Course: The Principles of Holistic Health and Medicine

Wellness is often defined by health activities such as exercise, nutrition and stress management. However, these strategies often fail due to not adopting the core principles of holistic medicine that guide our health seeking behaviours.

Therefore, it is essential to explore the origins of holistic medicine and to learn to apply its fundamental principles into our daily lives so as to promote harmony and wholeness in our workplace and homes.

Some of these fundamental principles at the heart of holistic health include: diversity, relationship, awareness and process.

Why else are these principles important to know and live?

For the reason that organisms and systems thrive when these principles are functioning. By adopting these principles that occur in nature we can thus thrive too.

Diversity for example is present in rich and abundant ecosystems such as coral reefs. A diversity of organisms creates fertile ground for relationships and interactions to occur which then fosters abundance. Any system that focuses on only one or a few organisms is weak, for example mono agricultural system (growing only a single crop) is vulnerable to being devastated by a disease outbreak.

In the body too diversity is crucial to health. For example, the body’s detoxification processes rely on interactions between a diversity of nutrients such as Vitamin C, A and E that scavenge free radicals and protect cellular membranes and that work intimately with other detoxification enzymes such as super oxide dismutase SOD and glutathione peroxidase. For this proper functioning we require healthy amounts of Zinc and Selenium together with the other nutrients. A deficiency of nutrient diversity leads to impaired biochemical detoxification, which causes us to become sick.

Similarly, for brain chemicals like serotonin to be made requires a diversity of vitamins that together keeps our mood uplifted. Often we are not advised to keep healthy levels of vitamins for mental health expecting only drugs to be necessary. No, diversity is needed on all levels for optimal functioning.

Another key principle is that of relationship. Knowing how the different body systems work in relationship to one another leads to a better understanding of the root causes of conditions and how best to heal them. For example, there is an important relationship between the health of the digestive system and that of the immune system. For instance, leaky gut syndrome occurs when partially digested foodstuffs or toxins leak into the bloodstream through the gut from the action of pathogens such as Candida or viruses that cause perforations in the digestive system lining1. This leakage can then trigger a host of immune system reactions including eczema and hives. Knowing this relationship, immune problems can be healed by healing the digestive system with the appropriate means.

To adopt any health seeking behaviour requires a very important principle that underlies holistic and optimal health, this is the principle of awareness. By using mindfulness tools we can notice limiting beliefs and replace them with positive ones. This is a very effective way of pre-empting stress. Furthermore, by learning to be aware of the body’s own language of symptoms covered in the training, one can identify early stages of chronic illness and take action sooner than later, thereby reducing absenteeism.

Finally the principle of process allows us to understand what processes and stages the body goes through in healing illness and disease and what is reasonable to expect in terms of disease duration and symptom resolution.

Much of the burden of chronic illness in the workplace today, such as depression, weak immunity and fatigue, is related to the modern day neglect of these fundamental principles of holistic medicine. Therefore, by knowing and applying these core principles to take holistic care of our main body systems we can significantly improve well-being and disease prevention.

Course training objectives:

  • To understand the fundamental principles of holistic medicine and healing.
  • To learn about the body’s main systems, including their functions, dysfunctions and relationships.
  • To acquire knowledge and skills on how to prevent the most prevalent lifestyle diseases using a holistic healing framework and approach (using supplements, allopathic medicine, food and healthy lifestyle choices).

Course delivery times

The course training is packaged into modules of varying length depending on the client’s needs: though typically the allocated time is 2 hrs per module.

Who should attend this course?

Relevant audiences:

Organizational leadership, health policy makers and implementers, senior executives, HR management, teachers, doctors, medical and police personal, health advisory committees, researchers, educators, nurses, and NGO directors and staff.

For a course outline please email Jean jean@healingafricafoundation.org or contact him at 076 163 0504.

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