What is the body without the mind? What is the mind without the spirit? A holistic approach to health seeks to wed them together. If one is weakened, the whole person suffers.
Leah Curtin, RN, says that “holistic care involves addressing the whole person—body, mind and spirit,” she says. “One of the things I’m often asked about is the spiritual aspect of holistic health care. Being a writer, I like to look at where words come from. Religio indicates ‘to link back.’ Spiritus indicates ‘to give life.’”
Leah, an expert in the field, says that the following 10 rules are essential for achieving and maintaining good, holistic health.
1. Buckle up. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the first three decades of life. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of injury or death by 50 percent.
2. Put it out. Don’t smoke…anything! The health effects from smoking are responsible for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year in the United States.
3. Waist management. The CDC reports that obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
4. Food for thought. This is scary: In 2018, 36.6 percent of adults—about 85 million—consumed fast food on a given day. Drive past the drive-thru.
5. Get moving. Even a little bit of exercise helps. Committing to 30 minutes of exercise a day can strengthen bones, elevate moods, and boost energy. If you’re out of practice, the important thing to start slowly and build up from there.
6. Get out. Be outside at least 15 minutes every day. Fresh air has been known to aid digestion, strengthen your immune system, and improve blood pressure.
7. Pray each day. Take time every morning to speak to God. Unplugging for just 10 minutes a day for prayer can relax the mind and lift the spirit. Ask for patience, for guidance, for peace. It’s important to center yourself daily with a prayer practice.
8. Lots of love. Good relationships, family, and friends have been proven to help extend life, improve health, and increase happiness. Jesus told us, long before the researchers proved it, to love one another, to honor our parents, to avoid at all costs calling our brother a fool.
9. Believe. Study after study confirms that those who have a deep faith live longer, healthier lives. Allow your faith lives to comfort and nurture you.
10. Good upkeep. Treat your body like the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught us that we are one with him: “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you’” (Jn 14:20).