Systemic Health

Integrative Solutions: A Holistic Viewpoint

Authenticity is not a topic for everyone. It requires self-awareness and the qualities of strength, courage, and intellect.


                This information targets individuals who are motivated to help themselves. People who lack a desire for self-improvement challenge the well-being of others, especially when relationship boundaries are nonexistent. Personal experience taught me that recovery is an agreed upon exchange. Complete commitment to self-improvement is an investment that yields needed returns. For this reason, authentic living calls for a mindset that’s open and ready for change.

                After turmoil and trauma, this way of thinking surfaced for me last year. Twenty years ago, the mental health care system presented me with a single, albeit harrowing challenge only. It was not and is not responsible for my successful recovery today. I’ve independently chosen strength, courage, and intellect over stigma, indifference, and restriction. Effective health care systems and recovery programs honor and empower this type of emotional intelligence.
                Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically” (Google dictionary). Self-awareness is a key element of EQ (Daniel Goleman, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence). Other abstract components include: curiosity, mindfulness, and resilience. A health care system concretely driven by medicine, statistics, and profit is not conducive to long-term patient recovery. It’s unprincipled, disjointed, and ineffective – it harbors and is the source of its own stigma. As a result, the client suffers medically, financially, and personally. Society pays a high price legally, operationally, and ethically. I feel that any mental health care paradigm that nullifies a person’s capacity-for-reason fails to recognize the core of human potential. It fundamentally lacks meaningful health care, strips patients of integrity, derails opportunities for independence, and obstructs pathways to lasting recovery.
                I’ve chosen to study holistic and integrative health for these points. Integrative solutions are taking hold in Western medicine, bridging the gap between it and Eastern cultural modalities. These ancient practices have worked for centuries. Despite the lack of adequate insurance coverage for alternative and complementary medicine, it’s sought due to deep and pervasive dissatisfaction with conventional health care. A significant rift has been exposed and an integrative, inclusive holistic approach is gaining ground. I believe it must be developed with extensive research, financial backing, and thorough training and education. With these factors in place, it can be made cost-effective and appropriately implemented.

                System success is foreseeable when gateways to whole- and relationship-centered treatment are employed. A health care system focused on integrative solutions embraces the patient, customizes treatment, and balances responsibility. It fully comprehends mental and emotional health, and considers both the person and the intellect. Minding authenticity (willfully living the concept of self-awareness) is a responsibility of each of us, and exclusively for health care professionals. It’s but one complete investment that promises unlimited dividends.


By Kim Bragado for The Authentic Thinker