Thinking outside the box is a metaphor that means to think from a new or unconventional perspective. That's how I like to explain my holistic health approach. Although each practitioner's methodology differs, holistic health deals with addressing health challenges from the 'outside in' instead of the inside out. This requires looking at the big picture first and then zoning into the details, the symptoms.

Genetic, environmental and body status factors are all assessed and addressed. Inherited factors including conditions, pre-dispositions and resilience are relevant to present day health. What clients consume, are exposed to or affected by at home, work, school, play and commuting are crucial pieces of information as they can come with harmful effects. Relationships, stressors and life balance issues are reflected in a person’s health picture, thus require investigation. Getting clients involved by having them complete a timeline trains them to become forensic health investigators, a skill that will be required throughout their well-being journey. Education about all the factors that can impact health is a primary requirement and an ongoing process. My clients initially receive an instruction guide to provide them with the steps required to achieve improved health through investigation, goal setting and well-being planning.

Clients who visit a holistic health practitioner may initially be frustrated when their symptoms are not the priority topic of discussion. When they arrive their focus is on symptom elimination, understandably so. After all symptom relief allows them to get on with their day, a necessity in our fast paced lives. I am often asked "do you treat ________?" (a symptom/condition). My answer is not always what people want to hear; my holistic approach addresses and supports the whole body and whole person, which leads to the elimination of symptoms. To help clients understand my holistic approach I show them my symptom iceberg analogy diagram; where symptoms are only the 'tip of the iceberg' reflecting 'base of the iceberg' health concerns. These base issues can include: damage or malfunction of organs, endocrines and body parts; body pollution; detoxification; disease; healing; faulty associations and responding.

The holistic health approach that I use in my practice employs a forensic health investigation that looks at all aspects of a client’s life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Any factors affecting a person on one level will have a ripple effect, impacting the other levels. Once the details of imbalances and disruption have been determined, I recommend a combination of self-help strategies and tools which includes mind/body healing utilizing the body's amazing abilities, neuromuscular biofeedback, nutrition, herbs, visualization, goal setting and changing limiting beliefs into surpassing beliefs - a holistic health methodology. Wrapping their brains around the holistic health approach may require a paradigm shift for clients. They may have to rewrite their definition of what is possible about recovery and how health is restored. Accepting this new way of thinking and following my holistic protocol usually pleasantly surprises clients as they start to feel some improvement almost immediately, and renewed health as they continue with my holistic health regime.

For more information on holistic health strategies visit my website and my HEALTH BY DESIGN blog at

Author's Bio: 

Elisabeth Hines is a Holistic Wellness Practitioner. Her well-being journey has taken her through multiple health challenges to the other side where she enjoys improved health and energy. Learn how to improve your health from knowledge she gained on her journey through spiralling depression, multiple food allergies, environmental illness, chemical sensitivities, stress sensitization, post traumatic stress and spasmodic dysphonia. She is currently practicing in Almonte, Ontario and regularly sees clients in south western and central Ontario. Elisabeth conducts workshops and retreats, teaching participants how to combine self-help therapies and tools, mind/body healing utilizing the body’s amazing abilities, faith and prayer for optimum well-being.