What Is Holistic Wellness?

Jim:        Oh, hi, Mike.  We recently received some good news that our Fishing Without Bait logo is now a registered trademark of Namaste Holistic Counseling.  However, I believe we’ve never really explored what holistic actually is defined as.  What would your definition of holistic be?

Mike:    It’s taking a look at things from more than one perspective. To look at a wide approach to some problem solving.

Jim:        Or could you call it a beginner’s mind approach?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:        Holistic refers to a modality or a model of healthcare that’s based on whole-person wellness.  Unless you have a complete picture of an individual, at times traditional or allopathic medicine often treats symptoms rather than causes.  It’s turned our mental health facilities and hospitals into crisis centers rather than recovery centers.  Traditional scientific inquiry and the scientific method consists of whether something is observable, measurable, and repeatable.  So, keeping in mind our emphasis on the perspective that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, too often the observable, measurable, and repeatable human experience is the only thing that gets treated.  So, keeping in mind that our philosophy of Fishing Without Bait is one of honesty, open-mindedness, and the willingness to try we ask people to take a beginner’s mind view of an individual.  At Fishing Without Bait and full-impact mindfulness we would prefer to deal with people rather than diagnoses.  Mike, how often in your life have you encountered individuals who let circumstances, labels, or conditions define them?

Mike:    So many times.  From the people that they deal with in a day-to-day basis to dealing with traffic.

Jim:        And, Mike, what are labels other than cages?  And, as we have often referred to in previous podcasts, we’re like those monkeys that have our hands trapped inside the cage and we won’t let go of the labels.  Too often those conditions are used as an excuse to sit in our own misery.  And, Mike, at some point we’ve indicated to all of our listeners that we’re not offering anyone sympathy.  As, it’s our thought is that offering sympathy participates in one’s misery.  We would prefer to have empathy and ask people to help us understand how they think and feel, which again takes us back to the importance of being able to label and describe.  And, Mike, we often talk about self-fulfilling prophecies, do we not?  When someone labels you as attention deficit disorder, or let’s not ask Mike to speak or be in the play because he can’t do it.  How does that lead your life?

Mike:    It certainly says, oh, I guess I’m not good enough for this.  I should try to do something else.  And, actually, in other work I’ve been working around a lot of the disabled.  And, they get labeled with whatever their condition is.  And, it’s great to see the ones that don’t let that define them and decide I’m going to go to – you know, college, do work instead of sitting at home all the time and just in themselves and their disability.

Jim:        And again, referring back to our previous podcasts, that involves choice and the willingness to try – buying the ticket.

Mike:    It’s a certain level of fearlessness.

Jim:        Courage.  Absolutely.  So our thoughts are that there is no one molecule – meaning chemical medicine, therapy, yoga, meditation, energy medicine, chiropractic care, nutritional supplements, and on and on – that can bring a person into wellness.  What we are interested in is developing and maintaining a holistic wellness model.  And, these are made up of a number of universes, dimensions, or modules which cannot be overlooked.  These could be the spiritual connection.  The psychological mental health perspective.  Your physical wellness.  Your emotional temperature.  And, social interaction.  At the core is, as we refer to in many of our previous podcasts, is the authentic self, and when any or all of the above get disconnected we have lost that authentic self.  So, again, we’re talking about finding that authentic self.  Mike, if you have an upset stomach, if you’re not feeling well, are you going to work on your depression or your anxiety?

Mike:    No.  You’re distracted by the more prominent issue.

Jim:        You’re dealing with what’s right in front of you.  Remember that our brains and our digestive system are formed out of the same fetal tissue in our mothers’ wombs.  And, we’re all interconnected inside.  And, remember, our digestive systems are often referred to as our second brain.  There’s more receptors – particular serotonin receptors which have a great deal to do with mood.  There’s more of them in our digestive system than there is in our brain.

Mike:    There’s a lot of times I see these billboards around hunger and they say summer vacation isn’t so great when you’re hungry.  You know, it is a thing where if you’re hungry you are affected, or are maybe more desperate or maybe not as clear a mind when you’re making your decisions versus if you had a bad shrimp taco at a bad restaurant.  It also affects you and you’re not a little more crabby or whatever the case.  It just overtakes your emotions. 

Jim:        And, there’s a dedicated nerve called the vegas nerve.  Not Las Vegas nerve, that connects our digestive system, our heart, our lungs, and our brain – that when one of these is out of whack the other ones don’t work as well either.

Mike:    There’s a constant harmony in your body when it comes to these.

Jim:        So, when your stomach is upset, when somebody has ulcers, what is that generally caused by?  Of course there are physical conditions that cause the two, but however, usually when a person develops ulcers or a “bad stomach” it’s often caused by?

Mike:    Stress and anxiety, of course.

