” and believes that despite continual advances in medical technology and know-how, incidences of illness and pain in this country are on the rise.  He believes that hypertension is rampant and that the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke is rising instead of falling.  Think of how many people you know that are dealing with arthritis or bursitis. Dr. Zhi Gan Sha believes that we get sick on a cellular level and his book teaches you how to:


- Develop energy throughout your body – throughout your main internal organs as well as your main energy centers

- Balance energy in your body, mind and soul

- Release chronic pain

- Improve the functioning of your immune system

- Help heal illness

- Improve stamina and overall health

- Improve the quality of your life


Wouldn’t it be great if you could improve even one of the bullet points listed above? Holistic modalities are not for everyone, but neither is pill popping. Start with baby steps. Work with your physician and start telling yourself that you feel good. Our internal dialogue has a lot to do with how we feel – mentally, physically and emotionally.


Remember…Live, Laugh and Love