Socrates said it was imperative to treat the body as a whole when he wrote, “For the part can never be well unless the whole is well.” An old Indian saying states that the body is like a house with 3 rooms: a physical, a mental/emotional and a spiritual room. To qualify as being a whole person, one must spend a little bit of time in each of these rooms as a daily practice. For instance, food and sleep satisfy our physical needs; knowledge about the world and utilizing this learnt knowledge enhances our minds; and endorsing and dealing with our feelings meets our emotional needs. Our spiritual needs must also be addressed.
Spirituality can be defined as experiencing the presence of a power or force and experiencing a closeness to that presence. Spirituality can be seen as part of the journey toward becoming whole and being healthy.
Diabetes self-management has advanced over the last few decades, from excess reliance on drugs to a more holistic form of treatment. Holistic medicine is not a novel concept. The holistic style addresses the needs of the whole person rather than isolated parts, and identifies the person as comprising of 3 parts: Body, Mind and Spirit. They propagate that all 3 parts must be healthy for the whole person to be healthy.
Good nutrition nurtures the body. Diabetes educationalists teach people about monitoring blood sugar, planning effective meal plans and exercise. Strategies to manage stress and to be aware and recognize red flags in relation to other mental illnesses are also communicated to maintain emotional health. The role of prayer and meditation in association with our spiritual self is also expounded. Addressing each of these specific areas of our lives assists us in moving closer to a holistic form of diabetes self-management.
Holistic health care is trying to enrich the body’s own natural healing ability. Till date, too much time, money and effort has been concentrated on developing refined drugs and seeking to change unhealthy lifestyle choices, with little or no attention being given to methods to enhance the body’s natural restorative ability. If this change can be encouraged then there will definitely be a change in the way diabetes as a disease can be viewed, managed and treated.
E47 – Holistic View To Diabetes – www.diabetic.today