September 30, 2022
You might have heard the term holistic or read it in a magazine, see some celebrities or bloggers hone in on it as the ‘latest trend’. The term holistic means ‘to address the whole (person)’. This includes a person's physical, emotional, mental, social, financial and spiritual health.
When it comes to health, we live in, and have done for so many, many years, a world that has become somewhat focused more on divisions, with different people offering different services or modalities. In each unique circumstance of course, it can take more than one person or one thing to resolve a health problem, but the issue that many of my clients raise or express is that in the past, in desperation to resolve a skin and/or wellness issue, they have felt they are not treated ‘wholly’.
Firstly, I am not dismissing the amazing work and goodness that exists in our world of medicine that helps millions of lives become well. I am however greatly fascinated and open to delving deeper into offering that broad holistic approach when it comes to how I can better serve my clients.
What do you think when you hear the term holistic? Does it make you feel unnerved, uncomfortable? Do you understand it, are you curious? Some regard the holistic world as being one that’s ‘different’, a bit ‘woo’, and questioned by those who stand strongly in the pharmaceutical world and/or those with staunch religious beliefs. Alternative therapies are suspected by some as not being safe or serious, some even referring to these as a witchy kind of magic and dangerous.
What is interesting to note is that by viewing our health in a holistic manner, regardless as to whether or not we have any physical or visible symptoms of poor health, we are allowing ourselves to tap in or tune in to listen to our own bodies. Over the decades we have become better at ‘tuning out the noise’ from within ourselves, as the noise from the outside world gets played a little louder. That outside noise can be things like our increasingly demanding work schedules, our environment, the pollution, our modern world lifestyle choices, our convenient food industry, our fast-paced world where everything is wanted yesterday - we try to keep up with it, like little hamsters running harder and faster on the wheel. We stopped listening to the best voice there is - our own.
Intuition is an amazing ability to know something without having proof, but we question everything and more often than not, we ignore that ‘gut feeling’ and there is much reason as to why we refer to intuition as going with our gut. Our gut, you see, it is our second brain.
At Callan Cove, my passion and mission are to treat my clients with that holistic approach. A believer that no one thing can cure and there are unfortunately no quick fixes in my line of work. When it comes more specifically to skin conditions, I look at treating the root cause of these, and by that, I mean let’s look on the inside. Yes, again I refer to our gut. With 70% of our immune system manufactured in the gut, if we have any hope of treating or healing a wound or discomfort, we want to ensure our self-built army is in good shape. For a high percentage of my acne clientele, I know and educate them to the fact that their skin problem is not just a result of poor skin care or bad luck. The root cause is how dysfunctional the gut is - and when I say dysfunction, not everyone experiences symptoms to let them know their gut isn’t performing properly or optimally. However, when we see the skin explode with persistent breakouts, rashes or discomfort it is a true indicator that internal support is required. Hence, let’s look at you ‘holistically’ and not just perform a facial or ask you to rub a cream on and hope for a resolution.
Whilst gut health assessment is an important and integral component in my consultation process here at the clinic, as mentioned not everyone realises their gut might be calling for assistance. Gut imbalance can present itself in subtle ways, be it the odd rash or itch, that goes away after we stop eating that thing, then it comes back when we do it again. But we ignore that, because it wasn’t a big deal. We choose to ignore that voice of ours. Our mood can also let us know about an imbalance. A dip in our moods, increased irritability, emotional spikes. We can find ourselves ‘triggered’ in situations that might not have bothered us before. We can ask ourselves what changed? A contributing factor to our emotional balance once again takes us back to the gut. Why look there? Well, an impressive 90% of our feel-good-hormone called serotonin is manufactured in the gut. That’s right, alongside the big chunk of our immunity. So, if we don’t feel good and if we struggle to recover from ailments and diseases, isn’t it worth looking at our gut a bit more? For our mental health, we need to look at our gut health when we face emotional challenges, and not assume these are caused only by extrinsic factors.
