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Holism, Health and Cannabis

Holism is about the big picture; it relates to the idea that nothing happens in a vacuum. When seeking answers to an issue, 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 can not exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood regardless of the whole, which is thus regarded as higher than the sum of its parts.

And when holism is approximately health:

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

Another way to consider 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 an outside and an inside. The content inside a system (for example: weather, animals, and plants) is made up of interrelated, interdependent parts that directly reflect the overall context, within which they exist, (for instance: an ecosystem).

Whenever the complete of anything produces an outcome higher than any of its parts could accomplish, individually, we call that synergy, (for example: 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 recognize health from a reductionist perspective. We visit the doctor to get some specific part of our body fixed because it has stopped functioning well and could be causing us pain.

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

Why is this an issue? We humans are complex beings. We have minds, emotions and a soul, the personal, 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 these multiple interrelated and interdependent parts that make us who we are. The malaise of any one of these can directly (and negatively), affect the fitness of other areas of our life.

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

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national survey, in September, 2017, The American Psychiatric Association reported that antidepressant use had gone from 1 in 50 people 30 years ago to at least one 1 of 9 between the years 2011 and 2014, and now in 2018.

This is clear proof the rise in mood disorders for Americans.

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

Cannabis and Holistic Health

The medicinal use of cannabis is a world aside from its recreational use. In many cases, the lower the quantity of THC used in any medicinal formulation, the higher the desired effect. The saying is: Start low; go slow. 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 used for a beneficial impact on someone’s overall, general condition, far beyond mere symptom control. This makes it a perfect match to the holistic method of health.

Dispensaryherbs.com 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 actual fact of cannabis containing approximately 100 molecular compounds, with THC and CBD most researched and understood.

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

In this manner 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 your medical and holistic types of health. Each has its time and place. When discovering the many 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 connection with inner calmness, contentment and inspiration.