In our current society, the standard medicine that is commonly practiced by doctors in clinics and hospitals is known as allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine’s approach to healing is to treat an illness or disease directly at the level of the physical body. This approach ignores the fact that health issues generally arise due to an imbalance at other levels of an individual, and a physical illness or disease is the body’s way of communicating such an imbalance. Therefore, allopathic medicine is actually targeting the symptoms of a problem and not the problem itself, which means that the benefits of such an approach will be temporary at best.
Holistic healing is based on the principle that human beings have multiple levels, and that an imbalance at any of these levels will eventually lead to health issues on the physical level. This article discusses these levels, how they become imbalanced and lead to health issues, and how holistic medicine can restore balance to heal not only the physical, but all aspects of a person, in order to create truly lasting health in an individual.
The Four Bodies
Each individual has four bodies: a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual body. If any of the 4 bodies is out of balance, it can negatively affect the health of any other level. Also, all fours bodies must be equally balanced within oneself: if one aspect if stressed over the others, this is also not healthy. For example, it is possible to be “too spiritual” is one’s spiritual practices of meditation and diet neglect the needs of the physical body. Also note that our current society values the mental body over the emotional, which can lead to imbalances in anyone who consciously or subconsciously accepts this value as truth.
The Human Energy Field
Everything in the universe is energy, and energy is always moving. Everything that can be physically seen or touched is simply energy that is moving slowly enough that it can be seen with the human eye. The other 3 bodies are also energetic layers; they cannot (normally) be seen, but they can be felt. Anytime you are affected by someone who is angry or happy, what is happening is that you are feeling that person’s emotional energy inside your own energy field.
The energy field and physical health
In order for the physical body to remain healthy, there must be a constant, healthy flow of energy in the body’s energy field. Within the energy field are “power lines” which run throughout the physical body; these currents are known as energy meridians. The meridians are connected to a series of “energy centers” (AKA chakras) which are located at many places throughout the body. The chakras are responsible for the healthy flow of energy into and out of the energy field.
Emotions have a big effect on our energy fields. If we continually carry hate or resentment, this will form an energy block in our system, and energy will no longer flow correctly within our bodies. Constant nervousness, stress, fear and anxiety all lead to blocks. It is important to note that any emotion that doesn’t get correctly processed will end up clogging our energy field. Even emotions that we try to “get rid of” don’t go away: if we do not allow ourselves to completely feel and release a negative emotion such as shame or guilt, our attempt to push it away will actually push it into our fields. And any negative emotions that stay in our energy fields will lead to blocks which disrupt the healthy flow of energy; such blocks will eventually lead to illness or disease in the body.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that illness should not be considered “bad” per se. Instead, it is simply the body’s way of communicating that something in a person’s life is out of balance and needs to be addressed. Therefore, it can be actually helpful to think of illness as the body’s attempt to have a better relationship with the rest of itself: because its previous communications were ignored, the body is simply “talking louder”.
In order for the body to effectively communicate the imbalance, the location or type of the illness is usually symbolic. Guilt, shame or resentment that is literally “eating you up” might become symbolized in the body as cancer. If you are not getting the emotional support you expect from others, it could show up as back pain (i.e., nobody has your back). Constipation might be telling you that you are holding on to beliefs that no longer benefit you. Knee pain could suggest a lack of flexibility. Digestive issues might suggest being in a stressful situation that you cannot “stomach” or tolerate.
Thoughts and belief patterns
Just as the emotional body affects the physical, the mental affects the emotional. I.e., our thoughts directly control our emotions. For a man who was just fired from a job, the thought “I shouldn’t have been fired” will lead to anger and disappointment, while the thought “this could be a great opportunity to try something new” will lead to hope and excitement. For the woman whose boyfriend just broke up with her, the thought “he shouldn’t have left me” will lead to pain, while the thought “this can only lead to something better” will bring peace.
The differences in the way individuals think is controlled at the spiritual level via our belief systems. For the man who lost his job, the beliefs that “I can’t ever do anything right” and “life isn’t fair” will lead to fear-based thoughts. But the beliefs that “every setback is an opportunity” and “God will provide me everything I need when I need it” will lead to positive and loving thoughts. For the woman whose boyfriend left her, the beliefs that “I don’t deserve love” and “all men are jerks” will lead to negative thoughts, while the belief “I am always worthy of love regardless of my current situation” would lead to the exact opposite.
To summarize how illness is created: our belief patterns directly affect whether our thoughts are positive or negative, which in turn influences whether our emotions are positive or negative. And if we continually experience negative emotions, it will lead to blocks in our energy fields, which negatively affect our physical health.
Holistic medicine involves at least two different objectives. First, there is usually a lot of work needed at the different levels of the energy field to repair energetic “damage” caused by many years of experiencing emotional and other energetic trauma. Additionally, the ultimate goal of healing is to correct the true source or our health problems: our negative belief patterns. The healing of these belief patterns will not only transform our physical health, but also our lives.
Types of Holistic Medicine
There are two types of holistic medicine that I will mention briefly in this article: energy work and soul psychology.
1. Energy work (aka energy healing) is healing that is conducted on one or more of the levels of the energy field and can include any of the following treatments:
- Unblocking energy meridians
- Removing energy blocks and foreign energetic entities from the energy field
- Repairing chakras that are damaged and/or are no longer working effectively
- Restructuring energy templates
- Restoring vital life force energy to the body
- Discovering, and bringing to conscious awareness, past traumatic experiences that have been stuck in the energy field in order to process through and release these experiences
- Providing energetic support necessary for correcting negative belief systems and helping to bring a client back into alignment with his/her true self
2. The second type of holistic medicine, Soul Psychology, is a type of talk therapy that recognizes all aspects of the individual. Traditional psychotherapy does not recognize the spiritual aspect of self, much less understand its relationship to physical health.
The purpose of soul psychology is to gently help a client discover his/her negatives beliefs systems, and aid her through the process of replacing them with positive beliefs. Part of this process involves learning about and recognizing “negative pleasure” which is the unconscious pleasure that accompanies all painful experiences. (For example, the experience of self-victimization is often accompanied by a subtle notion of self-superiority.) Once this pleasure found within our pain is brought to our conscious awareness, we then have the power to release the “need” for experiencing that specific pain. This in turn helps us to release negative belief systems in exchange for positive ones.
- Barbara Brennan: Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field. Bantam. 1998.
- Louise Hay. You Can Heal Your Life. Hay House. Hay House. 1984.
- Eva Pierrakos. Fear No Evil: The Pathwork Method of Transforming the Lower Self. Pathwork Press. 2013.
- Alice Steadman. Who’s the Matter With Me? De Vorss & Company. 1977.
- Joshua David Stone. Soul Psychology: How to Clear Negative Emotions and Spiritualize Your Life. Wellspring. 1999.
Note: an expanded version of this article can be found here: Understanding Holistic Medicine