+ Core principles
The meaning of 'holistic' is as follows:
'characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole'.
When we get out of balance, every part of our being is affected and that affects our outside world as well. Here is an example to put that understanding into context:
You may have recurrent cold sores that come up especially strongly in certain situations or when you have to deal with certain people. At first, it may seem unrelated. But at a closer look we may discover that these situations or people bring an unconscious reaction that has become internalized and automatic. Maybe a few years earlier, a particular person was hard to deal with and that left a mark on the psyche. At first, that unconscious reaction might have felt like unease to be in their presence, or resistance, or a feeling of injustice, or anger that you felt you had to suppress. At the moment you felt like you couldn't change the situation and you had to develop copying mechanisms. As time went on, this unease and stress that it created went deeper and started affecting the body making it more susceptible to outside influences, such as catching the virus that now comes out in outbreaks of cold sores. It may come out especially strongly in situations where exaggerated emotional reaction is activated, making it into a vicious cycle of recurrent stress and physical discomfort. Though the original situation is over, you continue experiencing its effects in your current life.
In our work, the entrance point can be any of these expressions, be it psychological unease or physical symptoms. Our goal will be to make connections between seemingly unrelated experiences and to work with the disturbance on all levels.
Homeopathy, naturopathy and yogic principles create a framework through which we can attend to every part of our being: the body, the mind, our emotional and spiritual outlook. Step by step, through deep inquiry, we will explore one layer after the other and follow the common thread that affects our whole being. We'll then work with it using the subtle but powerful signal that homeopathic preparations send to the vital force. To make this work truly holistic, we will also apply principles for health-supporting lifestyle that include eating habits, mental-emotional habits, cultivation of awareness and other tools and techniques.
+ Holistic perspective
General framework of wholeness
In viewing health holistically, we learn to see the whole of the world as an interrelated web where everything is connected to everything else, from the first atom to the most complex forms of life. As such homeopathic and naturopathic preparations are made from everything that exists in the world, be it a mineral, a plant, or an animal.
In Quantum theory it is understood that a particle is also a wave. In his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order, physicist David Bohm indicates that what we perceive as solid things are "more like a pattern of movement than like a solid separate thing that exists autonomously and permanently" (p.124). He then goes on to propose that "we have to regard the universe as an undivided and unbroken whole".
That includes our body-mind, which in actuality cannot be separated into different individual functions that will still do the work they do if they are taken out of the matrix of the whole. We can know of these functions only in the context of the whole of the organism. It also means that we are not separate from our surroundings, other people and beings. Subtly, we are affected by everything and we affect everything.
After a careful and thorough exploration, taking into account all the symptoms, we come to see a global pattern of the disturbance. The language we use during the session serves us as a bridge between different levels. As we go deeper into the inquiry, the language becomes more and more individual, different from how we think of ourselves in daily situations. We begin to speak of inner sensations we never knew we had. But for the holistic practitioner that thread is to be followed with utmost attention as the unique entrance point into your inner world, into your pattern of vibration. This pattern is like something else that exists in nature, so we can match the two together, as we do in homeopathy. That is the meaning of the underlying principle of homeopathy: 'like cures like'.
More on subtle preparations and what we know of them today
Since the beginning of practice of homeopathy, over 200 years ago, it was observed that dilutions are capable of stimulating the healing processes of the body and of inducing remarkable changes. Yet it was not quite clear how and why. With advances in science and technology, we can now understand this process much better. What does dilution do? In homeopathic remedies, the material substance and toxic properties are left behind through dilution, while its subtle element is captured in the water through repeated succussions, i.e. vigorous shaking. According to some research, this process is thought to be responsible for making the final product biologically active. While other research reveals the properties of water as it captures the information of the original substance.
In fact, diluted preparations are subtle in comparison to the gross form of material substance. As such, they have the capacity to stimulate the vital force, which is also subtle in comparison to gross level where chemical reactions happen. In homeopathic science, life force, or vital force refers to the subtle level of organization of the entire body-mind; it is that which sustains and nourishes all our physical and thought processes in their interconnected wholeness. It is on this level that homeopathy is observed to act upon. It assists the vital energy caught in the disturbance so that it can be liberated and utilized in the service of well-being. It helps the body and mind to come back to a state of equilibrium, or homeostasis. The results include improved hormonal functioning, stronger immune system, better mental state.
Homeopathy continues its development as a science in its own right, bringing new insights into the understanding of health and disease, offering its unique holistic view. If you are looking for more research on homeopathy, you can find a lot of valuable information at Homeopathy Research Institute.
Homeopathic remedies are safe, non-toxic and are prepared by pharmacies in accordance with international regulations, as well as those of Health Canada.
+ The role of mindfulness
Working with the mind
To live an authentic and meaningful life means to find inner freedom and strength to follow our path that brings us fulfilment and is of benefit to all. This is exactly what we are putting emphasis on when we engage with such introspective practices like yoga. They help us develop our ability to realize and maintain connection with ourselves and everything around us. They also help undo our fixed mental and emotional patterns that clog our perception and stand in the way of this realization.
Yoga comprises a vast array of techniques that are used to a similar goal, that of freedom from constant mental chatter that most of us experience in our daily lives. Through time-tested techniques like yoga we can learn to know and to calm our minds. Instead of constantly being sidetracked by our compulsions, we learn to bring together the various aspects of ourselves and to utilize the vitality we have for the purposes we deem worthy and important. These techniques help us develop a more balanced state in which we are better equipped to discern what serves us and what doesn't to achieve our life goals. In my approach, I draw on some of these techniques and present them in a form that is accessible to all, even if you never practiced yoga before.
Prana, the vital energy
Just like homeopathy has an understanding of the vital force that animates all our body-mind processes in their interconnectedness, yoga understands life force as 'prana'. Prana permeates and informs all layers of our experience, and of all life. Some of these layers are easily accessible to us through our sensations and others are too subtle for our chatty minds to perceive, but can be experienced through contemplation and meditation.
Often, too much vital force is used up to maintain our habitual and compulsive thought processes that become ingrained in our limbic system. That is why we feel chronically exhausted, as if in a fog, without interest and curiosity towards life. As a result, we have little vital force left to pursue deeper aspirations.
For example, when we argue with someone, we feel blood rushing to our vital organs, we begin to breathe more quickly and to perspire more profusely. These reactions are the same as if we get ready to run or to fight like for survival purposes.
Yet in this situation the stress is 'imaginary', meaning that we react as if it is threatening to our life, while in reality we are just having an argument or we feel judged or disappointed. This is an unconscious process, for our body is not aware of the difference while our neurons are sending messages to make it ready to protect itself. Here, the body-mind perceives a threat to itself as a whole, and there is little use to try to convince it otherwise. These are deeply ingrained reactions.
In our work together, the focus will be on freeing the limbic system from these perceived threats and on rewiring the brain connections with new habits.
This can be done in a two-fold way.
On the one hand, with homeopathy we send the subtle signals to the organism with each dose of homeopathic preparation. It acts on the disturbance of the vital force and helps:
- loosen our rigid reactions and rewire our mind processes
- free us from identifications with our fixed thoughts and ideas
- restore our discerning capacity
- release our emotional knots.
This way, our vitality can be utilized for a meaningful life, moving towards our goals and aspirations.
On the other hand, lifestyle suggestions, self-reflective prompts and exercises will help you develop and sustain new mental and emotion habits in your moving forward.