Walking into a health store will be different to walking into another, for all kinds of reasons. But deep at the heart of the health store ethos is a holistic mindset. But what is this, and how do health stores harness this for your wellbeing?
“Holistic health: A system of preventative care…. That takes into account the whole individual…one’s own responsibility for one’s wellbeing, and the total influences; social, psychological, environmental – that affect health including nutrition, exercise and mental relaxation”.
You might walk in knowing exactly what you’re after; vitamin D, kefir, flax seeds, natural hair dye, organic skincare, for example. You might even have a list of products recommended by a practitioner; specific formulations linked together in a specific health plan; live bacterial cultures, a high potency multinutrient and a top up of bone-supporting minerals, perhaps.
But, sometimes, you might not know what you’d like or need at all, and this is where health store staff can really help you.
As well as helping to bring out important information that you must consider before you make certain purchases, information is on hand about key factors that must be considered before you start any healthcare regime, such as:
- Do you have any underlying health conditions?
- Are you on any medications?
- Are you taking any other supplements/formulations?
- Do you have food allergies or intolerances?
- Are you able to spend time cooking and preparing foods?
- Do you eat well? How’s your appetite?
- For skincare: Is your skin sensitive/easily burns?
- How are you sleeping?
These questions all help to provide a holistic health approach within the store that you’re visiting, which is deeply at the heart of how health stores came into being.
Let’s take a closer look at a holistic approach to gut health.
Food: Increasing intakes of tangy and vinegary foods such as sauerkraut and pickles, plus fermented foods and drinks such as kefir and kombucha.
Food habits: Take time to eat to give your body to produce digestive enzymes in your mouth (in anticipation of foods), chew your food to give the digestive process a head-start.
Stress: It’s well known that stress can affect the gut, since the ‘flight or flight’ mechanism within the stress response impacts on the digestive tract, making it less of a priority than, for example, the circulatory system needed to power our ‘extremities’ (arms, legs and head). As a result, those with long-term stress can often find themselves experiencing digestive upset. At these times, seeking advice about how to manage stress could prove really valuable.
Sleep: Good rest is essential for all body systems.
What Holistic means to me…
We asked four of our HealthyDoesIt expert advisers what holistic health means to them, and what products they use to help keep them healthy…
Dr Marilyn Glenville:
“I’m never without vitamin C. If I ever get symptoms of a cold or flu I take 1g an hour until symptoms abate which happens, almost invariably, within 24 hours. My staff have free access to vitamin C and load up if a colleague gets sick.”