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Integrative Health & Healing

Integrative or holistic health models are by no means recent inventions. Integrative Health simply means the integration of conventional, and complementary and alternative health care (CAHC) options for addressing the body, mind and spirit, as well as the environment and relationships with others. Integrative health focuses mainly on wellness, health promotion, and the healing process. Some will say also, that Integrative health and healing focuses particularly on three important facets of healing - Nourishment, Detoxification and Regeneration with unity of body, mind and spirit. Below we will take a quick look at each of these individually.

Detoxification
Unbeknownst to many, our bodies have an enormous innate healing capacity. This then raises the question, What blocks this healing power in chronically ill patients? To answer using one word - Toxins. The overload of toxins exceeds the body's ability to self-heal. Thus, the simplest solution is detoxification, a concept which is almost foreign to modern conventional medicine, but very familiar to all ancient and holistic medical traditions. Detoxifiers, tonifiers, purgatives and emetics all form a part of the detoxifying process, and there are typically four routes of elimination of toxins in the body - the kidneys, lungs, colon and the skin. For deeper levels of healing, emotional release, mind-set adjustment, and spiritual cleansing must accompany the physical processes of detoxification. Chronic stress for example will have a negative impact on the detoxification process.

Detox Bath

Regeneration
The body is literally 'full of holes' after detoxification. In biology, regeneration is the ability to recreate lost or damaged tissues, organs and limbs. In the holistic medicine world, regeneration is simply the process by which the body reduilds itself after detoxification. Key components of regeneration include good nutrients and positive thoughts. There are also many powerful ancient and modern regeneration techniques. A good example of an ancient regeneration technique is Kaya Regeneration (also called Ela Kizhi) - from the ancient South Asian tradition of Siddha Vaidya. This technique simulates burn without actually producing sensations of pain and discomfort. This then causes the body to produce growth factors, hormones, neurotransmitters, cytokines and other "messengers" associated with wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Nourishment
For the body to detoxify and regenerate properly, sufficient nutrients must be provided. Proper food and nutrition is one of the most essential living elements for human existence. Undoubtedly too, there is a strong and obvious relationship between diet and states of health and disease. In general, eating a variety of fresh, whole (unprocessed) foods has proven hormonally and metabolically favourable compared to eating a monotonous diet based on processed foods. Fast food in particular has contributed to an under-nourishment epidemic in many developing countries. On the other hand, fresh, whole foods provide higher amounts and a more favourable balance of essential and vital nutrients per unit of energy, resulting in better management of cell growth, maintenance, and mitosis (cell division) as well as of appetite and energy balance. A generally more regular eating pattern (e.g. eating medium-sized meals every 3 to 4 hours) has also proven more hormonally and metabolically favourable than infrequent, haphazard food intake.


A quick look at complementary and alternative therapies
Complementary describes treatments that are used with conventional medical treatment. An example of a complementary therapy is massage. Alternative therapies are described as those used instead of conventional medical treatment. An example of an alternative therapy is homeopathy. Integrative health is a blend of the best practices from conventional, complementary and alternative therapies.

Coming Soon
- Alternative Medical Systems
- Mind-Body medicine
- Biologically Based Therapies
- Manipulative and Body-Based Methods
- Energy Therapies


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