The term ‘Holistic’ originates from the Greek word ‘holos’, which translates as ‘whole’. Holistic Therapy encompasses practices that treat the body as one entity. It attempts to address an individual as a whole person rather than someone who is sick. Holistic therapists view the human body as one, harmonious system and believe overall wellbeing can only be achieved if the mind, body, and spirit are balanced. This is achieved using natural, non-medical treatments. Due to this approach, holistic therapy should be used alongside conventional medicine, hence the term ‘complementary medicine’. Unlike mainstream medical care that cures illnesses as and when they occur, holistic therapy also works to prevent illness from occurring by promoting wellbeing as the key to health and wellness.
A holistic therapist may use many types of practices, to treat a patient, such as Aromatherapy, Reiki, Hot Stone Massage, to name just a few. As an example, for a person suffering from migraines, the holistic therapist will consider the potential factors that may be causing the person’s headaches. This includes factors such as other health problems, diet and sleep habits, stress and personal problems. The treatment plan will often be implemented alongside conventional medicine and lifestyle modifications to assist in preventing the headaches from recurring.
Holistic therapy is also established on the belief that unconditional love and support is the most powerful healer, and a person is ultimately responsible for his or her own health and wellbeing.
Bodywork techniques such as yoga, meditation, and relaxation; including Reiki, promote a mind/body connection, which influences energy fields within the human body that affect physical and mental health. Some of these techniques have benefits supported by scientific research studies.
Reiki is a Japanese technique used to promote healing. It is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through every living thing and is what causes us to be alive. If our “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to be unwell, and if it is high, we are more capable of being healthy and joyful. The word Reiki combines two Japanese words – Rei which means “Universal” and Ki which is “life force energy”. Therefore, Reiki is translated as, “universal life force energy.”
It is a simple, natural, and safe method of healing and/or self-improvement that everyone can use. Reiki is a form of complementary therapy commonly referred to as energy healing. Energy healing has been used for centuries in various forms. Practitioners explain that energy can stagnate in the body where there has been physical injury, or emotional pain, and in time these energy blocks can cause illness. Reiki is used to help the flow of energy and remove blocks in a similar way to acupuncture or acupressure. Improving the flow of energy around the body, can enable relaxation, reduce pain, speed healing, and reduce other symptoms of illness. A treatment is often described as a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you.
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It is important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others; and Mikao Usui, the founder of the current Reiki system in the early 1900s, recommended that one should practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures. The Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself for it to be a complete system. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.
Cancer Research U.K. suggests that where a reiki therapist spends time with cancer patients it has been shown to have a soothing effect on those patients who may be overwhelmed by invasive therapy, fear, and stress.