The Complete Self-Care Guide to Holistic Medicine: Treating Our Most Common Ailmentsby Robert S. Ivker
The Complete Self-Care Guide to Holistic Medicine is the most comprehensive mainstream guidebook available on holistic healing. Unlike any other health guide, it presents alternative and mainstream/i>/i>
From the author of the 250,000-copy bestseller Sinus Survival, here is a complete guide to using holistic medicine to treat our most common illnesses.
The Complete Self-Care Guide to Holistic Medicine is the most comprehensive mainstream guidebook available on holistic healing. Unlike any other health guide, it presents alternative and mainstream therapies side by side, providing full treatment programs for more than sixty-five illnesses and health problems --ranging from backaches to migraines, from arthritis to common colds. The book features an easy-to-follow wellness program and covers every possible range of illness that can be treated from home.
Robert Ivker, D.O., is currently designing some of the first accredited courses in holistic medicine at our nation's medical schools. Ivker and his coauthors, Robert A. Anderson, M.D., one of the founding pioneers of board-certified holistic medicine in America, and medical writer Larry Trivieri, Jr., senior editor of Alternative Medicine, have crafted an essential guide that belongs in every home. Index. Bibliography.
Robert Ivker, D.O., is a clinical instructor in the departments of family medicine and otolaryngology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and is president of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA). The author of Sinus Survival and the monthly column "Ask Dr. Ivker" in Natural Health magazine, he is one of the nation's most visible spokesmen for alternative medicine. He lives in Colorado.
An award-winning physician and instructor, Robert A. Anderson, M.D., is the author of Stress Power! and Wellness Medicine and has taught at numerous universities. He lives in Wenatchee, Washington.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.82(w) x 9.46(h) x 1.62(d)
Read an Excerpt
How Healthy Are You?
The Wellness Self-Test
The only thing I know that truly heals people is unconditional love. ELISABETH KÜBLER-ROSS, M.D.
Are you healthy?
Your answer to this question is most likely based on whether you suffer from symptoms of disease or have a chronic ailment or nagging condition that never quite goes away. If you don't, then you may automatically assume you are healthy, since the conditioning that the majority of us have grown up with has taught us to define health as the absence of illness. Yet the words health, heal, and holy are all derived from the same Anglo-Saxon word haelen, which means to make whole. Viewed from this perspective, two questions that more directly and accurately address the issue of health are: "Do you love your life?" and "Are you happy to be alive?" For health is far more than simply a matter of not feeling ill. It is the daily experience of wholeness and balancea state of being fully alive in body, mind, and spirit. Such a condition could also be called optimal, or holistic, health. Helping you to achieve this state of total well-being is the primary objective of this book.
THE HALLMARKS OF OPTIMAL HEALTH
Optimal health results from harmony and balance in the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of our lives. When this harmonious balance is present, we experience the unlimited and unimpeded free flow of life force energy throughout our body, mind, andspirit. Around the world, this energy is known by many names. The Chinese call it qi ("chee"), the Japanese refer to it as ki, in India it is known as prana, and in Hebrew it is chai. But in the Western world, the phrase that comes closest to capturing the feeling generated by this energy is unconditional love, regarded by holistic physicians as our most powerful medicine.
Though each of us has the capacity to nurture and to heal ourselves, most of us have yet to tap into this infinite wellspring of loving life energy. Yet there is no one who can better administer this life-enhancing elixir to you than yourself.
By committing to caring for yourself in the manner recommended in the following pages, you will in essence be learning how to better give and receive loveto yourself and others. As a result, you will be enhancing the flow of life force energy throughout every aspect of your life. This holistic healing process will also provide you with the opportunity to safely and effectively treat any physical, mental, or spiritual conditions that may be restricting the flow of healing energy.
Living a holistically healthy lifestyle can facilitate the realization of your ideal life vision in accordance with both your personal and professional goals. But since the majority of us are only aware of health as a condition of not being sick, a mental image of what living holistically means is usually needed in order to achieve it. Briefly, let's examine this state of optimal well-being to give you a glimpse of what it looks and feels like.
A list of the six components of health follows; the first italicized item in each category encompasses the essence of that component. For example, physical health can be simply described as a condition of high energy and vitality, while mental health is a state of peace of mind and contentment. The italicized items can also serve as a health gauge you can use to measure your progress in each area.
High energy and vitality
Freedom from, or high adaptability to, pain, dysfunction, and disability
A strong immune system
A body that feels light, balanced, strong, flexible, and has good aerobic capacity
Ability to meet physical challenges
Full capacity of all five senses and a healthy libido
Harmony with your environment (neither harming nor being harmed)
Awareness of your connectedness with nature
Respect and appreciation for the Earth and all of her inhabitants
Contact with the earth; breathing healthy air; drinking pure water; eating uncontaminated food; exposure to the sun, fire, or candlelight; immersion in warm water (all on a daily basis).
Peace of mind and contentment
A job that you love doing
A sense of humor
Living your life vision.
Self-acceptance and high self-esteem
Capacity to identify, express, experience, and accept all of your feelings, both painful and joyful
Awareness of the intimate connection between your physical and emotional bodies
Confronting your greatest fears
Fulfilling your capacity to play
Peak experiences on a regular basis
Experience of unconditional love/absence of fear
Soul awareness and a personal relationship with God or Spirit
Trust in your intuition and an openness to change
Creating a sacred space on a regular basis through prayer, meditation, walking in nature, observing a Sabbath day, or other rituals
Sense of purpose
Being present in every moment
Depth of commitment and ability to forgive
Intimacy with a spouse or partner, family, and close friends
Sense of belonging to a support group or community
Touch and/or physical intimacy on a daily basis
Selflessness and altruism
THE WELLNESS SELF-TEST
Now that you understand the six categories that comprise optimal health, it's time to measure how close you are to thriving in each area. The following questionnaire is designed to provide you with a much clearer idea of the status of your health in all six areas. You can use the results of the test to guide you through this book, and it can become a blueprint for restructuring your life. You can also measure your progress by taking the test again every two or three months.
Answer the questions in each section and total your score. Each response will be a number from zero to five. Please refer to the frequency described within the parentheses (e.g., "2 to 3x/week") when answering questions about an activity, for example, "Do you maintain a healthy diet?" However, when the question refers to an attitude or an emotion (most of the mind and spirit questions), for example, "Do you have a sense of humor?" the response is more subjective, less exact, and refers to the terms describing frequency, such as "often" or "daily," but not to the numbered frequences in parentheses.
0 = Never or almost never (once a year or less)
1 = Seldom (2 to 12x/year)
2 = Occasionally (2 to 4x/month)
3 = Often (2 to 3x/week)
4 = Regularly (4 to 6x/week)
5 = Daily
BODY: Physical and Environmental Health
__ 1. Do you maintain a healthy diet (low fat, low sugar, fresh fruits, grains and vegetables)?
__ 2. Is your water intake adequate (at least one-half ounce per pound of body weight; 160 pounds = 80 ounces)?
__ 3. Are you within 20 percent of your ideal body weight?
__ 4. Do you feel physically attractive?
__ 5. Do you fall asleep easily and sleep soundly?
__ 6. Do you awaken in the morning feeling well rested?
__ 7. Do you have more than enough energy to meet your daily responsibilities?
__ 8. Are your five senses acute?
__ 9. Do you take time to experience sensual pleasure?
__ 10. Do you schedule regular massage or deep-tissue body work?
__ 11. Does your sexual relationship feel gratifying?
__ 12. Do you engage in regular physical workouts (lasting at least 20 minutes)?
__ 13. Do you have good endurance or aerobic capacity?
__ 14. Do you breathe abdominally for at least a few minutes?
__ 15. Do you maintain physically challenging goals?
__ 16. Are you physically strong?
__ 17. Do you do some stretching exercises?
__ 18. Are you free of chronic aches, pains, ailments, and diseases?
__ 19. Do you have regular effortless bowel movements?
__ 20. Do you understand the causes of your chronic physical problems?
__ 21. Are you free of any drug or alcohol dependency?
__ 22. Do you live and work in a healthy environment with respect to clean air, water, and indoor pollution?
__ 23. Do you feel energized or empowered by nature?
__ 24. Do you feel a strong connection with and appreciation for your body, your home, and your environment?
__ 25. Do you have an awareness of life force energy or qi?
Total BODY Score: __
MIND: Mental and Emotional Health
__ 1. Do you have specific goals in your personal and professional life?
__ 2. Do you have the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time?
__ 3. Do you use visualization or mental imagery to help you attain your goals or enhance your performance?
__ 4. Do you believe it is possible to change?
__ 5. Can you meet your financial needs and desires?
__ 6. Is your outlook basically optimistic?
__ 7. Do you give yourself more supportive messages than critical messages?
__ 8. Does your job utilize all of your greatest talents?
__ 9. Is your job enjoyable and fulfilling?
__ 10. Are you willing to take risks or make mistakes in order to succeed?
__ 11. Are you able to adjust beliefs and attitudes as a result of learning from painful experiences?
__ 12. Do you have a sense of humor?
__ 13. Do you maintain peace of mind and tranquillity?
__ 14. Are you free from a strong need for control or the need to be right?
__ 15. Are you able to fully experience (feel) your painful feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, and hopelessness?
__ 16. Are you aware of and able to safely express fear?
__ 17. Are you aware of and able to safely express anger?
__ 18. Are you aware of and able to safely express sadness or cry?
__ 19. Are you accepting of all your feelings?
__ 20. Do you engage in meditation, contemplation, or psychotherapy to better understand your feelings?
__ 21. Is your sleep free from disturbing dreams?
__ 22. Do you explore the symbolism and emotional content of your dreams?
__ 23. Do you take the time to let down and relax, or make time for activities that constitute the abandon or absorption of play?
__ 24. Do you experience feelings of exhilaration?
__ 25. Do you enjoy high self-esteem?
Total MIND Score:
SPIRIT: Spiritual and Social Health
__ 1. Do you actively commit time to your spiritual life?
__ 2. Do you take time for prayer, meditation, or reflection?
__ 3. Do you listen to and act on your intuition?
__ 4. Are creative activities a part of your work or leisure time?
__ 5. Do you take risks?
__ 6. Do you have faith in a God, spirit guides, or angels?
__ 7. Are you free from anger toward God?
__ 8. Are you grateful for the blessings in your life?
__ 9. Do you take walks, garden, or have contact with nature?
__ 10. Are you able to let go of your attachment to specific outcomes and embrace uncertainty?
__ 11. Do you observe a day of rest completely away from work, dedicated to nurturing yourself and your family?
__ 12. Can you let go of self-interest in deciding the best course of action for a given situation?
__ 13. Do you make time to connect with young children, either your own or someone else's?
__ 14. Are playfulness and humor important to you in your daily life?
__ 15. Do you have the ability to forgive yourself and others?
__ 16. Have you demonstrated the willingness to commit to a marriage or comparable long-term relationship?
__ 17. Do you experience intimacy, besides sex, in your committed relationships?
__ 18. Do you confide in or speak openly with one or more close friends?
__ 19. Do you or did you feel close to your parents?
__ 20. Do you feel close to your children?
__ 21. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, have you fully grieved that loss?
__ 22. Has your experience of pain enabled you to grow spiritually?
__ 23. Do you go out of your way or give your time to help others?
__ 24. Do you feel a sense of belonging to a group or community?
__ 25. Do you experience unconditional love?
Total SPIRIT Score: __
Total BODY, MIND, SPIRIT Score: __
|325-375||Optimal Health: THRIVING|
|125-174||Below Average Health|
|Less than 75||Extremely Unhealthy: SURVIVING|
Once you have completed this questionnaire, pay attention to which categories you need to make the most improvements in, and start to implement the tools and suggestions that are outlined in chapters 2, 3, and 4. Chapter 2 gives you a blueprint for improving your physical and environmental health; chapter 3 outlines similar approaches for mental and emotional health; chapter 4 will help you enhance your spiritual and social health. Begin where you are most comfortable and take your time. You are committing to a life-changing process, one that requires patience and dedication, so proceed at your own pace. Remember, too, that everyone is unique and no two of us will follow the exact same healing path. While the science of holistic medicine provides a universal foundation and structure, its art lies in the writing of your own personal prescription for optimal health, so feel free to adapt the techniques in the pages ahead to tailor-make the holistic self-care program that is most ideally suited for you. Your heart will be your primary guide on this odyssey of realizing your full potential as a human being.
What People are Saying About This
Comprehensive and easy to use ... this book should be in every home.
This is the most comprehensive, holistic, clear, well-documented self-help book I have seen in my 27 years in the field. It is an outstanding contribution and gift to the holistic health public.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews