The true meaning of "Holistic"

In this newsletter, I am examining ways of adapting to a new way of looking at life. As a shiatsu and massage therapist since 1994, I am reluctant sometimes to use the word “holistic” because it can be misconstrued as sounding flakey and a bit alternative to the allopathic model of western medicine.  I dislike the word alternative because the word suggests an either or approach. If you break your leg I would prefer that you seek treatment from your local hospital and a team of highly trained medical specialists rather than come to see me. I like the word “complementary.” Perhaps I can help with the healing process of a broken limb by attention to the musculature, nervous and lymphatic system close to the site of injury.


Let me explain my understanding of the word holistic in the context of the ongoing COVID pandemic. It has seemed never ending and for many of us, has amounted to putting one’s life on hold. We have not been able to go to restaurants, theatres or concert halls and other social engagements for fear of contracting one of the many COVID variants. In theory, if you stay home and don’t venture out then you won’t get sick. Again, that provides for only a narrow definition of health that relates to the physical. Holistic refers to the union of mind, body and soul and all three need equal  attention for a complete picture of health. Without paying attention to the three then perhaps the word stir crazy is appropriate. Therefore adopt modifications to your daily routine that give you something to look forward to that help balance you out. You want to avoid stewing on what you don’t have in your life and try to focus on what you do have. Perhaps you need to think outside the box and invent something new.


To take a break from the humdrum of what we have experienced for the past two years, I have incorporated learning Spanish online, yoga with my teacher who herself has adapted to teaching through Zoom, meditation, and learning to play a ukulele. With the latter I’m not yet very good but I am sure that you get the idea of ways to add something meaningful to your life. You need to find joy in something every day.


If  this is within your safety tolerance, consider coming in for either a shiatsu or massage therapy treatment. I am still following and exceeding the guidelines as set by the Ontario government and the College of Massage Therapy of Ontario which includes cleaning and sanitising of high touch surfaces after each client and the wearing of a mask. 


This is to let you know that I will be seeing clients throughout the summer but will be taking a month off in August.