What is meant by Holistic Health? - Vida

What is meant by Holistic Health?

Vida - Holistic health is an independent discipline that combines various forms of treatments, including Western/conventional and Eastern medical systems, which can be medically justified and optimize the functioning of the body by balancing physical, psychological, mental, and emotional aspects, with a primary emphasis on food/diet as the primary medicine. The concept of holistic health encompasses efforts in preventive, promotive, curative, and rehabilitative care.

Holistic health is an independent discipline that combines various forms of treatments, including Western/conventional and Eastern medical systems, which can be medically justified and optimize the functioning of the body by balancing physical, psychological, mental, and emotional aspects, with a primary emphasis on food/diet as the primary medicine

What is meant by Holistic Health?

Preventive: efforts involve actions to prevent the onset of diseases or maintain good health. For example, washing hands before eating to prevent diarrhea.

Promotive: efforts aim to enhance the quality of health, such as promoting early breastfeeding initiation (EBF) and exclusive breastfeeding.

Curative: efforts involve treating a disease that a patient is suffering from, both physically and mentally.

Rehabilitative efforts focus on restoring one's health to its original state, such as providing adequate nutrition, especially protein, for the recovery and healing process in children suffering from pneumonia.

History of holistic medicine

Holistic medicine has been introduced since ancient times, such as in Babylonian civilization in Mesopotamia around 2600 years before Christ. During that time, writings about medicine were inscribed on clay tablets, detailing disease symptoms, methods of making medicine, and prayers offered to God. This method involved combining pharmacy practices, medicine, and spiritual care in the treatment of diseases.

Holistic medicine was also introduced by influential figures in the field of health, including Ibn Sina, Hippocrates, and Plato. Ibn Sina (980-1037), also known as Avicenna, stated that immunity depends on four factors: 50% spiritual, 20% mental, 20% emotional, and 10% physical.

This means that what one eats and drinks is the medicine needed by the body, which includes vegetables, fruits, and water. Plato, another supporter of holistic views, emphasized the importance of respecting the relationship between the mind and the body for good health.

Aspects of holistic medicine

There are four main aspects that determine holistic medicine:

Spiritual aspect

An individual's spiritual aspect has a significant impact on their health recovery. Throughout history, the spiritual dimension of disease treatment has been emphasized, dating back to Babylonian civilization around 2600 BCE, where inscriptions about disease symptoms and prayers to God were documented on clay tablets.

The spiritual aspect mentioned in this paper focuses on prayer. Prayer is a genuine dialogue, submission, and sincere request from a servant to Allah (God), making it essential for achieving synergy that involves Allah as the Creator and the patient, doctor, or scientific knowledge as creations for the total healing of humans.

Numerous research studies have shown that individuals who are not religious or do not receive prayer interventions are at a higher risk of suicide, have lower rates of disease recovery, are more prone to illness, and are more susceptible to diseases.

A longitudinal study conducted by Robbins and Metzner over 8-10 years involving 2,700 people found that the death rate in the group who regularly prayed or worshiped was lower than in the group that did not.

A study by Zuckerman, Kals, and Ostfield among elderly individuals also found the same result: elderly individuals who prayed regularly lived longer than those who did not.

Research by Cancerellaro, Larson, and Wilson on alcohol and drug addicts and patients with schizophrenia also showed that a lack of commitment to religion had a negative effect. Furthermore, the research indicated that therapy or treatment is most effective when accompanied by prayer.

Barry Rosenfeld and his colleagues at Fordham University, along with William Breitbart from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer, published a study in 2003 that demonstrated the spiritual effect of offering protection or providing a buffering effect against despair in patients who believe their lives are about to end.

Other research has also shown the connection between the immune system and spiritual levels and emotional conditions. Three scientists measured the spiritual level and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the blood of terminal cancer patients. They found a relationship between immune system function and good mood and IL-6. As a note, IL-6 is a protein in cells that regulates immune system function. In 1998, a study in California found that, 6 months after being silently prayed for, the health of AIDS patients significantly improved compared to AIDS patients who were not prayed for.

In 2002, a study of 39 ICU patients found that those who were prayed for left the hospital faster than those who were not, even though they received the same treatment. Many scientists are increasingly convinced of the health benefits of prayer, and research continues to explore various aspects.

Mental and Emotional Aspect - Positive Thinking

In research conducted by Kazuo Murokami, which links the influence of psychological factors with genetics, it was found that one's mindset can regulate genetic functions in the healing of diseases. The power of positive or negative thinking is often evident when someone falls ill.

For example, if a doctor tells a patient that they have cancer, a person with strong emotional stability may become depressed, worsening their condition. This is why doctors often refrain from informing patients about their illnesses because most patients perceive this information as traumatic. Thus, scientists acknowledge the truth of the saying, "illness comes from the mind."

