Though we often speak of body, mind and spirit as though they are separate, in fact they are all inextricably linked, since each is only one aspect of a whole. And since there is no real separation between them, if one of them is disturbed, the whole person is affected.
In the same way, we are members of the community of the Earth, and are interdependent with all other life forms and with everything that exists on our planet. We are cells in the body of one mighty, living organism—the Earth itself (often referred to as Gaia, following the discovery by James Lovelock and Lyn Margulis that our planet has exactly the same ability to self-regulate as we do). Therefore the Earth’s energy, or life force, flows through all life forms, in the same way that our blood flows to every cell of our bodies.
Illness of any kind is also stresses us emotionally. But the reverse is also true. When the universal life force that animates our bodies is blocked by any kind of mental or emotional discord the functioning of the whole system is disturbed and the immune system—our body’s ability to deal with environmental stressors including the types of bacteria and viruses inimical to good health—is weakened. Thus emotional, mental and spiritual problems can all manifest as physical dis-ease.
The study of medicine over many centuries has taught us an enormous amount about the way our bodies are formed, how they function, how they can malfunction and what we can do about it. Unfortunately, due to the influence of Cartesian thinking upon science, in the last two hundred years or so conventional Western medicine has gradually come to regard the human body as some sort of machine, rather like a car that occasionally develops faults or breaks down altogether and has to be taken to a mechanic for repair. This is fine if the problem, such as a broken leg, really is mechanical. But more often, it is not, and the trouble is that very often the mechanic—in this case the doctor—relies heavily on a set of tools that get the machine moving again but fail to correct the core fault. In other words, doctors tend to use medication to treat symptoms, rather than enquiring deeply into the causes of the problem or analysing the emotional, mental or spiritual issues or lifestyle factors that may be the root cause. Fixing symptoms without looking at root causes is like having a mechanic ‘fix’ your car by simply disabling all those little messages, such as the ‘check engine’ light, that tell you something is deeply wrong somewhere.
Thankfully, however, there are many therapeutic activities which promote health in the whole person, and are complementary to conventional medical treatment. Homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and a whole range of other so-called ‘alternative’ modalities are all directed at finding the root causes of ill-health rather than treating the symptoms. Rather than striving to banish symptoms they welcome them because symptoms are the body’s clues. All these alternative treatments work by helping the body to channel Earth energy more effectively and thereby to heal itself, so that as well as healing the physical symptoms, they can improve the health of the mind and spirit. And of course most of these practices are preventive as well as remedial, i.e. they help improve and maintain the health of the whole person.
Many of the things normally included under the ‘mind/body/spirit’ heading are practices which one can learn to do at home, such as Yoga and Tai Chi and similar disciplines—many derived from ancient Eastern practices and brought to the West in recent times. These have both an outward physical component and an inward spiritual one. Various forms of meditation are included also.
We neither recommend nor list practitioners of any kind, but if you are in the UK and wish to find a holistic practitioner in your area you might find it useful to go
Click below to read what some GreenSpirit members and associates have to say about specific forms of healing or health maintenance that they find useful.
Bach Flower Remedies: Healing for the 21st Century by June Raymond
The Body and Spirituality by Michael Lewin
The Bowen Technique: Integration and Wholeness by Janie Godfrey
Love Thy Feet by reflexologist Joan Angus
External links to just a few of our favourites among the millions of websites devoted to the pursuit of good health: