The structure of alternative medicine is anything but static. Culture and personal experiences spark inspiration to improve health through a holistic journey.
Alternative practices have many benefits. These range from improving mental health to healing physically. It generally stems from Eastern culture.
‘EAT, PRAY, LOVE’
The book “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert gives testimony to the exploration of cultural routines. The author focuses on multiple aspects of culture such as food, spirituality and balance in relationships. It describes her holistic journey to find herself after a messy divorce.
Much of Gilbert’s journey was spent in India and Indonesia. She worked on meditation in India with a guru. Although this is only a segment of the book, it’s a cultural aspect that she integrates at that time.
Meditation is only one type of holistic practice. Each individual may find a method of healing that works for them. For Gilbert, meditating was difficult. It takes effort to completely calm the mind. However, many find it an extremely beneficial cultural practice. It can help to center the mind and body.
To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver.Elizabeth Gilbert
Pati Thomas, a Certified Nutritionist and Contact Reflex Analysis practitioner, draws wisdom from multiple cultures. Her work with patients ranges from nutritional consultations to muscle testing.
Muscle testing is a type of energetic kinesiology that analyzes the muscle’s strength. With this work, a practitioner is able to identify an individual’s strengths or weaknesses. They are then able to help them in those specific areas.
Acknowledge the unique individuality of each person. We are not cookie cutters.Pati Thomas
Nutrition is an equally important aspect of health. “Eat, Pray, Love” focuses on holistic nutritional health as well. Both Gilbert and Thomas share that one should recognize the nutrients needed to heal the body. This includes a whole diet. Thomas also emphasizes the importance of supplements, herbs and healthy fats.
Live to eat, not eat to live.Pati Thomas
“Eat, Pray, Love” includes Gilbert’s journey to Indonesia and her experience with that country’s food culture. Not only is there a focus on the difference in cultural diets but also in the practices of eating. Working holistically integrates the structure of a culture as well — in this case, eating in Indonesia. There are values that are associated with meal times such as quality time with others, the practices of eating slowly and sensory stimulation.
Not only is nutrition a key part of body health but also the ways in which people process food. Sensory stimulation and eating slowly are key to absorbing the proper nutrients.
The author of “Eat, Pray, Love” describes how her journey relieved the stress in depression that was present in her life:
I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.Elizabeth Gilbert
In an interview with Thomas, the Japanese practice of reiki is mentioned. Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing. This holistic medicine practice is based on hands-on healing and works to return the body to a state of relaxation. It is based on the belief that vital energy moves through the body.
Although Thomas does not practice reiki, she recognizes its value in the holistic medicine world. With this work, a practitioner will use their hands to deliver or move energy within the body. Though it has become increasingly common in the Western world, it is dominant in Eastern culture.
ROOTED TO THE EARTH
Thomas recommends the alternative healing practice of earthing. Earthing could simply be sitting on the grass, planting your feet on the ground, or soaking up the sun. It can complement meditation, additionally shown by Gilbert.
While Gilbert learns to silently meditate on her thoughts and pray, the guru emphasizes the importance of firmly keeping your feet on the ground to remain rooted on Earth.