Holistic healthcare is rapidly taking over the healthcare industry. Every day more and more individuals are turning to holistic doctors to help them with their medical ailments instead of turning to big pharma companies. Whereas there is absolutely a time and a place where western medicine belongs, we are learning that our bodies have all of the tools within them to heal themselves from the inside out. We are learning that eastern medicine may be the more effective route. Sometimes, our bodies just need a little extra push in the right direction, but in a holistic, natural form.
Holistic health is derived from eastern medicine. Often times you will find that when you see a holistic doctor, they talk to you about natural herbs, supplements, remedies, etc. that you can add into your daily routine to help with your medical concerns. However, most holistic healthcare practitioners will also talk to you about mindfulness.
Mindfulness is our ability to live in the present moment and be aware of what is happening to us and around us at all times without obsessing on it (i.e., without causing anxiety). Mindfulness is critical to us as human beings because it keeps us grounded, present, and in tune with the world around us. If we are not in-tune, we are not able to listen to our bodies appropriately. We will likely miss key signs that something is wrong, or something needs addressing. Our bodies tell us everything we need to know; we just have to be mindful enough to listen.
There are numerous mindfulness practices that one could add to their everyday life. These can be added to your existing holistic healthcare routine with ease as they do not require a doctor visit or any substantial equipment additives. By including the following mindfulness practices, you are almost guaranteed to see a change in your ability to hear your body and to subsequently heal your body. Once you can hear, you can heal.
Probably the most effective and well-known form of mindfulness practice is meditation. Meditation forces you to calm your mind and live in the “here and now”, which is the epidemy of being mindful!
Traditional meditation, which is the most common form, is known for its ability to increase mindfulness the more that you engage in it. People struggle with traditional meditations because they cannot seem to quiet their minds, and that’s okay! Most people cannot silence their minds for the first few months of meditation practice because we haven’t trained our minds yet. The good news is you don’t have to have a fully trained brain in order to feel the mindfulness benefits of meditation. You simply need to be consistent.
If you don’t think traditional meditation is for you, consider visualization, sound meditation, or movement meditation. These are all meditative practices that can help increase mindfulness in their own way.
Another highly beneficial mindfulness practice is aromatherapy, which is the way that certain smells affect our state of mind. Aromatherapy is known for its ability to not only help people be more mindful but to change a person’s mood solely through the smell of a specific oil fragrance.
Aromatherapy gives the mind something to focus on in the present moment, forcing your thoughts to settle as you inhale your preferred scent. You can use really any essential oil scent for this practice, but there are a few scents that are known for their mindfulness capabilities including:
Aromatherapy is known for its benefits in holistic healthcare. This practice can help you focus, calm your anxiety, boost your mood, relax your mind and body, and more! There are numerous ways that you can add aromatherapy essential oils into your daily routine, such as:
· Essential oil diffusers
· Essential oil infused rollers, soaps, and body butter
· Adding a few drops to a warm bath
· Essential oil candles
Any form of movement plays a critical role in mindfulness as it relates to holistic healthcare. Moving your body is the most natural thing that you could possibly do, and yet it is often the most overlooked way to improve mindfulness.
Movement directly affects mindfulness because when you are moving, you are forcing your mind to focus on something specific. Your mind has to pay attention to how your body is moving, where it’s moving, where you are going, and how you are getting there. It forces your brain to live in the present moment and be aware of your surroundings.
There are numerous ways that you can move your body. You don’t even have to go for a run, you just have to move! You could go for a walk, dance, practice free movement (a form of meditation where you simply move your body however feels natural), stretch, jump, anything! However, incorporating a type of movement that has its roots in mindfulness such as yoga or Taiichi would be increasingly beneficial.
Yet another phenomenal method of achieving greater mindfulness is through daily journaling. Journaling, although not medical, offers numerous benefits for our health. Journaling releases anxiety by allowing us to get all of the thoughts taking up space in our heads onto paper. This alone helps us destress, feel more in control, grounded, and mindful of ourselves and our thoughts.
Journaling can be done as often as you’d like, but is recommended daily either in the morning to set your daily intentions or write down your plans or at the end of the day to write down anything that is troubling you, anything you enjoyed, etc. Journaling plays a key role in holistic healthcare as a mindfulness practice, and it is such a simple addition to your life!
There are numerous ways that you could increase mindfulness, and adding in these few practices is a great place to start in your holistic healthcare journey! Below are some resources to check out.