Hong Kong has consistently been ranked among the world’s most stressed cities over the last few years, with money and self-induced societal pressures cited as two leading causes of stress – along with the lack of work-life balance, heavy workload and lack of sleep.
Long-term, these stress levels can take a huge toll on our health, but that doesn’t mean that living a healthy life in Hong Kong is impossible. In fact, understanding your resources and helplines can improve your holistic health.
What is holistic health?
Essentially, holistic health involves focusing on the root cause of health problems. This is done by considering the person and how they interact with their environment, rather than focusing on illness or specific parts of the body. The goal of holistic health is to achieve maximum well-being, where every part of the body functions at an optimal level. The idea is to ensure that people take responsibility for their well-being and how their day-to-day choices affect their health.
Holistic health recognition
Unfortunately, holistic health in Hong Kong isn’t much recognised, with only a handful of practitioners practising it. In an interview, our co-founder and functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Tim Trodd, said there is not much controversy over holistic health in Hong Kong. Rather, it’s just not as recognised. Dr. Trodd stated that medical education uses a traditional model that doesn’t involve or include many elements of functional medicine. As such, there are no organisations like the IFM of the United States or ACNEM of Australia that promote functional medicine in Hong Kong, yet.
How functional medicine supports holistic health
Functional medicine is a personalised, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and holistic doctors to achieve the highest expression of health. To achieve this, doctors and patients collaborate to address the underlying cause of the disease. Functional medicine can cover various issues such as children with developmental delays, adults fighting fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, hormonal imbalances, memory problems and cancer.
In general, a functional medicine practitioner starts by treating a patient's general health. This can involve looking into the gastrointestinal tract to find the right diet or nutrient levels to resolve some deficiencies before moving on to more specific problems.
6 tips for applying holistic health and wellbeing into your lifestyle
Applying a holistic approach to your self-care routine can greatly benefit your health, and you can do this by creating a personal well-being plan. Here are the tips for incorporating wellness:
#1. Spending time outside
Taking 45 minutes daily to walk outside boosts the release of endorphins and reduces stress.
#2. Exercising regularlyTake 30 minutes of physical activities to improve your overall health and sense of well-being.
#3. Practise mindfulness
#4. Be aware of your diet & nutritionHaving proper nutrition helps keep your body strong. Look at your intake of vitamins and minerals, if you’re constantly feeling fatigued check that your body has enough Vitamin D, Iron and B12 (crucial for proper immunity, energy production and cognitive function).
#5. Manage your sleep cycleLack of sleep can negatively impact your health. Without enough sleep, your body and brain can stop functioning normally. Sleep deprivation has been linked to concentration issues, weakened immunity and high blood pressure, ultimately affecting your quality of life.
#6. Cutting back exposure to toxins
Our bodies are exposed to many different toxins daily; whether in the air, our food or our general environment toxins are all around us and can negatively impact our wellbeing. Reducing exposure and taking supplements to support the body’s detoxification systems can help remove toxins and control the issue. You should investigate any food allergies that may be causing an uncomfortable gut, understanding the environment around you and the foods you consume.
Looking for more help with wellness?
Holistic health and functional medicine have a host of benefits for patients. Following the tips above can drastically improve your lifestyle, especially in a busy and bustling city like Hong Kong.
If you would like to speak to a practitioner for help with living a holistic lifestyle or holistically treating an illness, contact our functional medicine practitioners for a consultation. They are ready to help and encourage you to change your lifestyle to be more holistically focused.