Why is the concept of holistic health so often associated with the New Age Movement?
Since becoming interested in the topic of nutrition and health, I have found very few Catholics or Christians involved in this field. I have made it my personal mission to claim this concept for Christ.
I want to teach and inspire the body of Christ to take care of the body of Christ, in other words, teach and inspire believers to take better care of their bodies, the temples of the Holy Spirit, but in a way that recognizes the very real connection between body, mind and spirit.
The Cambridge Dictionary On-Line defines the term, “holistic,” as “dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part.”
Though we are made up of many parts, we are one body. And not only are we body; we are soul or spirit, and mind as well.
It makes sense then to see ourselves as integrated human beings; the sum of our parts, not just parts.
It would then follow that we recognize that what happens in one part of the body or one part of the being, necessarily affects the other parts.
Taken a step further, it makes perfect sense that if we are experiencing a symptom of any sort, either physical, spiritual or mental/emotional, that it (the symptom) is not isolated, but rather is connected to all aspects of our being and would be best treated as a sign that there is something amiss or out of balance, or out of harmony, that is requiring our attention.
Let me use an example to demonstrate my point.
I have a cough, runny nose and my sinuses are congested. I assume, based on these symptoms, that I have a cold. Now I have a choice. Do I just treat the symptoms or do I see the cold as a message to self that has been sent from my body to try to tell me something. In other words, do I take the time to figure out why I have cold symptoms? Perhaps, I am overworked or overstressed? Perhaps, my diet has been poor lately because I have been rushed everyday and haven’t had time to eat meals and snacks that provide the nutrients my body, mind and soul need to function optimally, while warding off illness?
If I merely treat the symptoms without looking at the underlying cause, I am robbing myself of the opportunity to “listen to my body.” And I am leaving myself open to more drastic messages from my body. If I continue to run it at full tilt while not providing the proper balance of nutrients, sleep, exercise, prayer, water, work and recreation, I am necessarily leaving myself vulnerable to mental/emotional, spiritual and physical exhaustion, which manifests in various illnesses, ranging from the common cold to cancer.
So, it’s really just common sense to see ourselves as whole beings and to take care of ourselves in this light.
As I study Holistic Nutrition, I am amazed at how this whole field (no pun intended!) seems the sole domain of the New Age Movement. I am saddened that not more Christians have entered the field as Naturopathic Doctors and Holistic Nutritionists.
I cannot wait to soon open my practice as a Holistic Nutritionist, dedicating my ministry to Christ and teaching Christ’s followers how to better care for the temple of the Holy Spirit, their bodies, their whole being, for the glory of God!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).
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