Vail Perspective: Holistic care treats mind, body and spirit |

Vail Perspective: Holistic care treats mind, body and spirit

Catherine Zeeb
A New Perspective
Vail, CO Colorado

The recent openings of medical marijuana dispensaries has caused a cloud of controversy. I am a firm believer in using alternative methods for pain control and other diseases that may need healing. But I believe in a holistic approach that treats the mind, body and spirit.

Despite the many controversies about the dispensaries, I have one issue with the words used on most dispensaries’ signs and did some investigation to help me clear this up in my mind and I thought I’d share the information. My issue is with the use of the word “holistic” or “wholistic” on signs at dispensaries. Alternative may be a better word and here’s why:

Holistic is defined as the integration of the whole. Holistic refers to a system of health care that emphasizes the attainment of physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health. It also relates to the medical consideration of the complete person, physically and psychologically, in the treatment of a disease.

“Alternative” covers a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic and herbal medicine that do not follow generally accepted medical methods and may not have a scientific explanation for their effectiveness.

There can be a difference between alternative medicine and a holistic approach to healing. Alternative methods can include, but are not limited to, chiropractic care, acupuncture, ear candling, massage, etc. These methods are great in and of themselves but understanding the integration of mind, body and spirit helps us heal. A good alternative practitioner should know that it is the integrated whole that promotes true healing, not just one method.

A holistic approach to healing, whether it be healing a disease or a mental condition, takes an understanding of how our minds cause the physical body to react or hold on to what we are thinking or reliving, thus causing illness or mental discomfort.

I love a good massage but strictly using an alternative method is relying on the therapist for healing. For example, it is important to relax and enjoy the massage and all of its benefits. After, when you’re back in the real world, the work comes in knowing how to hold onto the relaxation or benefits from the massage. This involves using breath, paying attention to the activity in the mind and connecting to spirit throughout the day. This way the benefits of the massage will last a lot longer and you will feel more balanced for a few days after.

My message is to know what you’re getting into when you see a sign posted that states “holistic.” What are they really selling? Are they going to help you learn how to integrate the whole of your being? Or are they going to sell you a possible “quick fix” solution?

Even if you purchase one alternative source from one place and another from another place, work with a practitioner who can help you integrate the use of products while connecting of mind, body and spirit. Buyer beware and buyer be conscious.

Catherine Zeeb holds a doctorate of philosophy in metaphysics. She has a private therapy practice in Edwards. You can visit her Web site at

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