Holistic Medicine - Myth Or Cure

By: Simran Israni
Holistic is a buzzword nowadays, and the Encinitas and Leucadia areas have long been leaders of the pack. Eastern fashions, healthy eating, and ancient practices like yoga have exploded in popularity recently. Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person, body, mind, and spirit or emotions when in a quest for optimal health and wellness. It addresses the root causes of a condition, not the symptoms. Throughout Encinitas and Leucadia, holistic medicine practitioners have taken different routes to achieve the same goal; complete health of not only the body, but also of the mind.

The most common form of holistic healing is through a combination of massage, yoga or breathing techniques, chiropractic, and acupuncture or acupressure. Many draw inspiration from eastern healing practices, especially Chinese traditional medicine and Indian Ayurveda. Another popular method of holistic healing is through naturopathy: a system of healthcare that uses natural methods, such as herbal supplements, homeopathy, and vitamins, along with counseling or therapy and physical medicine such as massage, to support and stimulate the body's natural healing process.

Many practitioners of holistic medicine are also fully trained in the western medicine and incorporate western technology in order to maximize the  effectiveness of their treatments. Acupuncturists look at MRI's, chiropractors take ex-rays, naturopathic healers analyze blood samples. The popularity of holistic medicine in Encinitas has been growing for the past decade, and the area around the 101 Highway is now teeming with qualified holistic medicine. Although holistic healing is often referred to as alternative medicine, insurance companies are now beginning to cover these services.

Singing Bowls, reaching back to ancient times, are highlighting the trend.

A unique but ancient form of holistic healing is through Tibetan "singing bowls". According to tradition, the practice originated around 500 B.C., in the Buddha's time, and was brought from India to Tibet in the 8th century. Although it has now been practiced for thousands of years, Tibetan sound bowl healing has experienced a rise in the Encinitas area. When struck at certain tones, or modalities, those bowls can help a patient achieve a sense of inner well-being. The harmonic vibrations engage relaxation and are meant to put the physical, emotional, and spiritual energies back into alignment. The healing process involves synchronizing the patient's brain waves with the resonance of the bowls, moving them into a different frequency.

The science behind the practice is fascinating. The vibration of the bowls induces theta brain waves, the same waves that occur during REM sleep, dreams, and moments of half-consciousness. This time is when the brain is relaxed, but active; as opposed to beta waves, which mean the brain is completely alert; alpha, which means the brain is calm but clear; or delta, which indicates unconsciousness or deep, dreamless sleep. Theta waves are often referred to as the "subconscious" and are the ideal state for mediation and healing, and the harmonic vibrations of the Tibetan bowls are said to induce these waves.

There waves are the reason that approaches like meditation, yoga, tai chi, and qi gong - all practices related to controlled movements and breathing - are also used in holistic healing. These exercises also induce the theta brain waves, allowing the body to be in a more relaxed, yet active state. In treating the mind as well as the body, holistic practitioners maintain that a proper mindset is vital for complete healing. The focus is on the entire person rather than simply addressing whatever may be the present disorder or affliction that the person may be suffering. The entirety of a person is made up of many parts - the environment, the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Each and every one of the parts must be addressed, balanced and made whole for the harmony of the body to be isync and for the body to heal and cure and gain its maximum potential.

A rather fine selection of these bowls can be found at Earth Elements in both Encinitas and Carlsbad.