Healing the Whole Body
“The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone, the foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone…” You may remember the song “Dem Bones” from your childhood or as a parent who has sung along to it with your children. The song illustrates a very simple but often overlooked fact in medicine today, our bodies – though many systems and parts – are interconnected to make up one system.
In healthcare we segment the body into specialties, then we segment those specialties into subspecialties. The importance of seeing a physician who understands the intricacies of any subspecialty is unarguable, there is no doubt there is a reason we call them experts. However, with that segmentation and specialized expertise comes the potential for disjointed care. How can we troubleshoot health problems effectively without exploring an ailment within the body as a whole, rather than from the purview of one subspecialty?
If the toe bone is connected to the foot bone and the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone and we consult the podiatrist but leave out the osteoporosis specialist or the orthopedist, aren’t we doing the patient a disservice? The point is simple; integrative medicine is key. We shouldn’t just be encouraging it for patients; we should be diligently practicing it.
One of the most accessible and healthy ways to cultivate awareness for the body as a whole is yoga. The word ‘yoga’ means union – union of mind, body and spirit, union of breath to movement, union of body to nature.
The best part of yoga is that it’s inclusive rather than exclusive, and it’s accessible anytime, anywhere by anyone. Yoga does not discriminate, it is beneficial and available to every person, in every shape, with every ailment and at every level of health. If practiced safely, yoga’s benefits are innumerable – better digestion, increased strength and flexibility, mental clarity, and improvement of respiration, energy and vitality. Yoga is a safe and effective way to heal the body as a whole, rather than treating symptomatic parts.
We cannot simply preach health as healthcare professionals; we must also embody it, literally.
By Cassy Dump, Pascale Professional Team