What is whole person health?
Your health is more than just where you feel pain, it’s a story. Your body’s story is rich; with many dimensions including your personal experience, relationships, family history, feelings and emotions, culture, gender, spirituality, personal trauma, and much more. All of this comes together to form the person in front of me in clinic.
Traditional Western medicine treats the symptoms and not the cause; in the world of whole-person health, or person-centered care, it’s about understanding the cause and effects of the symptoms that you have and the complex interplay that happens between them. This means accounting for your own body story, which is yours and yours alone.
Even if you have the same health condition as one of your friends, you will both have separate, personal experiences of it. Using a whole-person approach, the work that we undertake together in clinic will be different to that of your friend with the same condition.
How does this change what happens in clinic?
Here in clinic, I bring together a unique mix of therapeutic disciplines to use as appropriate, which respect and safely challenge the interplay between them.
- Understanding & Mindset – being able to meet you where you’re at on your journey, understanding what your goals and drivers are.
- Emotional Health – being able to understand how your thoughts, feelings and experiences shape how you respond to events; nearly all of our physical trauma and injuries have an emotional component to them.
- Nutrition – the food that we eat plays a significant role in influencing our bio chemistry and hormones. In simple terms the foods that we eat can make our body feel nourished and nurtured or they can deplete and drain us. The foods that deplete and drain us contribute towards inflammation in the body. Longer term inflammation can lead to ill health and pain.
- Lifestyle Choices – helping you understand how your lifestyles choices can impact your health e.g. stress, endotoxins and contraception
- Movement & Rehabilitation – this is the classic bodywork practice that you’ll be largely familiar with if we’ve worked together before. I’ve got future blogs coming about the different types of therapies I use here in clinic.
- Reflective Practice – homework to reinforce the work that we’ve done in clinic.
- Personal Growth – measuring your progress against the goals that you’ve identified, being able to understand what your body is telling you and being able to initiate the appropriate self-care.
Why is this approach important?
By working with this approach it’s possible to make positive changes to your health, rather than chasing endless symptoms, we actually get to the root cause of what is happening for you.
The body is clever, it always wants to be in a state of balance, this means that it will make crazy short cuts and cheats in how we move, think and feel in order to preserve that balance – another term that you may have heard used is ‘compensations’. It’s resisting certain movements or using additional muscles to make sure you feel safe and remain balanced and prevent further harm or injury. It’s not just restricted to movements and muscles, but the same applies for our thoughts and feelings and the inner narrative that we tell ourselves.
Using the whole-person approach it’s possible to find the first cheat the body put in place as a protective mechanism and start to re-write the instructions. We can show the body that there is an alternative approach that is more efficient. Commonly, we can show that the negative belief we’ve always held or associated with an event can be changed, so that you can move on from the pattern that has been holding you back.
If you’ve got a long-standing issue that’s being hanging around for a while, maybe it’s time to take a whole person approach?
How can I help?
Claire is a Health, Wellbeing and Rehabilitation Specialist at Restoring Balance; a sports scientist who is also a multi-disciplined therapist specialising in person-centred care. Claire’s work is very different to many therapists – working with you as a whole person using unique combination of mind, nutrition and movement to overcome both physical and emotional blocks; not just where you feel pain or have dysfunction allowing you to live life again. Claire can help you with:
- Relieving pain
- Increasing mobility
- Improving balance & stability
- Improving co-ordination
- Increasing mobility
- Changing your relationship with your scar
- Improving your pelvic floor function
- Calming your stress & anxiety
- Improving your digestive health
- Balancing your hormones
- Changing your mind set and emotional health
I work both online and in person – I have a home based clinic on Hayling Island, Hampshire.