Holism, Health and Cannabis

Holism is about the big picture; it pertains to the idea that nothing happens in a vacuum. When seeking answers to a problem, holism puts the focus on the ‘whole’ as opposed to the parts.

The English Oxford Dictionaries define holism:

The theory that elements of a whole come in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood regardless of the whole, that is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts.

And when holism is about health:

The treating of the complete person, considering mental and social factors, instead of just the symptoms of an illness.

Another way to think about holism is by using the analogy of systems both natural and manmade (i.e. an ecosystem a health system, a family system, a solar system, etc.).

A system is a complex ‘whole’ with an obvious boundary; there is another and an inside. The content inside a system (for instance: weather, animals, and plants) is made up of interrelated, interdependent parts that directly reflect the overall context, within which they exist, (for example: an ecosystem).

Whenever the whole of anything produces an outcome higher than some of its parts could accomplish, individually, we call that synergy, (for instance: a thunderstorm, the music of an orchestra).

The opposite to holism, reductionism, instead analyzes something by its component parts.

Holistic Health: Treating the Whole Person

The original approach of the medical system has taught us to identify health from a reductionist perspective. We go to the doctor to get some specific part of the body fixed since it has stopped functioning well and may be causing us pain.

Millions of people get excellent results using the medical-model. The only problem is that this model considers, almost exclusively, just the health of the body. So when it comes to mental health, the typical solution is to prescribe antidepressant medicine.

Why is this an issue? We humans are complex beings. We’ve minds, emotions and a soul, the non-public, intangible relationship to a macro reality beyond ourselves. What’s more, who we are, is continually influenced within the contexts of family, community, country and world.

A holistic approach to health and fitness addresses the reality of the multiple interrelated and interdependent parts that make us who we have been. The malaise of any one of these can directly (and negatively), affect the health of other parts of our life.

For this reason alone, the first focus of holistic care is on the person and not the issue or disease. Stress, anxiety, and depression, for instance, often end up translating to a physical symptom. It’s all connected.

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national survey, in September, 2017, The American Psychiatric Association reported that antidepressant use had opted from 1 in 50 people 30 years back to 1 1 of 9 between the years 2011 and 2014, and today in 2018.

This is clear evidence of the rise in mood disorders for Americans.

Why the increased use? As stated, nothing happens in a vacuum and so assessing one’s lifestyle regarding home, relationships, finances, work, etc. becomes a crucial task to find out their impact. The bottom-line would be to find the root cause (s) and establish a restorative plan.

Cannabis and Holistic Health

The medicinal use of cannabis is a world apart from its recreational use. Oftentimes, the lower the quantity of THC found in any medicinal formulation, the greater the desired effect. The saying is: Start low; go slow. perris cannabis dispensary Treatment is never one-size-fits-all as the current interplay of someone’s body, mind and soul are of primary consideration.

Historically, the whole of the ancient cannabis plant was useful for a beneficial impact on someone’s overall, general condition, far beyond mere symptom control. This helps it be an ideal match to the holistic method of health.

Not unlike the complexity of the individual in context of our various lifestyles, cannabis a complex plant of the plant kingdom. It’s effectiveness being an overall tonic has to do with the fact of cannabis containing approximately 100 molecular compounds, with THC and CBD most researched and understood.

Once the whole of the cannabis plant is used as medicine it provides a synergistic or ‘entourage’ effect which accounts for why the therapeutic use of cannabis brings relief to a wide selection of conditions.

In this way therapeutic cannabis use stands in stark contrast to traditional medicine that typically isolates plant compounds and manufactures them in pharmaceuticals to target one symptom or bodily system.

I believe that more and more people are discerning the difference between the medical and holistic models of health. Each has its time and place. When discovering the countless great things about medicinal cannabis, our overall wellness, lifestyle and broader culture can transform for the better.

Susan is a 2018 graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy with over 45 years of personal involvement in the spectral range of wellness modalities. Her mission today would be to intervene in the noise of modern life and help people identify and remove stressors that trigger their dis-ease while providing strategies towards a living experience of inner calmness, contentment and inspiration.

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