⛛ You=Mind,Body, Spirit

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This is the official Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC blog by Danielle Harris.

As a nurse, I have the opportunity to heal the mind, body and soul of patients. Maya Angelou said it best that “patients may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel”. I firmly believe Maya Angelou’s statement. So, what is holistic health? In nursing, holistic is a specialty area of practice for nurses. But I believe every nurse should be a holistic nurse as to treat patients as a whole person and not a diagnosis. The word holistic is derived from the Greek “holos,” which means “whole, entire, or complete”. When we look at something holistically, we are viewing the “whole” entity made up of interconnected parts, rather than independent parts.

Holistic Nursing is defined as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal” (American Holistic Nurses’ Association, 1998). Florence Nightingale, who is considered to be the founder of Holistic Nursing, taught the principles of holism, meaning the relationship and unity of us as humans, wellness, and environment. Holistic nurses are legally licensed nurses who nurture wholeness, peace and healing by valuing each person's physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental strengths and challenges and honoring each person’s values, health beliefs and health experience. The whole person is taken into account during the assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention and evaluation of the results. For more information, please review: https://www.ahna.org/ (I am a member both Nationally and Locally.) Most importantly as a holistic nurse we bring complementary and integrative therapies to nursing practice. Many holistic nurses specialize in one or more integrative healing therapies and maintain qualifications to practice nursing and the complementary therapy.

Holistic Health is actually an approach to life. Holistic health is an ancient approach to health and healing, in which consideration is taking for the whole person. Holistic Health emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and spirit. In holistic health, I see the goal is to achieve maximum well-being (self-actualization, from Maslow), where everything is functioning the very best that is possible.
To understand holistic health and nursing further, it is important to understand the hierarchy of needs we have. I am referring to the Maslow’s hierarchy of need, in psychology. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. In the 1960's and 1970s, changes to the original five-stage model occurred making into seven-stage model and an eight-stage model; however, in nursing school I learned the original model and it is one I will refer to in this blog post.

The hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:
1. Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sex, sleep. 2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear. 3. Love and belongingness needs - social and involves feelings of belongingness, like friendship, intimacy, trust, and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. 4. Esteem needs - esteem for oneself (dignity, achievement, mastery, independence) and desire for reputation or respect from others (e.g., status, prestige). 5. Self-actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.
In essence, Maslow’s needs must be met in order for us to be “self-actualized” or so in order for us to move onto the next level, the levels before must be met. When needs are not meet, we are not “whole”. For example, someone with no place to sleep, those are basic needs, that are unmet that can impact their spirit, not to mention, the body will be impacted by the temperatures outside. As nurses we should work to address their basic needs, by referring to Social Work and then working to address the next level of needs.

Lastly, complementary/integrative and alternative therapies were mentioned earlier, what does that mean exactly? First, https://nccih.nih.gov/ is a great resource to educate yourself further.
Most people and even I’d have to say some health care professionals associate complementary and alternative treatments to those people living with cancer. However, complementary and alternative treatments can be used by anyone with various conditions or no conditions at all. Just please consult with your providers before practicing or using any forms of complementary therapies on yourself or family.
When describing these approaches, people often use “alternative” and “complementary” interchangeably, but the two terms are different concepts. 
If you receive a massage and see a pain management doctor, this is “complementary or integrative”. 
If you refused a consult to a pain management doctor and only received the massage, this is “alternative.”
I prefer integrative. I prefer integrative because as a Nurse I would like all patients to continue to have care and oversight by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant with integrative treatment options included. But, we live in health care system where complementary is the current approach. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), provides much more education, so please visit at, https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health,the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), shared that in 2012, the common practiced integrative therapies are:
Although, the above graph is short, there are many options available, visit https://nccih.nih.gov/ to find out more. 
In the end, I am a holistic nurse. I believe in holistic health. I live each day to live holistic. In essence, this is the foundation on which I created Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC. 
Currently, I’m involved in an aromatherapy course, I practice aromatherapy on myself, my dog, and my family. I see aromatherapy as a holistic option to provide support in restoring a state of balance in our whole being. Aromatherapy has many other benefits and uses as well. I am looking forward to completing my course and sharing aromatherapy with you soon. 

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