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Holistic psychology Cheat Sheet by

Types of health, traditional versus modern medicine, ayurveda, siddha, yoga, homeopathy, naturopathy, unani, mind body relationship, healing, well-being, practitioners


"A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirm­ity­" (WHO)
"A resource for everyday life, not the object of living­" (Ottaw­a,1986)
consistent with biopsy­cho­social model
Holistic approach
treatment of whole person (emoti­onal, physical, intell­ectual, spiritual, occupa­tional, social, enviro­nme­ntal)
positive rather than neutral state (living well)
How to improve
1. physical health
bodily functions and processes - organs/body
fitness, nutrition, absense of illness/injury
lifestyle and dietary changes - regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate rest, effective hygiene, regualr vaccin­ations, avoid alcohol tabacco drugs
2. mental health
emo, social, and psych wellbeing
ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity
practice stress management techni­ques, seek social support, replace -ve thoughts with +ve
3. social health
ways ppl create healthy and +ve interp­ersonal rxns with one another
ability to handle and act based on different social conditions
help improve emo wellbeing
coexist peacefully in commun­ities
foster rxns, comm openly, partic­ipate on social act., seek social support
4. spiritual health
sense of purpose, meaning, and connection to something greater than oneself, which can be different for each person
includes a purposeful life, transc­endence and actualization
balance between physical, psycho­logical and social aspects of human life
explore personal values beliefs practices, engage in act. aligning with spiritual values
5. emotional health
one aspect of mental health
ability to cope with both positive and negative emotions
practice self awareness, mindfu­lness, emo regulation techniques

Tradit­ional vs modern healing technques

"­Tra­dit­ional medicine refers to the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experi­ences indigenous to different cultures that are used to maintain health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, improve, or treat physical and mental illnes­ses." (WHO)
Principle - Humans achieve physical, mental, emo health through harmonious coexis­tence with nature.
"Use of scient­ifi­cally developed treatm­ents, medica­tions, and medical practices to diagnose, prevent, and treat illnesses and diseas­es."­
Also called altern­ative medicine (wrt tradit­ional medicine)
One of the oldest medical sciences in the world
Ayurveda (most widely used in tradit­ional indian holistic medicine)

Ayurvedic medicine:
1500 -1000 BC – Was divided into two schools –
1. Atreya Inner Medicine School
2. Dhanva­ntari Surgery School
Early 100 BC - Scholars in these two categories wrote two major books –
1. Caraka Samhita
2. Sushrut Samhita
500AD - Astanga Hridaya Samhita was published, which integrated the views of two medical schools of Ayurveda
500 - 1900 AD - 16 important drug monographs were gradually added, like bonus sections, to the tradit­ional books of Ayurvedic medicine

Basic theories of Indian medicine:
1. five elements theory: Used to explain human physiology (in vedic culture)
Everything in the world is composed of five basic elements -
Prithvi (earth), Jala (water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air), and Akasha (ether)
These elements supplement the corres­ponding elements in the human body after being ingested
2. three humora­lisms theory (trish­oda): Three kinds of humora­lisms (bodily fluids – humors) -
gas (Vata), bile (Pitta), and mucus (Kapha) **
Balance of these determine the health­/di­sease status of the human body
19th century - Anesthesia and stetho­scope were invented - turning point with the develo­pment of the germ theory of disease and improvent in diagnostic accuracy
20th century- discovery of antibi­otics, DNA structure, X-rays, MRIs further helped deveop more specia­lized care and medical specia­lities
Overtime, huge databasse of altern­ative medicine were formed, including a list of common health symptoms and sugges­tions specific medicines and the right amounts to help relieve those symptoms quickly
Mode of passing (oral/­wri­tten) - how it was passed on through genera­tions
Orally or through appren­tic­eships, vedic texts.
Written texts, rigorous education, and standa­rdized training.
Working on individual
Focus on holistic approach, addressing the person's physical, mental, and spiritual well-b­eing.
Focus on quick relief from the specific symptoms (only target that area with the proven chemical formulas)
Cure many identified problems + prevent many deadly viral infect­ion­s/p­ossible genetic diseases
Trial and error
Passive treatment with no assurance of the effectiveness
Flexible – not fixed
No side effects (made from herbs and natural practices)
Desired medica­tions in our required dose instantly
May have side effects
Scient­ifi­cally proven along with the results of real tests
Ayurveda (900-8­00BCE):
Origin – ancient India - from Vedas (Rigveda and Atharva veda) – 2500-5­00BCE (oldest)
Literal meaning - “The Science of Life” - two Sanskrit words “ayur” (life) and “veda” (science or knowle­dge).
Health is considered as a basic precon­dition for achieving – Dharma (duties), Arth (finance), Karma (action) and Moksha (salva­tion) - objs of life
Maintain balance of structural and functional entities for good physical health (Swasthya)
Human body is a network of seven fundam­ental tissues –
“Rasa(­pla­sma),” “Rakta­(bl­ood),” “Mamsa­(mu­scle),” “Meda(­fat),” “Asthi­(bo­ne),” “Majja­(bone marrow),” and “Shukr­a(r­epr­odu­ctive fluid)” and the waste results of the body --- imbalance of these causes diseases
Unqiue prescr­iption of each indiv acc to holistic perspe­ctive.
Sidda (10,00­0-4­00BCE):
Origin – South India (Dravidian culture)
“Siddha” indicates “holy harmon­y”/­“at­taining excell­enc­e”/­“re­cog­nized fact”
96 principal consti­tuents of humans - physical, physio­log­ical, moral, and intellectual
Link social and psych aspects to physiology of diseases in patient
Gives equal importance to the inward soul and outer body
Practice of medicine is based saiva philosophy – similar to ayurveda
Siddha system of medicine – accumu­lation seven basic materials, three humors and the discarded products - establ­ished by 18 “Siddh­ars;” Thirum­oolar, Ahappe, Agathiyar, Sunthara ananthar, Bogar, Machch­amuni, Konganar, Korakkar, Therayar, Karuvo­orar, Nandi Devar, Idaikk­adar, Iraama­thevar, Sattamuni, Kuthampai, Paampa­atti, Aluhanna, and Kahapu­sundar.
Ideas - “food is medicine, medicine is food” and “sound mind makes a sound body.”
Unani (460-3­77BCE) :
Origin – Greece - Hippoc­rates, Galen
Urbanised by Arab – Raazes, Avicenna (Greco­-Arab Medicine)
Humoral theory – based on the 4 humors; blood, yellow bile, dark bile, and mucus --- sanguine, phlegm­atic, choleric and melanc­holic - depending on presence and amalga­mation of humors – change causes diseases
Human body as made up of seven standards; Mizaj (tempe­ram­ents), Anza (organs), Quo (resou­rces), Arkan (compo­nents), Arawh (spirits), Aklath (humors), and Afal (capac­ities) - consider every component for treatment
Types of medica­tions –
1. Diet treatment (control amount, nature, type)
2. Regimental treatment (diaph­oresis, diuresis, Turkish shower, knead cleansing etc)
3. Pharma­co-­tre­atment (NP drugs)

Homeopathy (1850CE) :
Origin – Greece – Hippoc­rates, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
“Homoe­opathy” - derived from Greek words, “Homois” - similar and “pathos” - suffering
Works to rouse one’s body’s natural capacity to heal itself
Eliminate symptoms + enhance immune system + increase energy and outlook on life
2 main princi­ples:
1. “Like cures like;” a healthy individual would manifest the same symptom with the drug that is the cure for the same illness.
2. “Infinite dilution;” therap­eutic activity is enhanced by repeated dilution and succession even when diluted beyond Avogadro’s number.
Origin – ancient India
Sanskrit word "­yuj­" - "to unite/­int­egrate“ – yoga: “signi­ficance union”
Mainstream in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism
Postures – Precau­tionary (prevent), rehabi­lit­ative (improve) and restor­ative (restore) health
Meditation – emo stability, prevent malfun­ction of organs
Origin – no single country
Natural healing method - using the healing powers of nature
Perceives the body’s inborn healing capacity + emphasizes disease prevention + urges singular respon­sib­ility to get ideal well-being
Belief - accrual of toxins is the pivotal cause of all diseases in the human body. Prevention and elimin­ation of toxins is the route to health.
Treatments are based on the 5 major components of nature that have enormous healing properties
Sowa-R­ig-Pa / Bodh-Kyi: ‘science of healing’
Origin – India
Practi­tioners – Amchi
Treatment - use of herbs, minerals, animal products, spring and mineral water, mysticism and spiritual power.
Allopathy: conven­tional/ modern western medicine
Eviden­ce-­based approach to treat diseases Fda-ap­proved meds
Originates from the greek ‘allos’ - other, and ‘pathia’- ‘suffer’
Quick solution
Has proper chemical compos­ition and has been tested
Chemot­herapy: use of drugs to destroy cancer cells (stop growth, dividing, and replic­ating) during specific parts of the cell cycle (when new cells r made)
Systemic medication – travels through the bloods­tream and reaches all parts of the body
Side effects – hair loss, nausea Types:
1. Intrav­enous (iv) chemot­herapy: injected directly into vein. Some ivs need to be taken over a period of time (every few days/w­eeks) - continuous infusion chemotherapy
2. Oral: taken by mouth - pill, capsule, or liquid
3. Injected chemot­herapy: shot may be given in a muscle or injected under the skin (in arm, leg, or abdomen)
4. Chemot­herapy into an artery: that goes directly to the cancer - intra-­art­erial or ia chemot­herapy.
5. Chemot­herapy into the peritoneum or abdomen: medication might be placed directly (eg – ovary cancer)
6. Topical chemot­herapy: cream to apply on skin
Radiot­herapy: cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors
1. External beam radiation therapy: machine that aims radiation at cancer
2. Internal radiation therapy: radiation is put inside your body - solid (brach­yth­erapy) or liquid (systemic therapy)
1. Inacti­vated: killed version of the germ (flu, polio etc) – not strong immune effect
2. Live-a­tte­nuated: weakened (or attenu­ated) form of the germ - strong and long-l­asting immune response (measles, mumps, chicke­npos)
3. Messenger RNA (MRNA – shorter manufa­cture time, no live virus): make proteins to trigger an immune response
4. Subunit, recomb­inant, polysa­cch­aride, and conjugate: use specific pieces of the germ—like its protein, sugar, or capsid (hepatitis b, hiv)
5. Toxoid vaccines: uses toxin (harmful product) made by the germ
6. Viral vector: different virus as a vector to deliver protection (influ­enza)
Limited scientific research and controlled studies.

