Holistic Health – The Body-Mind Connection

When I was 16, I worked as a chef in a health food store in Baltimore, MD. Baltimore was pretty progressive, even back then. I read every book in our health food store library. My dad had almost died several 5 years prior & I was determined more and more to study wellness & well-being. Since his health crisis, another family member was dealing with mental health issues. Adding that to my already robust research project, I kept expanding my purview of what health is all about. My first health class began in 6th grade, when I was 12. It was a nice introduction, but I knew there was so much more to discover. I had begun studying yoga when I was nine, and by age 17, I was teaching it. The following year, I began teaching meditation at retreats. I was enthralled.

My intuition drove me to select a small liberal arts college in Northern California, whose emphasis was humanistic psychology. There, I was introduced to the father of Eco Psychology and took my research all the more deeply. There was this undeniable connection between health & being in Nature; I was sure of it. But bills had to be paid & I was offered a job in the hi-tech industry. I helped a dozen start-ups get launched, and then discovered it was ruining my health; so back I went. I have learned that women who work more than 40 hours per week, including domestic chores, developing illness or injuries. There I was, another statistic. So, I had to commit to my healing journey, no matter what.

When I arrived at college, I had a flash of insight, heal the healers! I knew that healthcare providers, mothers, and other nurturing professions, tend to give until exhaustion stops them. This is an interesting health issue: burnout. So many need years to recover. So many factors play into it. Just like my work-related, ergonomically-caused injury; so many factors tied to the main event. I enjoyed dissecting my needs, with the help of many health care providers: physical therapists, psychotherapists, energy healers, meditation teachers, alternative medicine experts, surgeons, personal trainers, yoga teachers, life coaches, wellness educators, aromatherapists, reiki masters, feng shui consultants; the list was long.

After 10 years of tedium, I was living a stable, active life again. Initially, I needed a two years of bedrest. Then I began working again for a year before I was again having to be confined to bed; herniated discs can be this way. Every couples years, it alternated, until I learned to manage my time, expectations, & symptoms, as well as doctors’ appointments & such. Had I never studied holistic health, I would have be completely distraught. I had been a dancer all my life, so I knew I was strong & capable; but holistic healing requires more than a positive attitude.