Four Areas of Holistic Health

Different practitioners of holistic health have variations on what makes up the four areas of holistic health but a common and popular way of describing holistic health is, it looks at the person as the whole of their body, mind, spirit, and emotional self. Holistic health practitioners believe that in order for a person to reach their optimal health and wellness, every aspect of one’s self must have its needs met, and these aspects must work in harmony. 


A person’s physical body is their tangible structure. It is the body that allows us to touch, see, hear, taste, and smell the world around us. A person’s physical being needs adequate exercise and rest, and good nutrition. People often say they “feel” their bodies more in terms of aches, stiffness, pain, and other symptoms of illness, injury, or otherwise being unwell. Getting a person’s body to its optimal health is getting it to a place where an individual is as healthy as can be in their body, as well as with their mind, sprit and emotional self. Optimal health means different things for different people.


A person’s mental capacity and thoughts in conjunction with their belief systems and attitude, are often referred to as one’s mind. A person’s ability to analyze themselves and the world around them are also associated with the mind. Holistic health practitioners encourage patients’ mental selves to develop and have self-supportive attitudes, positive thoughts and viewpoints, and a positive self-image. 


The spirit can refer to a person’s spiritual and/or religious self, and it can also just refer to a person’s spiritual self, outside of religion or any religious beliefs. A person’s spirit can be thought of as their relationship with theirself, their creativity, their life purpose, and their relationship with a higher power. A healthy spirit often includes inner calmness, openness to one’s own creativity, and a trust in your inner knowing.   


A person’s emotional self is their range of emotions, from the ones we feel are positive such as, happy, loving, and peaceful, and the ones that we feel are more negative such as, anger, sadness, and jealousy. A healthy emotional self is one that can feel a wide range of emotions as well as having the ability to give and receive, forgiveness, love, and compassion. 

The four different areas of holistic health, when combined, give a sense of a person as a whole and not just an illness, injury, and/or other health problem, and/or the symptoms of one or more of these.  Different holistic health practitioners describe the areas of a healthy self in different ways with different breakdowns of a whole self. An example of this is thinking of holistic health in terms of eight areas, or pillars, made up of one’s physical, nutritional, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, financial, and environmental self.

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