Again, we might not have obvious symptoms, and what might those symptoms be you ask?! Ok, so some clients will present with skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, inflammation of the skin and reoccurring rashes. Other things more closely related to what we consider when we think of the gut include food intolerances or allergies, some of which start later in life. We might get a shock to suddenly realise we can’t stomach that toast at brekkie anymore because it causes us to ‘dash to the loo’ or leaves our tummy in knots for hours after. We think, I’ve never had issues with bread before, so what happened? What changed?
Our environment changed. Not just the outside that we see, the trees and skies, but they too have changed or at-least how we see them. As a society, in general, we are much busier. We are more demanding, and we are more impatient. We have more concerns, worries and fears, as our world evolves. Many more of us are medicated, from antibiotics, anti-depressants and birth control pills, upsetting our natural microbiome. We have to work harder and faster to meet the demands we place on ourselves and each other. And as we speed up in life, our bodies are worked that bit harder too and not always nourished or supported as they need to be. In a word that umbrellas life for many of us - ‘stress’.
Living in a state of increased or chronic stress has detrimental effects on the entire body, and yes directly the gut. With an increase in the amount of cortisol in our blood, this can negatively impact upon our growth factors. What does that mean? In a word - premature ageing. Growth factors are produced by specific cells, and one of the most abundant proteins or growth factors we want to keep is collagen. When it starts to decline, we can say goodbye to muscle mass, plump bouncy skin and less commonly considered, a strong healthy gut lining! Again, let’s look at you holistically. Your skin issues. The onset of premature ageing. Your anxiety or depression. Your food allergies. Your weight management struggles. Your irritability. Your thyroid functions. Your focus and concentration. Your sleep problems. Your fertility journeys.
If such significant chunks of our body’s ability to defend, repair, heal and energise is created in the gut, then isn’t it wise to consider that the often band-aided approach to our health problems, skin treatments and concerns isn’t the best or the only way? Maybe quick fixes are what many people prefer, but what about investing in ourselves for longer-term benefits, that do not compromise our health?
What if we chose to explore options that support us on a path to better gut function and boost our body’s ability and intuition to self-heal. How do we do that? Exercise and eating well are long rooted in the concept of being healthy, but if you are already doing those things yet suffering any of the above noted symptoms or challenges, then stripping back to the root cause is my advice. In other words, start at the beginning, and that is, go with your gut.
We can support that phase too, through supplementation, as a means to ‘kick start’ or reset our gut. As more emerging science and clinical studies show, aiding our gut health is taking a holistic view or approach to resolving many other health problems, and perhaps in some circumstances prevent them in the first place.
In a world that’s also growing astronomically in the provision of technology lead beauty treatments and cosmetic aesthetics, I gather from a huge proportion of my clients that there is a feeling of anticipation or angst that we’re all headed down the road to looking the same. Does that mean we will all start behaving the same? Does that mean we further drown out our own unique inner voice as we get caught up in the world that lives a lot of the time through the camera lens (aka social media)?
There are not many people I’ve met who don’t want to look younger or better than they look, or who don’t want to feel better than they do. Some think it’s impossible to achieve that healthier, younger complexion without the modalities available in the aesthetic world. But what if I told you that’s absolutely possible!? Or better yet, what if I told you and you told yourself, it’s ok to not be entirely flawless but feel amazing?
For me, being holistic and open to exploring that realm is far more real. For me, it means I’m taking more control and responsibility over my own health, my well-being, my sense of authentic self. When it comes to tapping into ourselves in a holistic way, it’s more than just supporting the gut and the skin. Whilst those are two key elements in my business, there is a much broader sense of self awareness and opening up other avenues of mindfulness healing, gratitude and rituals to improving overall health. Exploring the holistic world is exciting for me, and for the opportunities and dreams I already envision for Callan Cove. What's more, it doesn't have to be feared or considered as witchy!
What are your thoughts on this approach to your own health and wellness? I’d love to hear your feedback! If you’d like to know more about how I can help to support your skin and gut health in the clinic, please get in touch via the website.
With love and positive vibes,
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