As holistic practitioners we are very interested in peoples constitution, their choice of environment (including their diet and relationships) and their vitality. Some aspects we are more used to identifying and advising on when someone’s ill but we are also interested in how you can stay healthy and understanding the interplay between them is a major influence on staying well. If we just get rid of an illness without understanding why we got it we shouldn’t be surprised if it, or another illness reoccurs. Truly getting well is a journey of discovery, not just recovery.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about vitality. The ability to respond to an environment and navigate life challenges and opportunities. Often the first sign of an improvement in a person’s health when they have chronic health problems is a shift and improvement in their vitality. Those of you who have seen me as a patient might have noticed me asking you to score you’re vitality out of 10 as it gives me a clue how are you responding even before your physical health starts to change. What influences our vitality? Different philosophies of medicine attribute vitality to different things and it does correlate with resilience and resistance to illness but one of the best measures of vitality is through its correlation with creativity.
Occasionally a patient talks about their vitality but much more often I’m likely to hear they’ve been more empowered or creative. They may have taken up a hobby, addressed a difficult relationship, started writing, joined a choir or become more creative in their approach to life, experimented with different diet, changed their garden or decorated their house. Why not take a moment to reflect on your creativity and opportunities to promote and enhance your creative output. Of course sometimes it shows simply as having more energy, feeling more positive or enhanced immunity.
In many ways when we are creative we shape our environment. Hopefully to make it healthier for us as individuals and for our families and communities. Perhaps you will enjoy reflecting on how your environment can either support or undermine your health and the dynamic interplay between vitality, creativity and your environment.
Each person has a ‘constitution’ that reflects different preferences, susceptibility and sensitivity. Genetics are an interesting pointer to constitutional preferences (click here for information about Genomics testing) but so to is body shape, psychological profile and physiology. Our constitutions however can shift in response to different environments and in response to major life events. Its why keeping healthy requires attention to your constitution (including preferences and susceptibility), our environment (including diet and lifestyle) and your vitality.