When wellness is bad for you

How do I begin to describe this? I am someone who is in favor of what we call ‘holistic health’, i.e. a view on health that takes the physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of a human into consideration. However, I often feel like advice that are branded as ‘holistic’ – and should therefore take more than one of these aspects into account – are instead overly simplistic, does not always take context into consideration and operate from a ‘one size fits all’ kind of world view. This can lead to more harm than the good it is aimed for, especially if it is received by individuals who are internally very complex human beings. Sometimes something is good advice only given that the external conditions that are assumed to be in place are in fact, in place. If not, they can have the reverse effect.

I have witnessed many friends who all share that they have a perfectionist trait, who – depending where they are at in their lives – seem to have suffered more from certain health advice than the health they gained from them, unless they could do it all perfectly. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the information in and of itself was wrong, but that the net effect on the person absorbing this information turned out to be negative.

I personally don’t struggle with this particular kind of perfectionism, but for much of my life I’ve had this terrible feeling that there is something wrong with me that needs to be fixed. Coming from this place, and desperately looking for answers, makes one try all kinds of things in order to overcome the thing. I’ve tried so many different therapies, diets, supplements, healing modalities, treatments, classes etc. and I’ve learned a lot and I don’t think I would not recommend any of them. My concern is rather “who I was when I was asking for help” and what I hoped that the therapist or practitioner could do for me, and/or what they said they could do for me. If I think I am broken and ask for a remedy to make me whole, and they say – yes do this thing and you will be – then wellness can become nothing but a rabbit whole. I am not saying that most therapists and practitioners work like this, but sometimes we have hidden questions and this is going to be the answers that we hear, irrespective of what they actually say or intend to mean.

I have booked an appointment with an alternative medicine person on Friday, just like I have so many times. I am a bit lost regarding something and I hope she can help me. Perhaps she will be able to help me, perhaps she won’t, but I am more than willing to seek help both inside and outside of the conventional health care system if I feel that I need it. In this case, I need advice from someone who is able to look at the physical, emotional and spiritual, not just the physical body although that is also important.

But I am no longer trying to fix anything, because I know I am not broken. Knowing that makes me meet any practitioner – whether a physician or psychiatrist in the medical establishment, or in the complementary and alternative sector – on the same wavelength. They probably know something that I don’t, otherwise I wouldn’t seek out their help, but they don’t know what it is like to be me and what really works for me. I do, and I am finding out more from a place of knowing I am worth to live my best life.

I see people go into polarized positions when it comes to health issues, one side vilifying the other, but I don’t think either of those ‘sides’ have the right answers. What I do think though, is that many simplistic answers are not good enough for complex humans.

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