Date Published: 16 July 2011

What are the main barriers to use of a holistic approach ?

The topic What does Holistic mean ? leads to the question:

"What are the main barriers for people not using a holistic approach?"


What are the main barriers to a holistic approach ?

The topic What does Holistic mean ? leads to the question:

"What are the main barriers for people not using a holistic approach?"

"What are the barriers to use of a holistic approach" is an interesting question.

Using a "holistic approach" is generally considered to mean addressing something, often an issue in the context of health and well-being, in such a way as to take all the main aspects of the situation (or person) into consideration. There are many subtly different definitions and descriptions of "holistic" and "what is a holistic approach?"

This page considers barriers to use of a holistic approach in the context of health and personal well-being but some of the ideas may be adapted to apply to other issues such as planetary healing, etc..

1. Awareness of the concept of a Holistic Approach

If the first active step to using a holistic approach is the decision to do so, or at least to view the situation from a holistic perspective, then a preliminary requirement is awareness of the concept of a holistic approach and the possibility proceeding in that direction.

So, one barrier to using a holistic approach is total lack of awareness of holistic approaches.

2. Understanding and knowledge relevant to the situation and a desire to proceed holistically

When one is aware of the benefits of taking a holistic approach to a health issue, one is empowered to decide to use a holistic approach, or not, in any particular case or situation.

For example, in the case of onset of a familiar type of headache someone might choose to insist on some quiet time for a while and to drink some cool mineral water and pray, or read spiritual texts, or use reiki (or some other technique) to release the sense of the headache because for him or her that approach incorporates care of mind, body and spirit in the most appropriate and holistic way. A different person might like the general idea of using holistic approaches but not have the knowledge to find, choose, or apply any suitable technique in that immediate situation. Yet another person might be well aware of several effective holistic strategies or solutions but decide not to use any of them at that precise time but rather to just swallow a pharmaceutical drug labelled as suitable for him or her in that situation - which some people might not consider an ideally "holistic" remedy, but might nevertheless accept or understand in some situations.

So, additional barriers to using a holistic approach include the extent of a person's knowledge or sometimes his or her decision against doing so in a particular situation (which could be for any reason at all).

3. Other people having interest in and understanding of a holistic approach in the context concerned

Holistic approaches are not only used in the cases of relatively minor concerns but can also be applied to illnesses or diseases that are widely considered to be serious, sometimes even life-threatening. In those cases the person with the condition may not be dealing with it him- or herself. He or she might be being treated by various other people such as medical professionals. The person may also be receiving help or concern from an even wider group of people such as friends, colleagues and relatives who may, or may not, have medical or other relevant knowledge or opinions about health treatments and healing.

Even if the person whose body is affected is the decision-maker (which is not always the case, e.g. if he or she is a child, a prisoner, deemed to be mentally incompetent, or is not conscious), the attitudes of other people around him or her can still have a considerable influence over his or her fears or openness to possibilities of healing and recovery and to the course of treatment, if any, he or she decides to follow.

So, the attitudes and emotions of other people can also be a barrier to someone deciding to use a holistic approach.

4. Availability (including affordability) of appropriate holistic possibilities

There are many different approaches to health, wellness, and improving one's experience of life that may be described as "holistic". A truly "holistic approach" often involves use of a combination of activities or treatment modalities. In addition to the most well-known health care treatments be they best-known as "conventional" or "alternative", holistic modalities might also include yoga, meditation, special diets (of various kinds), certain spiritual or religious practises and so on. Inevitably, some extremely helpful techniques are more widely available in some places than in others and even when available, may not be affordable to all. Fortunately finding a "holistic approach" generally allows much scope and flexibility to make the most of what is available and to use something similar if and when the most obvious or preferred option is not possible within limitations of time, place, budget, regulations, or for some other reason.

So, as with so many things ("holistic" or not), some specific forms of help may not be available to everyone, everywhere, all of the time. However, this should be considered a rather small "barrier" and instead more of an invitation to be creative and to appreciate the good in specific possibilities that are available - including, of course, that of the strength from prayer and other spiritual support available to everyone, everywhere, all of the time.

This short article only covers a few general types of barriers to use of a holistic approach to health and well-being. It could also have been written in response to the questions "Why don't people take a holistic approach?", "Why doesn't everyone always take a holistic approach?" or "What are the main excuses for not taking a holistic approach?"

One difficulty in responding to any such general question is the ease with which objections may be raised simply by specifying a particular case, perhaps one that also involves many complex issues such as religious complications, child welfare concerns/regulations, medical ethics, concern about other people catching a particular disease/condition, and so on and so on. Many specific situations would certainly justify more detailed consideration. A key issue is that many people simply don't realize that they have a choice at all and of those who do know that they have choices, many still don't realize that there are so many possibilities beyond the most obvious solutions commonly proposed by today's allopathic medical practitioners.

The shortest and simplest overall answer to the question "What are the barriers to use of a holistic approach ?" is probably awareness. This includes the general public's awareness of the wider context of health and well-being as well as individual's knowledge about specific habits, techniques and treatments for getting well, staying healthy and enjoying life. Perhaps the "experts" do need to understand more about spirituality, energy fields, and traditional Eastern and other approaches, but so could we all.

This is not medical advice. If you have any health or medical concerns please consult an appropriate professional.

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Source: IvyRose Holistic Article.

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