Updated: Aug 19
Whole person health (sometimes referred to as holistic health) is a healthcare, lifestyle and wellbeing philosophy. Whole person health focuses on the entire person rather than just physical symptoms of an illness or poor wellbeing. This approach differs from the standard allopathic (Western medicine) health model, often overly reliant on drugs and surgeries and that is unable to effectively address the root causes of poor health.
As a lifestyle practice, whole person health is for those who focus (or at least try to focus) on the key elements of their health: physical, mental and social.
We enjoy this definition from the National Institutes of Health:
"Whole person health involves looking at the whole person—not just separate organs or body systems—and considering multiple factors that promote either health or disease. It means helping and empowering individuals, families, communities, and populations to improve their health in multiple interconnected biological, behavioral, social, and environmental areas. Instead of treating a specific disease, whole person health focuses on restoring health, promoting resilience, and preventing diseases across a lifespan."
Why Whole Person Health?
Here are four key reasons why whole person health is important or effective compared to allopathic medicine.
Whole person health addresses underlying causes: recognising that symptoms are often manifestations of deeper imbalances or dysfunctions in the body, mind, or spirit. Practitioners work to identify and address the root causes of illness or disease, rather than just treating the symptoms. This approach can result in long-lasting healing and improved overall health.
Whole person health considers the whole person, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Practitioners recognize that these aspects of health are interconnected and must be addressed together to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.
Whole person health empowers people to take an active role in their own healing process. Practitioners work collaboratively with their clients to develop individualized plans that incorporate lifestyle modifications, stress reduction techniques, and other non-invasive therapies. Clients are encouraged to take responsibility for their own health and to make lifestyle changes that support their healing.
Whole person health emphasises the importance of prevention and encourages patients to take a proactive approach to their health. Practitioners work with clients to identify and address potential health risks, such as poor work-life balance, nutrition, or a sedentary lifestyle before they manifest as illness.
Compared to allopathic medicine, whole person health offers a comprehensive and patient-centred approach to healthcare that can result in long-lasting healing and improved overall health. Increasingly standard medical care is now using a whole person health approach, resulting in improved results at a personal and societal level. But what about whole person health in daily living?
We are all have unique lifestyles. Even if we practise the same healthy habits the reasons for doing so can widely differ, as can the outcomes. What works for your friend, for example, may not work for you. Wherever you are on your personal journey to health, and whatever you motivations, a healthy lifestyle is based around:
positive work-life balance
positive social connections
Making progress in one area can positively affect other areas, and making progress in more than one area has increasingly powerful affects.
In our own personal health journeys we are not seeking perfection but rather to take meaningful, progressive and sustainable steps to improve our health. Using the principles of whole person health, at The Whole Health Practice we partner with and support our clients to address the root causes of poor health or chronic illness. We work to enhance vitality and empower our clients to take an active and sustainable role in their wellbeing.
Achieve your Health Goals
Your health, physical – mental – social - is complex and affected by multiple factors within and outside of your control. Our consults and programmes address the whole person, the root causes of ill health and maximising your health performance & vitality.
Take the first step. Book a Whole Health Consult to assess, identify and prioritise key factors (known and unknown) that affect your health. And receive personalised recommendations on how to address them.
Want to put recommendations into action? Learn more about our programmes for individuals or teams.