According to Dr. Husein Ahmad Bajry, your body is the best doctor. The body has been created by Allah in a very perfect way, even possessing the ability to heal itself when it is sick.

The concept of self-healing has existed since ancient times. Kazuo Murokami stated that self-healing is related to genes that instruct the body to heal. In other words, the body is equipped with a hidden healing program. Nothing happens in the body unless it is already encoded in human genes.

Kazuo Murokami mentioned that human genes are equipped with an on/off switch that can change the function of these genes. For example, regular exercise will activate beneficial genes that result in increased muscle strength and overall health, while simultaneously deactivating harmful genes. This applies to the healing process as well; if a person's mindset is optimistic about recovery, the genes will instruct the body to heal.

All human beings have genes that have the potential to cause diseases, and at the same time, genes can also prevent diseases. Both genes that cause cancer and genes that inhibit cancer have been discovered. When they occur together, balance is achieved. If this balance is disrupted, diseases spread quickly (Murokami, 2007).

According to Kazuo Murokami, environmental factors, including an individual's psychological condition, are crucial in determining whether harmful genes are activated. Even if two individuals have the same set of genes, such as identical twins, and one falls ill, the other may not get sick due to differing environmental factors (psychological conditions).

Diet and Lifestyle

It is narrated by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that "the source of disease is the stomach. The stomach is the storehouse of disease, and fasting is its medicine" (Sahih Muslim).

From this hadith, it can be inferred that the source of all diseases begins with digestion, and what is ingested or consumed determines the onset of diseases. This indirectly supports the idea that "disease comes from the mind."

Dr. Hiroshi Shinya from Japan, in his book "The Miracle of Enzyme Self-Healing Program," conducted research on thousands of American and Japanese people, particularly focusing on their large intestines. He found that nearly 100% of their large intestines were in an unhealthy state due to their unhealthy eating habits. Unhealthy eating leads to undigested food remnants that cannot be absorbed by the body and cannot be excreted as feces. These remnants stick to the large intestine, creating toxins that can be absorbed by the body and result in various diseases, including colorectal cancer.

4. A well-balanced diet

Food is a source of energy for the body, allowing all bodily organs to function optimally. A healthy diet can keep the body in good health, while an unhealthy diet can make the body vulnerable to diseases.

It is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said, "Eat before you are full, and stop eating before you are full."

  • Regular eating pattern

The amount of food consumed should be in balance between the amount of food entering the body and the energy expended. Body weight is the most straightforward parameter to determine if the food consumed is sufficient for the body's needs.

The type of food consumed should have a balanced proportion of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The recommended composition is 55-65% carbohydrates, 10-15% protein, and 25-35% fat.

Ideal meal timing should be followed to maintain a healthy eating pattern. This includes regular meals such as breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, and, if necessary, a nighttime snack. Consuming smaller, frequent meals can help prevent gastric diseases.

  • A Healthy Lifestyle

Excessive stress can weaken the body's immunity, making it vulnerable to diseases. Effective stress management is crucial for a healthy lifestyle, involving avoiding procrastination, working with enthusiasm, getting sufficient rest, and managing time efficiently.

  • Adequate physical activity

Physical exercise is crucial for health. It can help prevent various diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Physical activity can also reduce the risk of stroke, lower back pain (LBP), colorectal cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and endometrial cancer. Jogging, playing tennis, or swimming are particularly effective in preventing strokes in men.

A new study found that men who engage in regular, moderate to intense physical activity have a lower risk of suffering a stroke compared to men who are less active. This study involved 3,298 individuals with an average age of 69 living in Upper Manhattan, New York. Men who engaged in regular physical activity had a 63% lower risk of experiencing a stroke compared to those who did not engage in physical activity.


Medication refers to a substance or a combination of substances intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention, reduction, elimination, treatment, or healing of diseases, disease symptoms, physical or mental disorders in humans or animals.

Medication has been known since ancient times. In 2000 BC, the practice of pharmacy was carried out in China, known from the legend of Shen Nung, who conducted investigations and introduced thousands of plant types with medicinal properties. Shen Nung is renowned for his reputation for testing various concoctions on himself and documenting them, which included 365 medications.

Shen Nung conducted experiments on various herbs, tree barks, and roots from his fields and Ephedra. Some of his remedies are still used in pharmacy practices today.

Another significant milestone in the development of pharmacy was the writing of the Ebers Papyrus around 1500 BC, which documented 800 medicinal concoctions. Furthermore, during ancient Greece, prominent philosophers began seeking a connection between a person's health condition and natural phenomena around them. Some pursued philosophical approaches, but it was far from practical application in disease treatment.

One of the influential figures in laying the foundation for medicine at that time was Galen (130-200 AD), who specialized in the study of substances with healing properties. Galen's knowledge, referred to as Galenism, became an essential field of study for hundreds of years."

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