Jim:        And, quite often, Mike, the stress and anxiety are caused by over reliance on this human experience.  It’s trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of ourselves which may have been placed there by our own inner critic and by unrealistic expectations of others. 

Mike:    There’s a – I listen to one guy who’s kind of become a motivational business speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk that says stop worrying about everybody else’s stuff and how they’re doing.  Focus on yourself.

Jim:        And, again, let’s refer back to a previous podcast where we referred to people as flowers.  And, we posed the query – do flowers compare themselves with the other flowers in the garden or do they bloom?  So, we’ve often referred to in the past as luck is a delusion.  What we do is we prepare ourselves by action and effort in the present to make a future possible.  So, if you have a goal, how are you going to make that flower bloom?  What people, places, things, circumstances, and events are you going to place in your life – are you going to cultivate to allow yourself to bloom?  And, of course, that involves spirituality.  Some type of connection.  And, we’ve often spoke before about the Sanskrit saying um so hum – I am that – that that we’re connected with every single thing in the universe.  There are so many elements in the periodic table, are there not, Mike?  Only so many so far?

Mike:    That we know of, yes.

Jim:        However, they’re all made up of molecules and atoms made up of protons, neutrons, rolling electrons, and some other subatomic particles.

Mike:    We’re all made up of the same stuff.

Jim:        We’re all made up of the same stuff.  The same energy.  So, keeping that in mind, we’re all inter-connected.  We have all the same energy and we are imbued with a spirit.  We’re imbued with an essence.  That essence came from somewhere.  It did not hatch.  And, again, referring to previous podcasts – if you choose to listen on and laugh at us, then that’s just wonderful.  However, I make no apologies.  We make no apologies for insisting that some type of spiritual connection is a necessary part of wellness.  Referring back to our overall physical wellness, it’s well known that food affects mood.  We’ve often spoken of one of the items that’s overlooked is one of the most consumed mood-altering substances on earth – is?

Mike:    Sugar.

Jim:        Absolutely.

Mike:    It’s a drug.

Jim:        Sugar is a drug.  It’s one of the most addictive substances on earth.  And, it’s included in almost everything to make you buy it. And, label, describe, evaluate.  Look at the labels that you see.  Look at the labels when you go to the store.  And, if you can’t pronounce it or need a chemical PhD to help you understand what it is, it has no business being in your body – none.  So, as we often speak in Fishing Without Bait, to detoxify we want to detoxify mind, body, and spirit.  We detoxify our mind by the meditation.  By paying attention on purpose.  By helping people understand what’s important.  Who will be with you at the end?  We detox our body by sweating. By exercise.  By using the old adage – garbage in garbage out – as being a technical person and relating that to our physical bodies, the garbage in garbage out concept.

Mike:    Yeah.  If bad stuff goes into your body to process, then you’re not going to be energized as well, and you’re not going to have as good of an output.

Jim:        And, hence, the mental aspect of it.  Mind, body, spirit.  The mind aspect.  In previous podcasts we’ve often referred to our brains as being the inbox of an e-mail account, have we not?  I’m going to ask you once again – everyone out there gets e-mail.  I’m certain you do.

Mike:    A bit.  Yes.

Jim:        More than one.  So, you do get spam e-mail, do you not?

Mike:    Yes.  Although there are tools to help me dissuade those.

Jim:        Sure.  And, that’s what we’re trying to help people do, too.  However, do you open the spam e-mails, Mike?

Mike:    Sometimes when they have tricked you.

Jim:        Could you give me a reason most people do not open their spam e-mails?  Some malicious people put what in these spam e-mails?

Mike:    Viruses.

Jim:        They put viruses. They put malware in there.  And, tell me, Mike, being the technical person you are, what does a virus or malware do to your computer?

Mike:    It can take it over.  It can infect it.

Jim:        Infect it.  It can make it do things that it’s not supposed to do.  What it actually can do to yourself is disconnect you from your authentic self.  And, so the idea here is that what we do is help people label and describe thoughts and feelings and understand that not all of them are beneficial and helpful.  However, what we insist on doing with our lives is opening every single one of them.  And, many of these thoughts have viruses in them, and these viruses make us sick. So, when we deal with the spiritual aspect we deal with the mind aspect and we deal with our body aspect.  A comprehensive plan for holistic wellness – you can be like an artist in your own life – mixing and matching the different sizes, shapes, and colors to your own liking to find the one that unlocks the key to your inner self.  And, Mike, this is a subject that we’ll continue to explore – the holistic approach.  Holistic wellness.  The model that we profess at Fishing Without Bait using full-impact mindfulness. Do a kindness to yourself, do a kindness for another.  And, once again, our free prescription:  Fruits, nuts, and vegetables.  Unplug your television and take up fishing.  And, for a truly mindful experience we ask that you Fish Without Bait. Until next time, we’re so grateful you’re in our lives.  Namaste.