The Basics of Holistic Health: A Comprehensive Guide by Oksana Hill-Needem

Posted by Oksana Hill-Needem on 2/15/24 4:00 PM

Oksana Hill-Needem shares difference between conventional medicine and holistic wellness

What is Holistic Health & Wellness? As a new Wellness Coach, I feel that it is important to have educational reading for those who enjoy going a little deeper. Let’s explore the fundamental principles and give some insight into how individuals should be treated as a whole and not just their symptoms. And also the importance of holistic preventative care. I am proud to be a part of an approach to health that distinguishes itself from traditional healthcare. 

At its core, holistic health is an approach to wellness that considers the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. It recognizes that these elements are interconnected and that any disruption in one area can affect the others. Holistic health acknowledges that true well-being cannot be achieved by focusing solely on physical health; mental and emotional well-being are equally vital components of a healthy life.

The Body's Innate Healing Ability

Holistic health acknowledges that the body has a remarkable capacity for self-healing. When given the right conditions, the body can repair itself, restore balance, and recover from illness. One of the body's foremost defenders is the immune system, an intricate network of cells and proteins, constantly patrolling for invaders and swiftly launching counterattacks. When a virus or bacteria infiltrates, the immune system mobilizes its forces to identify, neutralize, and remember the threat for future encounters. Similarly, injuries trigger a cascade of events, with cells rushing to the site to clean, repair, and regenerate damaged tissues.

Intriguingly, the body's innate healing extends beyond the physical realm. The mind, too, plays a pivotal role in the healing process. The placebo effect, for instance, demonstrates the power of belief and positive thinking in influencing outcomes. Moreover, the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, can be triggered by laughter, love, or even the anticipation of something enjoyable.

Treating the Root Cause

In the realm of holistic health and wellness, the emphasis on "Treating the Root Cause" is a guiding principle that sets it apart from conventional medicine. Rather than merely addressing symptoms or providing temporary relief, holistic approaches seek to delve deeper, exploring the underlying factors that contribute to health imbalances. This concept recognizes that symptoms often manifest as signals of a more profound issue, and true healing can only occur when the root cause is unearthed and resolved.

Individualized Care

Individualized care begins by acknowledging that people have distinct genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that influence their health. It involves creating personalized treatment plans that consider a person's specific needs, preferences, and goals. For example, a treatment plan for managing a chronic condition like diabetes should be customized to the individual's age, lifestyle, dietary preferences, and activity level.


Preventive care is a cornerstone of holistic health. Instead of waiting for illness to strike, holistic approaches emphasize proactive measures to maintain health and prevent disease. Preventive care in holistic health encourages individuals to engage in a proactive approach to health. This includes adopting lifestyle practices that support a healthy mind and body, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, stress management, and mindfulness techniques. By nurturing these aspects, individuals are more likely to maintain their overall well-being and reduce the risk of illness.

The Key Components of Holistic Health:

Nutrition and Diet

Diet plays a big role in holistic health. It's not just about counting calories; it's about nourishing the body with whole, unprocessed foods that promote vitality. Holistic nutrition considers individual dietary needs and aims to address specific health concerns through diet. Holistic nutrition recognizes that each person is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all diet. It takes into account individual factors such as age, gender, activity level, and specific health needs. A diet tailored to an individual's unique requirements can better promote wellness and address specific health concerns. The holistic approach encourages mindful eating. This involves paying close attention to what, when, and how you eat. It emphasizes the importance of savoring food, eating with gratitude, and being present during meals. Mindful eating can improve digestion, reduce overeating, and enhance the overall dining experience.

Physical Activity and Exercise

Holistic health emphasizes that physical activity and exercise are not just about building strength or endurance; they contribute to whole-body wellness. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight, supports cardiovascular health, and enhances flexibility and mobility. It also promotes better sleep, digestion, and immune function.

Holistic health acknowledges the strong connection between physical activity and mental and emotional well-being. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, and reduces stress hormones. It can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhance cognitive function. Holistic approaches often encourage exercise as a means to improve mental clarity, reduce stress, and boost self-esteem.

Mindfulness and Stress Management

Mindfulness practices are a means to cultivate present-moment awareness and foster a deeper connection with one's thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and mindful eating are incorporated into daily routines. These practices help individuals become more attuned to their internal experiences and reduce the impact of stressors on their overall health. Mindfulness and stress management are considered preventive measures against the development of chronic diseases. Chronic stress can contribute to various health issues, including heart disease, hypertension, and digestive problems. By reducing stress, holistic health aims to prevent these conditions from arising in the first place.

Alternative Therapies

Holistic health incorporates a wide array of alternative therapies, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal medicine, and massage therapy. These therapies aim to restore balance and promote healing.

Environmental Wellness

The environment we live in can profoundly impact our health. Holistic health advocates for creating a healthy living space by minimizing exposure to toxins and embracing eco-friendly practices.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual well-being, whether through religion, meditation, or personal beliefs, is a vital component of holistic health. It provides a sense of purpose, inner peace, and resilience in the face of life's challenges.


Holistic health offers a holistic approach to well-being, recognizing the intricate connections between mind, body, and spirit. Its principles of treating the root cause, individualized care, and prevention set it apart from conventional healthcare, which often focuses on disease management. By embracing nutrition, physical activity, mindfulness, alternative therapies, and spiritual wellness, individuals can embark on a journey to achieve true holistic health.

As we continue on this journey of holistic well-being, this guide serves as a foundational resource, inspiring us to explore the diverse facets of holistic health and empower ourselves to lead healthier, more balanced lives.

Study Holistic Nutrition & Wellness

Topics: Holistic Nutrition, Great Graduate, mind body spirit, Holistic wellness, Holistic Nutrition Programs, Mindful Practices, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach

About the Author Oksana Hill-Needem

Before SWIHA, Oksana Hill-Needem was a licensed Massage Therapist on the verge of burnout. Oksana realized that she needed a change in her life and that her clients were looking for an expansion of holistic services as well. Oksana enrolled in SWIHA’s Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching Program and is excited to soon launch her own business and build her presence on social media.

Oksana Hill-Needem

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