WHO - 80% of the world’s population is optimistic about the develo­pment of trad medicine + willing to try herbal medicine as their main healthcare drug
India - accounts for about 75% of developing countries herbal species (more than 3000 types of medicinal plants + more than 1000 factories produce tradit­ional herbs.)
Problems of tradit­ional herbal medicine knowledge –
1. identi­fic­ation and quality (different things with the same name/ different names for the same thing)
2. side effects
3. unscru­pulous exploi­tation of wild medicinal plants (Some rare medicinal resources are on the verge of extinc­tion)
4. Many herbal medicines in India are not produced and sold in accordance with intern­ational market norms, which is another reason they are unable to enter developed Western countries.
Emphasizes rigorous scientific research and clinical trials for eviden­ce-­based practices and drug develo­pment.

Mind body relati­onship

300 yrs ago - mind and body were considered one
17th century - western world saw mind and body as 2 distinct entities - not connected from mind to body
18th-19th century - how can physical thing (body) interact with non-ph­ysical thing (mind)
direct relati­onship
associ­ation btw physical and mental health - physio­log­ical, behavi­oural and social (biopsychosocial)
risk factors (behav & social) overlap
two way influence (affect each other) ->
1. stress response affects ANS (autonomic nervous system)
2. ppl with mental health problems may also have more difficulty accessing services, which intens­ifies both mental and physical illness
mental health and wellbeing
1. dual continum
strongly related but separate from each other
exsist codepe­ned­ently - can be mentally sick but good mental wellbeing or vice-versa (eg- bipolar is managed with meds - wellbeing inc)
emphasis on ability to adapt
based on the view that people never fully recover from mental illness
2, single continum mental health and wellbeing on a single spectrum - integral to each other one cannot be achieved without the other
mental illnes­s/low wellbeing at one extreme and mental wellne­ss/high wellbeing at the other - we lie anywhere btw these 2 points
Mind body connection - philos­ophical take
1. monism - either mind or body (only one)
2. physic­alism - physical intera­ction btw mind and body
assumes everthing is physical
tradit­ional science (explain mental phenomena in terms of brain activi­ties) 3. idealism - non physical intera­ction btw mind and body
metaph­ysical perspe­ctive - reality depends on how our minds perceive and make sense of the world
4. dualism - mind and body r 2 separate entities intera­cting with one another developed by Rene Descartes during the 16th century


to measure a person's overall sense of happiness and life satisf­action:
1. objective wellbeing
measur­able, external factors - can be observed and quantified
emphasis on physical health
fulfilling basic needs (adequate & quality food, shelter, water, education, safety)
measured through self-r­eport (abt presence of illness) or objective measures (mortality rates, life expect­ancy)
2. subjective wellbeing
personal assessment of their own happiness, life satisf­action, and emotional state
feelings, thoughts, and percep­tions about their own life
measured through self report (eg - Warwic­k-E­din­burgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS))
if indiv has both physical and mental health issues - mental health problems can make it harder for the person to get better physic­ally, creating a cycle where they struggle to achieve overall well-being


“Healing is a natural active and multid­ime­nsional process that is indivi­dually expressed with common patterns. Healing is influenced by body-c­ond­ition, personal attitudes, and relati­ons­hips.” (JA Glaister)
origin - old-En­glish term haelen, meaning “whole­ness”
interv­ention, outcome, process
micro (wound healing) to macro level (global healing)
one from indiv, external source (human healers), substances (herbs, meds)
healing model
1. internal - indiv's inner processes and self care (healing intention, personal wholeness)
2. interp­ersonal - healing from impact of social rxns in indiv's life (healthy rxns, healing orgs- for social support)
3. behavioral - actions and habits (healthy lifestyle, integr­ative care)
4. external - physical enviro­nment and external factors (healing space, ecological resili­ence)

Principles of holistic medicine

practi­tioners believe that the whole person is made up of interd­epe­ndent parts and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts (overall health) will be affected
treatment plan may involve drugs + lifestyle modifi­cations (CHIRPU)
1. belief - uncond­itional love and support is the most powerful healer
2. the indiv is ultimately respon­sible for their own health and well-being
3. people have innate healing powers
4. patient is a person, not a disease
5. addresses all aspects of a person's life using a variety of health care practices
6. treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just allevi­ating the symptoms


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